Paying tribute to a couple of Cowboys, one well known and another …

We lost a couple of much admired cowboys from our Southeast Texas area over the weekend.

O.A. “Bum” Phillips, best known as Houston Oilers head coach during it’s “Luv Ya Blue era,” died Friday. He was 90.

John Garner, 82, a Southeast Texas TV icon who played “Cowboy John” on the local “Circle 4 Club” from the late 1950s to 1972, died Sunday evening.

Phillips died on his ranch near Gonzales, Texas. He was probably was as well known for his cowboy hat and his homespun sayings as a grid iron genius. But many who loved the Oilers of the “Luv Ya Blue” era loved Phillips as well. The love for the ball club came to a screeching half when, Bum having been fired and hired by New Orleans, would soon see the Oilers moved by owner Bud Adams to Nashville. Adams, who coincidentally died today, was not as beloved by Houston fans as Phillips, to say the least

Certainly, not as many folks knew John Garner as Bum Phillips. But thousands from back in those days knew Cowboy John as well as John Garner the Channel 4 weatherman.

Perhaps Cowboy John indeed has a place in national TV lore. Although, if that is so, it is likely to be verified only by friends and relatives of the real John Garner. But it matters not from where the laughs and smiles we remember came from. In any event, goodnight Cowboy John, wherever you are.