Why Did the Oilers Change Their Name to the Texans? (Full Explanation!)

Last Updated on May 6, 2022 by Jim Kein Kein

No, they didn’t. The Oilers only changed their name to the Titans. The Oilers and Texan are two different franchises entirely.  The Oilers moved to Tennessee in the year 1997 and later were renamed the Tennessee Titans. The Texans is an expansion team that began play in 2002.

The Oilers didn’t change their name to the Texans but left Tennessee and became the Titans, making the city of Houston without an NFL team. The current Houston Texans were promptly founded by a different owner and became the league’s newest team in 1997.

When the Oilers moved to Tennessee in the late ’90s. They were pushed to relocate when after much of a fruitless loan saga as the Houston politicians refused to help Bud Adams, who wanted to build a new fitting stadium in Houston. Luckily for Bud, he found the required funding in Nashville and moved the Oilers to Tennessee, where their names were changed to the Titans.

The franchise-based in Houston which is known as the Texans was a team created as an expansion team for several years. When Houston politicians realized the mistake they had earlier made, they agreed to build a stadium fully financed by taxpayers’ money.

The bad blood between the Oilers and Texans has been intense since. This has been aided by the NFL rule which allowed one color helmet rule. This would enable the Titans to do their throwback Oilers uniform which includes the iconic Derrick on their helmet in a slated game against the Texans.

Why did Houston’s Oilers move to Tennessee?

Why did Houston’s Oilers move to Tennessee

Bud Adams wanted a new and fancy stadium. He wasn’t too popular, especially after his employment was an effect of the sack of Bum Philips, and he went all wrong about wanting a new stadium. Perhaps, the NFL officials said the turf wasn’t safe for play. Stating that the city didn’t care, and the city didn’t about him. The old saying “if he was fire, I wouldn’t piss on him just to put him out”, most of the residents at Harris County felt that way about Bud. He was known to be crude, rude, beady-eyed old, and just an embarrassment to fans. But he was Rich! “I was pretty young, but I’ve always seen him as the Rodney Dangerfield in real-time of River of Oaks. But the Astrodome also didn’t have enough suites for Bud to generate the money that the NFL owners with newer stadium making and Bug wasn’t having that Tennessee was desperate for a team and for that built him a stadium.

I had college classmates that were on the Derrick Dolls back then, the Oilers cheerleaders. They would drive back and forth to Huntsville for practice and games. The Oilers were very loved, we missed having the Oilers in Houston. We missed watching and cheering for our football team here in Houston, but being Diehard Houstonians, we are not cheering for the cowboys!

It’s no surprise that Bob McNair was so loved here in Houston. He was very successful, down to earth, and a businessman who made it happen. Smart Business, marketing, great decision making, community involvement – something I don’t even recall was Bug would be doing– and he brought the tailgate again! Titans fans love to tailgate – and we love to win – we love our boys and our team. The players we have now are great, very visible in the community, and were role models, out there helping and putting in the time and effort to make a difference. Mr. McNair would be proud – just as I know I am!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Gretzky own shares in the Oilers?

Following the bankruptcy of the Phoenix Coyotes in September 2009, Gretzky resigned from his position as head coach and relinquished his ownership share. In October 2016, he became the new partner and vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group.

Can Houston get the Oilers’ name back?

There are no such lawsuits to keep the Oilers franchise and history in Houston, meaning that the trademark does not also belong to the city. In return, the days of Earl Campbell and Warren Moon jerseys will remain in the past and won’t be worn at NRG Stadium any time shortly.

How did Titans get their name?

The committee choose the name Titans citing the desire to have a nickname that reflected “leadership, strength, and other heroic qualities has always been known to come from early Greek mythology and the fact that Nashville is known as the ‘Athens of the South’ makes the Titans name very suiting and appropriate,”

Can the Titans wear Oilers jerseys?

No, else in a special occasion to celebrate the Oilers/Titans or their founding coach. Amie and Mike explain clearly that franchise history, not just a new NFL rule, makes it time for the Titans to don Oilers throwbacks in 2022.

What year did the Oilers change their name?

In 1997, the Oilers became the first team in NFL  to regard Tennessee as home when the franchise relocated to the Volunteer State. Two years later in 1999, the franchise dropped the nickname Oilers and became known as the Titans.


The Oilers didn’t change their name to Texans but the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee and became the Tennessee Oilers (later changed their names to the Titans), then Houston acquired another franchise that became the Texans (it is worthy of note that the Tennessee team was still going by Oilers at the time).

The reason for the change was all behind Bud Adams, the owner of the team. Bug Adams had desired to move the team since the 80s but was still skeptical about the move thinking the community would build him a stadium. Adams eventually had their stadium built in Tennessee, and they were relocated after it was finished. He retired the “Oilers” name from the NFL, and in the end because Bud Adams want to be where he wants to be.

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