Tonight the NFL Network will air, “A Football Life ~ Steve McNair.”
In his memory, we represent this…
Originally published July 3, 2011
On July 4 it will be two years since the tragic death of Steve McNair. Perhaps like many of you I attended a holiday party, the spirit of which was heavily dampened as the sad news spread.
I recall on the next day I was interviewed by Delmarva ESPN Radio’s Shan Shariff and asked about my first thoughts upon hearing the news…
“I thought first about McNair’s family – his four boys and his wife and I can’t imagine the pain they must be feeling. I then wondered how and why someone who to the outside observer had it all could even put himself in such an uncompromising position.”
Almost two years later, those thoughts haven’t really changed.
Generally speaking, we are a forgiving society and as time goes on we tend to remember the good things and allow them to outweigh, perhaps even conveniently remove the bad things from our memories.
But in the case of Steve McNair, I hope that everyone can learn from his deadly mistakes as well as his kind, caring and giving ways. Clearly he was a torn man. One with a wonderful heart and soul yet tortured by his demons and those demons ultimately led to his demise.
Last year I asked our Facebook friends to comment on McNair’s passing. Many responded. Here are a few of my favorites. Their words resonate and for me at least, they are soothing.
Rest in peace Steve.
July 4th was a day for celebration. It personifies the strength, resolve, integrity, and the heart of this country. It is a day for us to remember the sacrifices made by our forefathers. It was also the day when the sports world lost an incredible athlete.
Steve McNair climbed from destitution to superstardom, and unlike so many young athletes today, he grew into his new role with grace and professionalism. Steve McNair was the type of quarterback that every fan wanted on their team. He was tough as nails, and never thought twice about the sacrifices of winning. He punished his body for the betterment of his team. His list of career injuries reads like a chapter out of the Physician’s Desk Reference, and yet, he always persevered.
Having not personally known the man, it is difficult to attest for his integrity and character as a football player. His teammates loved him dearly. Both the Titans and the Ravens organizations have described him as a warrior who would do anything for his team mates. They say he was selfless man with a warm smile, and I am inclined to believe them.
Steve McNair’s legacy has been written and the book closed well before it’s time. He will be scrutinized in the court of public opinion due to the facts surrounding his unfortunate and shocking death. It is a devastating ending to a storied career. Certain aspects of what once was his private life should have no bearing on the type of man he was on the football field and in the locker room. ~ David Harrington
Steve McNair was a sweetheart of a guy. Very soft spoken and kind. He was extremely supportive of the efforts of The MOM Squad and donated his time to us in past years. He came to our holiday party at Raven’s stadium Christmas of 2008 and spoke to 450 children from the Baltimore Police Athletic League. He encouraged them all to stay in school, be good and follow their dreams.
Another occasion I worked with Steve was at an event I helped coordinate called “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. I was trapped in a butler’s pantry about 2 feet wide in the hotel’s kitchen getting autographs from Steve, Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, Terrell Suggs and Jamal Lewis. I had to keep them in hiding until all of the guests were seated for the event. At the end of the dinner, the fans who attended were able to stand up and ask questions of the players. One fan asked Ray Lewis what one of his best moments in football was and he said “It was June 7, 2006 when Steve McNair called him up and said he was signing with the Ravens the next day.”
I thought that was such a gentlemanly response on Ray’s part and spoke tremendously of what a great person/athlete this Steve McNair guy must have been. ~ Michele Musil Alessi
As a player, Steve was amazing, tough and very talented…as a community member devoted to supporting charity with his money and his presence…Steve was generous and devoted…as far as his personal life…I don’t know. I will say that there are quite a few people I know personally that have given of themselves significantly to charity, done some phenomenal things in their occupation, but aren’t all that good at relationships! That being said, I worked with Steve directly for a few hours at a charity event and he was very personable, friendly, and interacted very positively with the kids. That’s my personal memory of Steve so that’s how I will remember him, rather than concern myself with his private life. I do, however, have great sympathy for Machelle and his sons and wish them some peace with this tragic end. ~ Jennifer Naylor