Leadership: Bum Phillips Dies at Age 90.

Bum Phillips passed away at age 90.

Phillips was a wonderful NFL coach and modest, fun person who made football exciting and entertaining.  He used honesty and humor to lead good teams to great levels.

Phillips was famous for his humorous, meaningful quotes.  On taking responsibility, Phillips said, “You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.”

I remember when Bum Phillips appeared on the Johnny Carson Show. The NFL season had just ended. The Oilers had recently lost the American Football Conference Championship game to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the second season in a row. Oilers owner Bud Adams just fired Phillips.

When Carson asked Phillips how was dealing with the fact that Adams had fired him, Phillips replied, “Johnny, There’s two kinds of coaches.  Them that’s fired and them that’s gonna be fired.”

Other great quotes I remember from Phillips from over the years.

On the great running back Earl Campbell, Phillips commented, “Yeah he gets up slow.  He goes down slow too.”

Phillips also commented to a question about Earl Campbell not being able to run a mile.  “When it is first and a mile, I won’t give him the ball.”

Phillips view of taking responsibility for failures:  “You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.”

Bum, you were a great coach and a great person.  Your personality and talent made the game of football better for the fans who love the game.

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