Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 5 July 2009

RIP Steve McNair

Last night (GMT), News Channel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee broke the news of the death of former Tennessee Titans legend, Steve McNair.

The quarterback, who famously lead the Tennessee Titans to within one yard of forcing overtime in SuperBowl XXXIV, was found dead on Saturday with multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head. A 20-year old female friend, Sahel Kazemi was also found dead at the scene, with a single gunshot wound to the head in a residence Steve McNair was renting.

For me, being a Tennessee Titans fan, McNair was my favourite player when I first got into the sport. He played with his heart and with unbelivable toughness. Whilst he will be remembered most for the Titans only SuperBowl appearance, and the dramatic ending, no one should overlook what he done in 2002, when he lead the Titans on a 6-game winning streak, and 10 of their last 11 regular season games after a disappointing start, most of this whilst being unable to practice because his body was so bruised and beaten, before coming up short against the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship game. Former teammate at both Tennessee and Baltimore, Derrick Mason paid his respects:

"On the field, there isn't player that was as tough as him, especially at the quarterback position". "What I have seen him play through on the field, and what he dealt with during the week to get ready for a game, I have never known a better teammate."

Whilst it is too early for police to announce what has happened, an autopsy is scheduled for today. His name and number were on the first NFL shirt I ever got. It's not everyday one of your heroes dies and I am finding it to be a bitter pill to swallow.

Former Titans and Ravens teammate Samari Rolle was quoted yesterday as saying:
"If you were going to draw a football player, the physical part, the mental part, everything about being a professional, he is your guy". "I can't even wrap my arms around it. It is a sad, sad day. The world lost a great man today."

Steve McNair's NFL career began in 1995 as the 3rd overall draft pick by the then Houston Oilers. He spent 11 seasons with the Tennessee Titans franchise (under 3 names), starting 131 games, throwing 156 touchdowns, rushing for another 36, leading the team to 4 playoff berths, 2 Championship games and 1 Superbowl. He was also the league's co-MVP in 2003. He was married and leaves behind 4 children.

Former teammate and Titans great, Eddie George had this to say:
"To see what he has been able to accomplish in his lifetime and just knowing Steve, he was a great father to his sons and his children and just a pillar in the community. From the Titans and everyone else we lost a great human being that brought so much joy to us."

To me, he's an NFL great and as a Titans fan, he's a legend. A sad loss to the sport and the world, a person who gave so much back to the community. A man with so much heart, he will be greatly missed. He was only 36.

Vic Carucci paid his tribues on

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