Sunday, July 05, 2009

R.I.P Steve McNair 1973-2009

I was looking to get something at my favorite place near the ballpark in Anaheim, when I saw on the TV - former NFL quarterback Steve McNair had suffered a fatal gunshot wound along with a 20-year old companion.

I cringed just a little - what else could I do? Fatal means the guy is dead. Not injured, not paralyzed, but dead.

I consider myself a casual NFL fan, whose closest city with an NFL team, to be about 90 miles away but if I had to throw a name out there - McNair was probably my favorite 'guy.'

There was the Super Bowl play in 1999 with seconds left to go - a co-MVP award in 2003.

I don't think McNair was ever as convincingly dominant [in any particular game or season perhaps as an individual player] or as lucky [to win a Super Bowl or two perhaps] as some of his peers - but in his professional football career, he kept on taking a beating and kept on ticking.

Maybe I'd only seen spurts of his play during a random TV broadcast or in a highlight - but there was an innate toughness McNair showed, that made him a fun guy to watch.

Maybe there were two or three guys coming down on him - but he had the ability to fight through for just a bit and constantly keep plays alive.

He had an ability to makes plays with his legs - but unlike the stereotyped mobile quarterback however, also had the ability to throw the ball a long way.

Up to when he retired, McNair represented the 'alternative' taste to his well-decorated, highly-regarded peers - guys like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

The end for McNair seemed a little strange, but not within the realm of the life for the professional athlete - he had an apartment he rented with his friend. Oh, I'm just making a guess here, but the apartment was likely a place used to entertain particular other friends, not of the family.

McNair's SUV was co-owned by the 20-year old woman who was shot to death - who was likely not a babysitter-type for his family.

It kind of sucks that when there is tragedy - the people [that are not in our immediate families] we tend to mourn are the ones in the spotlight, like Nick Adenhart, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Billy Mays and McNair among others.

However, when we do that, we go from really mourning someone we think we kind of know - to finding out, things are a little more complicated, than just throwing out random tributes to particular notables.

R.I.P. Steve

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