Here’s the thing about this game. Anytime the Texans play the Titans….it’s personal.
It’s personal because the Titans are the former Oilers franchise that moved from Houston to Memphis, and ultimately Nashville, back in 1997.
Despite the fact that none of the players or coaches for the Texans have any connection to the Oilers….they get it. They get it because as they arrive in town the fans let them know. When you play the Titans (or the Cowboys) it is not a normal week. There is still a whisper of bitterness in the Houston fan base….as well there should be.
When Andre Johnson went toe to toe with Titan cornerback Cortland Finnegan a few years back it became a signature moment for him. Not because he was fighting…but because of WHO he was fighting. It’s personal.
He took the history and legacy of Warren Moon…..easily the most prolific passer in Oiler history and a Hall of Fame player. It’s personal.
He took the history and legacy of Bum Phillips….who, among other things, introduced the sports world to the term “knocking on the door” in this legendary moment.
You see the fans in Tennessee (fine folks all I’m sure) have no personal connection with these players. And so the memories and celebrations of teams past which normally would be part of the culture in a city like Houston are in the akward position of being owned by a team playing for a fan base that doesn’t care about that stuff while revered by a city who is now a division rival.
So….it’s personal. Go Texans.