Friday, August 8, 2008

In keeping with the theme of football, let's shift our attention across the pond for a moment and take a look at its brutish American cousin. The NFL season is getting ready to start, and though we at ponytone couldn't care less where Brett Favre is playing or whether Pac Man Jones ditches his nickname or not, we are vastly interested in the goings-on of defunct teams from a bygone century.

In the late 1970s the Houston Oilers were one of the best football teams in America, due in large part to the strong coaching of Bum Phillips and the brilliant playing of Earl Campbell, a "one-man demolition team" widely recognized as one of the best running backs in NFL history.

In 1979, Bellaire Records put out an LP to honor and celebrate the Oilers' success. The album contains mostly original songs of a wide range of artists and styles, including "Houston Oiler Polka" by the Janicek Polka Band, and "I'm Proud To Be A Houston Oiler Fan" by Mike Boyd and 5000 Oiler Fans. Personally, I had high hopes for the "Houston Oiler Disco" by Donna & the Dolls, but it proved to be a disappointment. The standout tracks are two songs written and performed by Tom Cantrell. The first is a tribute to Earl Campbell, and the second is the gritty tale of a grueling battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers.



A sad footnote to the Oilers saga: Earl got injured, Bum got fired, and the franchise moved to Tennessee and changed its name to the Titans in 1997.

 

4 Comments:

Jude said...

can't adequately discribe just how much these rule! weird, WEIRD childhood memories somehow triggered by this...like, "darkest recesses of my brain" stuff.

just SO great/odd.

Alex O. Williams said...

strangely, these tracks remind me of a dark recess too... but it was the one just after lunch in the 2nd grade at Robertson Elementary. the back-up singers are my favorite part here. umm, I hate to say it, but I didn't know that the Houston Oilers no longer existed, so thanks for keeping me up to date. I've always thought it was a cool team name, and now I really miss them - like, for the past three hours, I mean.

Jude said...

...not to initiate a sports tangent-- but it WAS a cool name. However, I've always been partial to the "Utah Jazz" (yes, that's REAL!), it seems they once played in New Orleans in the 70's -- relocated to Utah -- any NEVER changed the non-sensical nickname at that point. Because jazz is all about Utah, and vice-versa, y'know...

As I'd said before, just SO great/odd!

Alex O. Williams said...

I was actually living and going to school in Salt Lake City in '97 during the NBA playoffs featuring Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz. [unfortunately, this was also at the height of JERRY MAGUIRE fever, so there were huge banners up all over the city demanding: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!] since I've always felt like I was jazz, the name never seemed weird to me for a Utah team... until I heard that they had been brought over from New Orleans. suddenly it seemed completely wrong. I'm pretty sure that listening to jazz music in public was still illegal in SLC in '97, but they repealed the law just before the Winter Olympics there in 2002.