The world knew him as 3-time Pro Bowler quarterback and Tennessee Titan. But my first memories of STEVE MCNAIR go back to when I was only 8 years old. I went to a Jackson State vs. Alcorn game in 1992, and watched McNair imbue 4 quarters of total domination. All of us boys wanted to be like him. He was a Mississippi Native. He attended Alcorn State, a small Black college in Mississippi. He used to throw up the Omega Hooks whenever he scored a touchdown. And for those of you who don't know much about recruitment, HBCU athletes have a tough time making it. Most of the "really" good Black atheletes go to white colleges, so professional leagues pay little to no attention to HBCU athletes. But Air McNair defied this logic, and his story reminded us that the little people from 'no-name, Mississippi' could amount to greatness.
Needless to say, when I heard about his death through someone's Facebook status a few hours ago I was (and still am) in a state of disbelief. Whenever you think about your childhood heroes, you tend to look at them as invincible creatures, destined for immortality. But moments like these remind you that no one exempt from Death. I have lost 2 of my biggest heroes in the past 2 weeks.
Steve McNair and an unidentified female were found murdered in a Nashville, TN condo on the afternoon of July 4, 2009. He is survived by his wife and 4 children. Prayers to the McNair family and to the female victim.