Houston Oilers Just Had Bad (Oliver) Luck

ImageThe Houston Oilers have the worst luck.  Literally and figuratively.  While the Indianapolis Colts are poised to take Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck with the First Pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft, stories are harkening back to when Luck’s Father Oliver Luck was drafted in 1982 after winning the Peach Bowl for West Virginia the previous year.

His career in West Virginia wasn’t great – he threw the same amount of touchdowns as he did interceptions – but he was still drafted in the Second Round by the Houston Oilers.  Luck was the placeholder until (eventual) Super Bowl winning Quarterback Jeff Hostetler settled in as the Mountaineers Quarterback.  

The Oilers at the time were still rebuilding from the good times in the late 1970’s.  Earl Campbell was a shell of himself by this point (although he did rush for 1300 yards in 1983, his last full year in the NFL).  Bum Phillips, Ken Burrough and Billy Casper were long gone at this point.  The 1983 season was marked by Archie Manning’s arrival in Houston to share time at quarterback with Luck.  Neither did well as the team faltered to a 2-14 record.

Luckily for the Oilers, Warren Moon arrived on scene the following year to take snaps away from Luck.  During that time, when he was just a middling backup, the elder Luck studied law and prepared for his career as a sports executive. Eventually his career ended in 1986. Similar to his days in West Virginia, Luck was merely a placeholder until Warren Moon came out of exile in the CFL.

Luck didn’t bring much luck at all.  The Oilers went to a dominant rival of the Steel Curtain to the doormat of the the AFC.  After Luck retired, led by Moon, the Oilers made the Playoffs for 6 years in a row after Luck retired.  But the Oilers record in his 4 years there?  14-45.  I think we’re all glad he got that law degree.

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