Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Uncensored: Fans share how they will remember Steve McNair

I asked the members of our Ravens247 Facebook Group to briefly state their thoughts on how they will remember Steve McNair. Here’s what they had to say, unedited and uncut…

The more details that surface about McNair's personal life, the more sadness I feel for his family. His death is a tragic loss for football as he was a hero on the field. But the details of his death have taken away from his status as a hero off the field. ~ Richard Frank

Similar to how D. Mason was playing the end of last season with just one arm, I will remember Steve persevering with incredible results despite being a " walking M*A*S*H* unit… he will be missed ~ Lawrence Plumhoff

Loved him as a Player. Not as a Playa! Catch my drift. No excuses! Didn't like the situation he was in get out. Don't cheat. One of the Ten Commandments is Thou Shalt NOT Commit Adultery. But it's OK if you’re a Superstar. Sorry T. That's why I'm not married. I haven't found that person to be faithful. As a QB, what can you say Gamer, Tough, always has your back, Winner! ~ Kevin Allen

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

I thought McNair was a competitor and warrior. I also know he was great in the community. However this does not always make someone a good husband or father. Here is a true case of sometimes if you play with fire you get burned. It has been a sad and tragic spiraling end for McNair after he left football. Sad that he will be remembered this way as he was such an exciting player. ~ Mike Conway

My daughter knew him, she was greatly saddened, she thought of him as a good guy. ~ Sharon Zinkhan Yoor

Consummate professional ~ Miles Goodman

Affair McNair... Great gutsy quarterback and seemed like a kind and generous person. BUT, when he said he was retiring to spend time with his kids, I had no idea he meant the 20 year old waitress down at the local burger joint. Tragedy yes. But way more tragic are the lives of his children who have to grow up without a father because Daddy wanted to chase some skirt. ~ Chris Lambros

I will remember him crushing our playoff dreams a couple times. I will remember him stepping in and taking us to a 12-4 season. I will also remember him coming up inches short of the goal line in the Super bowl.But most of all I will remember he was murdered by some 20 year old girl that he was sneaking around with while cheating on his wife. That’s the sad part. If he ever goes to the HOF it will be a sad day because he will be sorely missed on that stage. ~ Jamie Rash

I remember Steve as the ultimate warrior at the QB position! That 2002 season where he played the whole season without practicing due to like 1000 different injuries was unreal! God Bless his family! R.I.P Steve ~ Adam Letschin

He's very hot looking but... he was cheating on his wife. No matter how good looking you are there are things that will make you ugly. That goes both ways. Some people that aren't as attractive can become beautiful once you find something so endearing in them. ~ JoAnn Skiba DeBorja

The man was a tank. Regardless of injuries, he would suit up and lead his team. He shared MVP with peyton... he was a yard away from a SBowl victory.... he was strong and proud... he represented us well. It’s a shame to see a man of such character murdered in cold blood. He deserved better. He EARNED better than that.He will be remembered and missed.... ~ Jessica Pace

I heard the news and I was shocked. Steve was in my mind a positive role model on and off the field. He gave back to the community and always managed to keep a positive outlook even in defeat. I put my Steve Mcnair jersey behind glass in a frame hanging next to my autographed picture of brooks Robinson. Me and My family will miss you Steve R.I.P ~ Joe Micelli

As a QB for the Ravens + Titans. No more, no less. I have more pressing things to worry about than Steve McNair. I do think many of these guys never learn to stay down. ~ Steve Antkowiak

Cheating bastard! Is that too mean? ~ Cindy Mikulski

I too will miss Steve McNair and the calm leadership that he brought to the Ravens. While all of the facts have not come out on the circumstances surrounding his death, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that he was the victim of some kind of blackmailing scheme. Trying not to be judgmental, it's hard to imagine that a 36 year old man with a wife and 4 kids and a reputation as a family man could end up in the situation that he was in with a 20 year old woman.Truth be told, I'm more concerned about the 5 year old girl named Raven that was a totally innocent victim of a street brawl that escalated into a shooting in downtown Baltimore. As she fights for her life, my heart goes out to her." ~ Eric Buckner

My thoughts about the Steve McNair tragedy are that he was a gritty, tough and fearless football player and the second he came to Baltimore we were contenders. I was at that Tampa Bay game when he went on that 16 play drive and crammed it in the end zone and the poise and leadership he displayed was inspiring.

Steve McNair was a human being and obviously was having an extra marital affair with a younger woman that was very attractive and unfortunately crazy. I will remember Steve as the football player and that he was taken too soon by a tragedy and I feel terrible for his children that will have to grow up under this cloud of scandal. ~ Vic Biscoe

A Hall of Fame player, who gave everything he had for the game and his teammates every time they walked out onto the field.. ~ Clif King

The fun and festive celebration on the fourth of July were abruptly brought to a halt as I stood in "mute shock" at the news that Steve McNair had been shot. The bearer of bad news, "assumed" I'd heard the news, as they jokingly refer to me as "The Ravensgirl"; and normally I'm passing on news relating to anything Ravens. Yet, there I stood, stunned, shocked, and yes, nearly in tears. While Steve was only with us for a short time, when he came to Baltimore he brought a new hope for the offense; and he had the spirit of a true leader which we had not had in Kyle Boller. I recall feeling such elation to have a great leader on offense, and a great leader on defense, the perfect balance. I am saddened by this news, and do feel like many that it is a senseless tragedy. Steve McNair was a great athlete. He will be missed. ~ Stephanie Bjork

There are no words to describe my feelings the second I heard he was gone. It wasn’t even how he died to me, he was just GONE! My mind went back to the first game he started as the Ravens QB. He walked on the Ravens field and for the 1st time we had “presence” in the QB position! Not only did he ooze talent he was truly respected and touched everyone in Baltimore from the players to the fans. One of my favorite moments is playing against the Titans and we certainly rocked them- sad for the Titan fans but what a huge victory for the Ravens- he walked off that field with complete class and waved to adoring fans in Tenn. as well.

He will always be a part of the Ravens and I for one will never forget the glimmer of hope he gave the fans- we FINALLY had a quarterback!Steve McNair is a man to remember on the field and off- he may have made mistakes, and I’m sure if he could he would “apologize” for his “faults”! But that is not how he would want to be remembered- I for one will remember him as the Ravens QB, (maybe for a short time but we had him)!May God hold his latest angel and give his family the peace and love they need! ~ Stephanie Brough

When I first heard about McNair, I was shocked and saddened. He was my son's first football hero. Now, I have to read the paper, listen to the radio and answer my son's questions about why Steve McNair cheated on his wife, and was vacationing with his girlfriend while his sons were at home, oh and how the DUI's just didn't seem to go away. It's just a shame...I would like to remember him for the player that he was, but now that's not the case. ~ Melissa Levitt Perlman

My quick thoughts... Steve was a helluva player - I have never seen before nor since his ability to play through the pain. I don't remember which game it was, but when I saw his linemen carrying him to the huddle and I was breathless. As an adversary back when the Titans and the Ravens were in the same division he was to be feared and respected, as a Raven he was a Raven. He wasn't perfect, but who is. He commanded the team in ways Baltimore hadn't seen in a long long at QB. He had done a lot of community work in both Nashville and Baltimore - always a good thing to see. I'm a little surprised how choked up I got over it, he was only a Raven for a short while, but I always felt he was a part of the family. He'll be missed in my household... ~ Evan Lougheed

From a football standpoint, I'll remember Steve as a player who was a warrior. It did not matter how many injuries he had or how serious the injuries were. Steve really left his mark on the Ravens in 2006 when he led them to a 13-3 record and a division championship. The playoff loss to the Colts was disappointing, but it was a very enjoyable season for Ravens' fans. RIP Steve! ~ Chuck Bireley

I remember back when I heard Steve McNair was coming to Baltimore to replace Boller. My knee-jerk reaction was "Oh thank God!!!!" My heart breaks for his family and NFL fans everywhere. ~ Margie Donahue

I will remember Steve McNair as a very good quarterback who came to the ravens in the twilight of his career giving the ravens hope for a future. I am in no position to judge his off the field activities or choices. I will always remember him for the excitement of that last minute drive in the Super Bowl.I will prefer to try and forget how he left this world and try to keep my memories of him on the field. ~ Jim Breakwell

I see McNair as a football warrior and weak family man. Runner's World recently had a little blurb about what to do to stay motivated. It quoted Deena Kastor, the 2004 women's bronze medalist in the marathon as saying over and over "define yourself." McNair defined himself on the field. Sadly, defined himself off the field as well.No matter what we do in life, we always lead. RIP Steve. Thanks for being a very good football player. God bless you the rest of the way. ~ Kevin Scally

I first got the text at 4:30pm July 4th. At first I was like wow, Steve McNair murdered (in with the wrong crowd?). Then as the hours went by and more info came out, him and woman found, then murder suicide (the toll of being out of football?), and then the woman not his wife. It started to look more and more not good. He made a few bad choices in his life, DUI, etc. But most were good, just the last bad choice was his last.

Everyone makes bad choices in life, some just end up being worse than others. ~ Rick Noppenberger

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

I have always been a McNair fan since his college days at Alcorn State. I remember when the Ravens first came to Baltimore and how much I hated playing the Oilers/Titans. I always felt like McNair always dominated the Ravens. When he got traded to Baltimore, I finally felt like we got a real quarterback, but the best memory of McNair has to be that 2 minute drive against the Chargers in 2006. It is sad his life had to end at 36 years young. His legacy will live on throughout the NFL. McNair will never be forgotten in Baltimore. I think for the upcoming season, Titans and Ravens players should wear #9 on their jerseys or helmet. One other thing, since Ernest Byners name is in the Ring of Honor, Steve McNair’s should be honored in Baltimore. ~ Ed Kapinos

My thoughts on McNair are two-fold.......On the positive side, I remember what a great light he shown upon our franchise and how much I truly believed we would make the Super Bowl that 13-3 year......In addition, he was great for the community here in Baltimore and especially in Nashville. On a bit negative side, he certainly had a different life that was mostly hidden from all....I feel awful for his kids because I am sure he was their hero!! R.I.P. #9 ~ Patrick Lund

I want to start off by stating. I admired Steve McNair as an athlete as well as one of the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL. I want to also add that; any murder and or senseless killing is unfortunate. When it involves family members that may have to endure the consequences and ramifications from such a heinous crimeI feel sympathy for his wife and his children. This should be a lesson to people that step outside the institution of a marriage just for a momentary "roll in the hay". ~ Kenny Shadow

As I write to you, Tony, with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, I am troubled by the senseless murder of a very young, talented man!! I remember how excited I was when I first heard that Steve McNair was going to be a Raven!! I was so sure that Steve belonged with us!!! Though he retired and has passed on to a better place, I will always think of him as a Raven!!! May he rest in peace!!Steve, if you are listening, maybe you can have a talk with the Big Guy...another Super Bowl would be nice!! I love you Steve NcNair, you will be missed!!!! ~ Julie Thornley

I know there has been so much controversy the last couple of days. But Steve Mcnair will always remain as a pillar in the NFL community no matter how you look at it. He knew his limits but yet pushed himself constantly. He was a human being that just so happened put his cleats on one foot at a time. Steve was a man with a big heart and was hurting inside just like the rest of us. He spent every free moment he had in making a difference in other peoples’ lives daily. There will always be a void within the Ravens and Titans organization's that will never be filled.

To the fans I think they will see through the injustice of infidelity and the outcome will be the true measure of Steve McNair. This was a great tragedy to all who had the pleasure of knowing. My thoughts and prays go out to his friends and family in these difficult times. Please remember, with great tragedy marks the time for rebirth of how we live our lives. Nonetheless, I am truly shocked and sadden about his murder and the events that are unfolding. We have again lost another great athlete surely before his time.....Respectfully ~ Monica Krausch

Still just devastated. I guess because he played through so many injuries and was thought of as so tough. To think that violence could bring him down. It can happen to anyone at anytime. The day he signed his contract here in Baltimore he threw out the first pitch at the o's game that night. I left my office and walked into a suite to watch him. I was SO excited that we had signed a "legitimate" quarterback. I just remember the few thousand people that were there for the o's game clapping and cheering so loud. It was going to be the start of something very exciting. That was a fun memory that I have of Steve Mcnair. ~ Gina D’onofrio

He brought an unforgettable amount of class to the Ravens uniform. ~ Audra Landgraf Parfitt

He was always a fun guy to be around. Never turning down fans for pics or autographs In fact I have posted a picture right now of a picture we had taken together on my web site

When I traveled to Tennessee for the game against the Ravens and he was on our team and not the Titans I saw the love the fans had for him there. I sat in the 2nd row on the fifty yard line lower deck behind the Ravens bench. The entire McNair family sat right in front of us and I got the chance to meet them and talked to them and said to myself what a wonder family situation. Hard to imagine that it wasn't as I saw it. I remember Steve looking over and saying hi to me and it made me feel great especially around all the Titan fans.

Even though he was only here a couple of years I really felt I knew him. I still can't believe this has happened at a tender age of only 36. As a person I have a lot of respect for and considered him a friend. ~ Sports Steve LaPlanche

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

I will remember number 9 as the quintessential professional. He was a team player that put the team above his own needs. He was probably the guttiest player of all time. I will never forget the early battles the Ravens had with Steve Mcnair and Eddie George in the early years of the franchise coming to prominence. As good as Steve Mcnair was on the field he was even greater off the field. He did a lot of charitable work in Houston, Nashville, and Baltimore. I read an article last week that talked about Steve paying for three football camps and then cleaning up trash at one of them afterward. This was the essence of Steve Mcnair. Finally it saddens me deeply that Steve's legacy could be tarnished by a choice made after his playing days were over. This murder was senseless and leaves me feeling terrible for his wife and children. They are the lost victims in all of this. What a tragedy. ~ Scott Kodarides

I'm sorry if I'm not shocked or surprised about this happening. It is however very sad that a man in the prime of his life was killed. What McNair did or didn't do in his private life is none of mine or anyone else's business. He is a private citizen and no longer the face of an NFL franchise. If he were still an employee with a multi-million dollar contract then I feel he had a responsibility to maintain a certain image.

I also don't fault the coverage of his death; by accepting a job in the NFL he also accepted the price of becoming a public figure. I feel badly for those he left behind to deal with the aftermath. I met McNair before a game once briefly; he signed my program, exchanged a few words and made me feel like I did him a favor by asking for the autograph. McNair by all accounts was like this all the time and was always respectful to fans.

McNair also did so many things in the communities where he lived and played. McNair was a great athlete and did not seem to ever not appreciate the opportunity he had. I will remember him for the enjoyment he brought me on Sundays and how he made me feel in the brief moment that I was honored to share with him as a fan of football. All the best to the McNair family, especially the four sons he left behind. ~ David Prince

Tough as nails football player with a heart of gold. Tragic end to his life stuns all of us but the factors that led to it were said. For all the hater of his situation the theme is common in our replaceable society where almost nothing is sacred any more. ~ Michael Tama

I will remember three things about Steve:

1. On the field he had no fear and was willing to sacrifice his body to make the next play. I often think if he had learned to be a pocket passer sooner he would have had a longer career. But, he gave us all that he had on every play. He was soft spoken, but had a strong will the determination to get the job done and always, always had a smile on his face.

2. His work within his communities whether it was here, or mostly in Nashville or helping the victims in Katrina, which he put 6 figures of his own money into. He worked as hard for his causes as he did on the field. I wish I had half the will-power he always showed in trying to accomplish a goal. Whether it was building a house or talking to a sick child he put his entire focus into the job. You never felt he was faking it or didn't want to be there even if he wasn't at 100%.

3. I saw Steve with his friends and with his family. The questions may now arise about his marriage, but I always saw a man who cared for his wife and especially his children. It hurts me that the cause of his death have made people question his love of his children as a father. While this tragedy has taken him away from his children, that is exactly what this is a tragedy. This is not some outcome from a bad choice. Rarely does anyone think that a relationship will result in this type of outcome. For everyone that questions him as a father, remember he has probably done more and will provide more, even after his passing, for his children than most of us could even imagine. Though let us not forget that his being there for them as they grow up, his life back, anyone of us would trade for all the money in the world.

Rest In Peace Steve
We Will Miss You
But, We Will Not Forget You -Christopher Roberson


Jerry B said...

If it's not too late to opine, the thing I will remember most about "Air McNair", besides his toughness and competitive spirit on the field, is the instant credibilty and stability he brought to the Ravens' inept offense almost from the moment he arrived here!