It all started when JJ Watt commented an Instagram post by the NFL’s account wishing him a happy birthday on March 22.
“Thank you NFL. I’ll check the mail for my present. (Gift idea hint: Get the Titans to give us the rights to the Houston Oilers throwback uniforms)”
A few days later, DeAndre Hopkins posted the following picture on Instagram.
This led to many Texans fans crying for the rights to the wear the Oilers uniforms, which of course makes no sense because, in the words of Amy Adams Strunk, “the Oilers don’t have anything to do with the Texans.”
I think the @NFL should let the Texans “buy” back the Oilers name and allow them to wear the uniforms twice a season.— Tyler (@LoNeGoOsE75) March 21, 2018
Paul Kuharsky met up with Amy Adams Strunk in Phoenix last week at the owners meetings and asked her thoughts on J.J. Watt’s request. Her answer? “That’s a hard ‘no’.”
PK’s article is unlocked, check it out for the full video interview.
Texans fans apparently won’t take no for an answer. Matt Hammond, who covers Houston sports for CBS radio, started a petition on change.org to “return the Oilers and their history back to their rightful owners: Houston sports fans.”
.@Titans: Do the right thing, return the Oilers and their history back to their rightful owners: Houston sports fans.— Matt Hammond (@MattHammondShow) March 30, 2019
Houston sports fans: do your thing, and sign the Change dot org petition below.https://t.co/EfL9UH1Uis
I’m not entirely sure how that would even work or what it would mean for “Houston sports fans” to control the Oilers history and uniforms, but some Titans fans have responded to Hammond’s petition with one of their own.
First posted on Reddit on Friday evening, this petition started by Ryan Houston is to get the Titans to wear the the Oilers throwback uniforms.
On Saturday evening, yet another petition was posted and shared on Twitter.
Amy Adams Strunk: Petition for the Titans to wear Oiler throwbacks vs the Texans. - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/IIUjjRPC5Z via @Change @TitansMCM @Titans @MikeMiracles @TitansFamilyMex @GermanTitans_EV @German_Titans @ChrisJohnson28 @kbull53 @TheTitansWire @AtoZSports— Two-Tone Blue Nation (@TwoToneBlueNat1) March 31, 2019
In PK’s video, Amy Adams Strunk commented on the possibility of the Titans wearing those uniforms in a game.
“Maybe we’ll put a survey out there, and if [the fans] loved it and wanted it to happen, I’m sure we could make it happen.”
PK put a survey out himself (in the form of a Twitter poll) and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of wearing the throwbacks.
Would you like to see the #Titans wear #Oilers throwback uniforms?— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) March 28, 2019
Ryan’s change.org petition, as of the time of this writing, has 773 “signatures” and counting. The second petition is at 209 signatures and counting.
So is it actually possible for this to happen?
The Titans have obviously worn the throwbacks before. In the 2009 season, they wore them four times, including the preseason Hall of Fame game against the Bills and the infamous 59-0 blizzard blowout at the hands of the Patriots. Incidentally, that was also Chris Johnson’s 2000-yard season.
That was the last time the Titans wore their throwbacks.
The way that the current NFL uniform policy works is that teams must wear their home or away jerseys 13 times in the 16-game regular season. The other 3 games, they may wear their designated “alternate” jersey, if desired.
Before the 2018 season, teams were allowed to wear their alternates twice and were required to wear a color rush jersey on Thursday Night Football. But last summer, the NFL got rid of the color rush jersey rule and instead began allowing teams to choose up to three games in which they can wear their alternates.
For some teams, like the Falcons, their designated alternate jersey is their throwback. Others, like the Browns, decided to keep the color rush jerseys and make them their alternates in 2018.
The Titans have designated the light blue jerseys as their alternate uniforms, and it is likely that those will continue to be the alternates for 2019 considering the recent announcement to modify the numbers on that specific design.
Titans will make modification to light blue jerseys— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) March 27, 2019
Uniform Updates » https://t.co/IRCVODqY9J https://t.co/bAazcsTPUJ
Another roadblock to wearing the Oilers throwbacks is an NFL rule which states that teams must wear the same helmets for the entire season. The policy was passed in 2013 after the league’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee and Player Safety Advisory Panel together found that a broken-in helmet was far safer than one fresh out of the box.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has been lobbying for years to get the league to allow teams to wear more than one helmet because of how much he loves the Eagles’ throwback uniforms. Said Lurie in 2017 via CSNPhilly.com:
“I would love to see it,” Lurie said of the Eagles kelly green throwback. “I love the midnight green, I think it’s great. But I also want the kelly green. I’d love for us to have both and some games have one and some games have the other. I think that would be more fun...
“[The competition committee] are aware that many teams would like to see this,” Lurie said. “My hope is that we’ll be able to get it done hopefully by next March...
“Decals are an option,” Lurie said, shaking his head, “but I want a Kelly green helmet. It looks better.”
Last week in Phoenix, Lurie was again asked about this topic and said that he believes it could happen as early as the 2020 season.
Jeffrey Lurie said that getting the NFL to approve of two helmets so the #Eagles can have kelly green as their alternative jersey is still “a high priority.” Believes it will get done for 2020.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 27, 2019
As stated by Amy Adams Strunk herself, the Titans could decide to change their alternate uniforms to the Oilers throwbacks if there is enough outspoken fan support, but it probably wouldn’t happen until the 2020 season at the earliest assuming Jeffrey Lurie is successful.
There is one workaround, as mentioned by Lurie above, in that teams are allowed to remove the decals on their helmets and/or replace them, which is how the Rams and Packers wear their throwbacks.
The Packers take the decals off completely while the Rams swap in blue facemasks and yellow horn decals. This could potentially work for the Titans if they put the oil derrick on the sides of the new dark blue helmets and used a red facemask, but it wouldn’t be the same as using authentic Oilers helmets.
The Rams were allowed to wear their throwbacks five times last year rather than the usual three after “working with” the NFL (in a statement, Rams COO Kevin Demoff said, “We appreciate the NFL working with us” on the uniform situation.) Last season, the Packers were allowed to wear their throwbacks against the Bills and their color rush uniforms for a Thursday night game in Seattle, an exception because of the Thursday night circumstances.
Perhaps the Titans could work out a situation with the NFL to be able to wear their throwbacks once per season in addition to the light blue alternates. Many people think it would be fitting to wear them during the home game against the Texans, as the ultimate display of ownership over all of the Oilers’ traditions.
What do you think? Would you want to see the Titans wear the Oilers throwback uniforms?
Vote in the poll below, and let us know why or why not in the comments and on Twitter @TitansMCM.
Would you want the Titans to wear the Houston Oilers throwback uniforms (assuming the NFL allows them to wear the Oilers helmets)?
This poll is closed