- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Bud Adams often got tagged with an unfair label of being cheap.
In a guest appearance talking about his old boss, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher told The Midday 180 radio show about Adams always saying yes to requests for player salaries.
"You could call him and ask for $10 million to sign a key free agent because that’s the player that you need to get over the hump and he would not bat an eye,” Fisher said. “Then you could come back 20 minutes later and ask for him to sign a purchase order for laser pointers and he’ll take two months. That’s how he was. As long as you know that going in and understand that, things are OK.”
Fisher said he’s eternally grateful to Adams, his late wife Nancy and the entire Adams family for the opportunity it gave him as a head coach. He called the Oilers and Titans owner who died Monday morning “just a fascinating man.”
Adams had the foresight to see Nashville as a viable NFL market, and stuck with it even as the initial stages of the team’s relocation were shaky.
“He just basically said, ‘Go move,’” Fisher said. “And so it wasn’t easy. I’ve declined numerous opportunities to do a book on those years. It was not an easy thing. ...
“He had this vision. He said, 'Once we get the stadium in place, the team should be in position where we can make a run. And he was right."
Fisher recalled a time when they were discussing the third pick in the 1995 draft. The team had already decided on Steve McNair and the Friday night before the draft Adams was distracted.
He was a huge art collector with an emphasis on Native American art.
“He was telling me about this doll,” Fisher said. “I was trying to tell him about the first and second pick and who we thought was going to go, he was more interested in this collectible doll that he got from Chief Sitting Bull some place after Custer’s last stand.”
When Houston hosted the Super Bowl in February 2004, Fisher visited Adams in his box at the game between New England and Carolina.
“I got to go into this suite with Bud, Lamar Hunt and Ralph Wilson, they were all in there together watching the Super Bowl,” Fisher recalled. “The three original founders of the American Football Conference. If you love the game, and you studied the game and everything that took place leading to where we are now, Bud had such a heavy hand in everything.”
Hear our whole interview with Fisher, right here.
9hEric D. Williams