NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Amy Adams Strunk was an enthusiastic fan of the Houston Oilers when quarterback Warren Moon arrived with the franchise back in 1984.
The daughter of late Titans owner and founder Bud Adams, Strunk was fond of the team’s players, her heroes, and the success of the Oilers made her father happy. Led by Moon, the Oilers set a franchise record of reaching the playoffs seven consecutive seasons (1987-93) during the “Run and Shoot” era.
Thirty-five years later, the Oilers are a thing of the past, having left the city after the 1996 season. Strunk, however, is doing her part as the team’s controlling owner to keep their memory alive, and it’s something Moon appreciates.
“I really like the way she’s reached out to the former Oiler players, and tried to make them more welcome to the Tennessee Titans organization,” said Moon, who played from 1984-93 with the team. “The weird thing about the Oilers, more than other teams, is all those great players who played for the Oilers, it’s almost like they don’t have an identity any more. Every other former player has their team to look to, a team to identify with. I’ve played on other teams like the Seahawks, the Chiefs and the Vikings, and I can always go back to those alumni weekends and feel like I am a part of those teams.
“For a long time, the Oilers didn’t have that. Bud Adams wasn’t necessarily reaching out to the former players, and they had nowhere to go. Some might have been reached out to by the Houston Texans, but they weren’t Houston Texans – they were Houston Oilers. But that’s changed. I think it is great she has reached out and done that, and made guys feel like they a part of something again.”
The Titans host a celebration for Former Houston Oilers LB Robert Brazile following his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 in Canton, Ohio.
Strunk organized an Oilers reunion last year in Houston, an event Moon attended. Over 60 players and many former coaches attended the reunion.
In addition to Moon, quarterback Dan Pastorini attended the event, along with former Oilers Bruce Matthews, Robert Brazile, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Kenny Burrough, Mike Renfro, Mike Barber, Gregg Bingham, David Carter, Ray Childress, Wade Phillips, Kevin Gilbride, Mike Rozier, Al Smith, Spencer Tillman, Lamar Lathon, Sean Jones, Vernon Perry, Zeke Moore, Cris Dishman, Bubba McDowell, Bo Eason, Keith Bostic, Jeff Donaldson, Lorenzo White and receivers Ernest Givins, Haywood Jeffires, Curtis Duncan. Smith has been a regular at Titans Homecoming events in Nashville.
“The guys felt like they were welcome again,” Moon said. “They felt like they were a part of something they didn’t feel like they were a part of for a long time.”
Last season, Brazile served as the Honorary 12th Titan for a game. He also received his Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence in a special ceremony at Nissan Stadium, and went into the team’s Ring of Honor, where his name is on display atop the stadium.
Strunk sent her private plane to pick up Brazile’s family in Mobile, Alabama, and brought them to Nashville. Strunk also threw a party for Brazile and his family in Canton, Ohio.
Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk and the entire organization welcomed back Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Robert Brazile to Nashville for a weekend of festivities surrounding the former Houston Oilers legend. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
Strunk has said she wants the Oilers to feel like they have a home with the team.
“The guys in Houston, no fault of their own, kind of got left out – they kind of became NFL orphans, and it always bothered me,” Strunk said in October when Brazile was in town. “And it became important for me to include them, and have a reunion and start bridging whatever happened in the past to get them feeling like they are part of our family.”
Moon, who is on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees with Strunk, said he’s gotten to know her over the last few years.
A Hall of Famer who threw for 49,325 yards in 17 NFL seasons with the Oilers, Vikings, Seahawks and Chiefs, Moon said he feels like the organization is in good hands with Strunk. Moon made his comments leading up to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
“I really like her,” Moon said of Strunk. “I really like how she seems to be really interested and focused on the football team, with the Titans, and she wants them to be a really good football team, you can tell. She is putting out the necessary money as far as upgrading the training facility and providing the team with what it needs to improve.
“As long as you are doing that and giving the football people the resources they need to be successful, the team is going to have a chance to be good. And she is doing that.”
Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk welcomed back more than 80 former players to Saint Thomas Sports Park as part of the team's 2017 Alumni Weekend festivities. (Photos: Gary Glenn)