Just Desserts?

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January 24 , 2000
Just Desserts?
By Bob Hulsey

I feel no animosity towards the Tennessee Titans. I’m actually very happy for guys like Bruce Matthews and Blaine Bishop, who have certainly earned this moment.

I must say, however, that the Titan fans haven’t lived through the pain that Houston Oiler fans have suffered through the years. And it bothers me a bit that they haven’t “paid their dues” by watching agonizing failure upon failure, while dying a hundred deaths, before reaching this pinnacle. Or perhaps they should have to listen to a Quebec Nordique fan who followed his club through decades of misery only to see his team win a Stanley Cup as the Colorado Avalanche the first year they left Canada, just to know how it feels. It really doesn’t seem fair.

And truth be told, the Titans are not as good as some of the Oiler teams who didn’t reach the promised land. Those AFL Champions of 1960 and 1961 probably would have been slaughtered in an AFL-NFL title match, but the 1978-1979 teams were clearly the second-best in the NFL. They just had to fight both the Steelers and the refs in two AFC Championship games held in grimy, dreary Pittsburgh. The 1991-1993 Oilers had a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. They squandered playoff leads against Denver and Buffalo then fell victim to Joe Montana. On paper, they should have won each time out. If only they could have made it to the Big One. Just once.

This new breed of Titans got help in ways the old Oilers would have killed for – a fluke TD on a kickoff in the closing seconds to win one game; a reviewed call that wiped out an Indy punt return to Tennessee’s 3-yard-line that could have swung the next game. Jacksonville? Well, I guess they’ve proved themselves against those guys. Eddie George is a splendid runner but I’d have to say Earl Campbell was better. Steve McNair would have held a clipboard behind Warren Moon or, for that matter, George Blanda. The only player Tennessee has for which no Oiler compares is defensive end Jevon Kearse. What could Buddy Ryan have done with him??

Well, no sour grapes. Part of me will still be rooting for Tennessee even with my craw stuck.

Jimmy Carter was right. Life is unfair. Jevon Kearse Jevon Kearse Home Return to Houston Pro Football Email If you have a question, comment or suggestion, contact Bob Archives Find out what other staff members thought of the Titans’ Super Bowl run.