MCNAIR SLAIN scream the headlines of today's Tennessean newspaper, McNair being our Titans' quarterback for 9 years, the franchise's for 11 and then 2 more with the Baltimore Ravens. He considered Nashville home, and, indeed, this is where he died yesterday, shot multiple times. He died too early at the age of 36.
- He grew up poor in Mississippi and went to a small college when no other large universities would offer him the quarterback position. But he was impressive enough at Alcorn State to be 3rd pick for the Heisman Trophy and to be drafted by the pros. He took our team to the Super Bowl the 3rd year in town ('99). He was considered a warrior, a strong scrambler, able to play through pain and injury. He always took a nap right before game time, lying down on a training table wherever. Adults looked up to him. Little boys too. But especially to the black community he was another example of someone who had made it. In his own words, "you don't think about playing on TV . . . or the money. You just want to be able to go back home and have those folks say 'Hey, Steve did OK for himself. He did us proud.' That's good enough for me."
- I think that when we have so much pressure on us in one area of our lives, it some way releases itself in disfunctional ways in other areas. He needed to strive for perfection as much in his personal life as he did in his professional life. But, as I said, we are all flawed. He paid the ultimate price for his flaw. It can happen. Be advised. I think McNair would want you to take something away from this.