Since I heard the news of the tragic passing of Steve McNair, my mind has been racing and, like many, has been filled with sadness.
Back in 1999, I was a wide-eyed college junior who lucked out and landed an internship with the Titans Radio Network. Through hard work and a lot of luck, I was able to stick around the organization – in several different capacities – for six more seasons. Over that time I got to know Steve very well on and off the field.
On the field he was a warrior. Whatever you read about him and his toughness will never accurately portray how tough he truly was. There are countless stories of him overcoming severe injuries or not practicing almost an entire season, but playing at an MVP level on game day. I can vividly remember him coming off the bench in Pittsburgh, throwing the game-winning touchdown and then get carried onto the team plane because he was in so much pain.
Not only was Steve impressive on the field, but off of it as well. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf coast, he orchestrated a drive to send desperately needed goods down to his home state of Mississippi. What started as three to four tractor trailers turned into a convoy of almost 20 semis full of supplies headed down to the region. But most of the time, Steve would do things for the community that no one knew about and that is the way that he wanted it. He did those things because he wanted too, not for the attention that would come of it.
Thankfully I got to spend a few minutes with him in 2006 when the Ravens came to Denver. Before the game, he gave me a hard time (as he did to most of us that worked with him) about the awful weather that night. Then after the game, despite the fact that the Ravens lost, he still made time to come over and say goodbye and tell me how happy he was for me to be in Denver.
He was a true warrior, an unbelievable person and I am truly honored that I was fortunate enough to spend seven years working with him. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire McNair family along with the Titans and Ravens organizations.
Thanks for allowing me a couple of minutes to share my feelings.