Dem Bums. The nickname for the Brooklyn Dodgers-- a team that won one World Series, but contended many other years. A team that broke through barriers-- including the example that was Jackie Robinson. Robinson's 42 has been retired as part of his legacy to Major League Baseball.
But I move from "42" to "Luv Ya Blue" to pay homage to another Bum-- O.A "Bum" Phillips. A coach with talent-- and a character with character. How much character? He would not wear his trademark Stetson in the Houston Astrodome-- or any other domed stadium-- since his mother taught him it was rude to wear a hat indoors. How respected was he? When Walter Payton broke the record for career rushing yards he gave the game ball to the opposing coach who was-- you guessed it, Bum Phillips. Respect, part two-- read the book "Junction Boys"-- and who was the father of zone blocking, giving the idea to then Texas A and M coach Bear Bryant? A legendary Texas high school coach named... Bum Phillips. According the the book, Phillips provided the intelligence first over lunch with Bryant in College Station. He later joined Bryant's staff, and began his spiral toward coaching the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints. His best years were with Houston-- where he-- like those other Bums in Brooklyn, got the the playoffs, but without much success. He was released after a wild card loss late in the '80's-- a decision Oilers management later regretted. "Luv Ya Blue" was Phillips, and Phillips was "Luv Ya Blue." His son, Wade Phillips, still works in Houston-- as defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. The Texans came in after the former Oilers became the Tennessee Titans. By the way, class move by the Titans to recognize Bum Phillips over the weekend.
Bum Phillips-- passed away at age 90. He may be gone, but this Bum-- just like the other Bums in Brooklyn-- will be remembered as colorful remembrances of The Game-- the way it used to be. Love ya Bum....
That's my take... I'm Tom Lee.