The Oilers were among the dominant AFL teams in the 1960s, playing in four championship games, and winning titles in 1960 and '61. In 1970, when the AFL merged with the long-established NFL, the Oilers continued to have success, making the playoffs 10 times. The Oilers played their final season in Houston in 1996. In 1997, Adams moved them to the Volunteer State, where they were called the Tennessee Oilers while playing home games at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis ('97) and Vanderbilt Stadium ('98) in Nashville. In 1999, as finishing touches were placed on a new downtown stadium in Nashville, Adams changed the team nickname to Titans. The inaugural Titans team made an electrifying run to Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta, where it lost to the St. Louis Rams. The night before Super Bowl XLVI in January of 2012, the NFL honored Adams for his efforts in supporting U.S. service members and veterans. He was the first recipient of the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA, the league's official military appreciation sponsor.
He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in '08. In 2008, Adams received the inaugural Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, which recognized his vision and his role in helping the NFL reach preeminent status. Adams was nominated for the Hall of Fame as a special contributor, and up until his death had been working on several prominent NFL committees, including Finance, Hall of Fame, and Legislative and Audit. He was one of only four NFL owners to reach the 350-win plateau, a milestone he shared with Ralph Wilson (Buffalo Bills), Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Al Davis (Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders). Bud Adams passed away peacefully on October 21, 2013 of natural causes at his home in Houston.
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