Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Tribute to the Bum

The sports world lost a great coach and colorful character October 18

Bum Phillips was a huge part of Houston life in the 1970s and remains a favorite to this day. A moment of silence was held for him at Reliant Stadium last night before the UH-BYU game. After going through quite a number of videos and articles, I found the NFL webpage to be the most complete. Below are verbatim segments:

Bum Phillips, the folksy Texas football icon who coached the Houston Oilers during their Luv Ya Blue heyday and also led the New Orleans Saints, died Friday. He was 90.
Born Oail Andrew Phillips Jr. in 1923 in Orange, Phillips was a Texas original in his blue jeans, boots and trademark white Stetson -- except at the Astrodome or any other dome stadium because he was taught it was disrespectful to wear a hat indoors.
"Mama always said that if it can't rain on you, you're indoors," Phillips said.
Phillips loved the Oilers and when coaching the team in the 1970s, he famously said of the Cowboys: "They may be 'America's Team,' but we're Texas' team."
Fans loved his no-nonsense demeanor and were entertained by his often blunt comments.
"Football is a game of failure," Phillips was quoted as saying. "You fail all the time, but you aren't a failure until you start blaming someone else."
Among his best Bumisms: "There's two kinds of coaches, them that's fired and them that's gonna be fired." On Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula: "He can take his'n and beat your'n and take your'n and beat his'n." On Campbell's inability to finish a mile run: "When it's first-and-a-mile, I won't give it to him."
(I remember an ad he did a few years ago for the Houston Chamber of Commerce: “What’s the best time to visit Houston? Any day that ends in a ‘Y’!”)
Phillips played football at Lamar Junior College before joining the Marines during World War II. After the war he went to Stephen F. Austin where he played two more football seasons before graduating with a degree in education in 1949.

Phillips picked up the nickname Bum as a child when his younger sister couldn't pronounce brother correctly and it sounded like bum. He embraced the nickname and was quoted as saying: "I don't mind being called Bum, just as long as you don't put a you in front of it."

"Bum is gone to Heaven," son Wade Phillips tweeted Friday night. "Loved and will be missed by all -- great Dad, Coach, and Christian."

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