<
>

Titans unveiling new Ring of Honor

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Bud Adams is officially a member of the Titans Hall of Fame. That news came today as part of an announcement about a new Ring of Honor and criteria for number retirement.

A new Titans/Oilers Ring of Honor will be up on an interior fa├žade of LP Field in time for Sunday's game. During halftime of the Titans-Jaguars game, owner Bud Adams' name will be unveiled as part of it.

"I am humbled that those in the organization want to include me as well," Adams said in a news release. "This was the perfect year to introduce this initiative, being our 10th season as the Titans, and I look forward to this new tradition as a way of honoring those who deserve such an acknowledgement in the future."

Nine current members of the team Hall of Fame are part of the ring:

Elvin Bethea
George Blanda
Earl Campbell
Mike Holovak
Ken Houston
Mike Munchak
Jim Norton
Warren Moon
Bruce Matthews

The news release also offered details on jersey number retirement:

Adams also created a set of criteria for future players to have their jersey numbers retired. Players would have to meet three benchmarks to attain this honor, including entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, recognition as achieving their greatest success with the Titans/Oilers franchise and play the majority of their career with the Oilers/Titans franchise.

Recent favorites like Steve McNair, Eddie George or Frank Wycheck are not, in my view, heading to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which in no way diminishes their importance to the franchise or their place in its history.

It would mean, however, that No. 9, No. 27 and No. 89 remain in play. None of them are currently being worn and while Wycheck's number has been in circulation, the Titans have been delicate with McNair and George's numbers. They haven't been worn since those fan favorites were traded away at the end of their careers. (Standard disclaimer: I work with Wycheck on a Nashville radio show.)

The team did not spell out whether a player, coach or executive has to be in the team's Hall of Fame to qualify for inclusion in the ring. But the feeling is that being in the ring rates as a bigger honor than being in the team's hall, which currently exists in name only.