McNair's Death Makes Holiday Tragic

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McNair's Death Makes Holiday Tragic

David P. Dillard
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McNair's Death Makes Holiday Tragic
July 4, 2009
Tennessean
<http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090704/OPINION01/ 
90704030/McNair+s+death+makes+holiday+tragic+>


A shorter URL for the above link:


<http://tinyurl.com/nuxfj7>


The very first we heard of him in Nashville was that of a sort of
mythological figure playing football at Alcorn State  someone special whom
people were referring to as Air McNair.

That was years before we came to know him in Tennessee as a Titan. In
fact, there were no Tennessee Titans back then. There were no National
Football League Oilers in Tennessee. The very idea that an Air McNair or a
professional football team would ever be in Nashville wasnt even on the
radar. How dramatically that changed.

The news today that Steve McNair had died from gunfire was a jolt, an
immediate feeling of emptiness, confusion and an agonizing wait for
answers and explanations  even knowing that whatever those answers would
be they would ultimately leave dismay, pain and outright hurt throughout
Nashville.


<snip>


As the hours lingered and as heavy rains descended on a crime scene and a
stunned city and state, Nashville had far more distinct images of Steve
McNair. They werent the images conjured up by a college nickname. They
were images of a big sturdy athlete, looking downfield, tucking the
football and running, with leg strength any professional athlete would
admire. He came to be known as a very tough man, known as a fierce
competitor and a man whom young boys in Nashville looked up to. In time,
especially when McNairs career had ended, Nashville came to recognize that
McNairs admirers werent all just little boys. They were grown men,
including teammates, who saw up close just how tough he was, how much he
could take under adverse conditions.

But whatever happened in that apartment today  just blocks away from the
stadium where McNair won so many admirers  the city, the state and NFL
followers across the country were left to feel the hollow reality of a gun
crime.



----------------------------------------


Good Guy: McNair key in Hurricane Katrina aid
Sporting News Magazine
Saturday, July 4, 2009 - 8:38 p.m. ET
<http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2009-07-04/
good-guy-mcnair-key-hurricane-katrina-aid>


A shorter URL for the above link:


<http://tinyurl.com/n48e67>


Steve McNair's desire to help his community was enormous, and nothing
showed that more than his assistance to Hurricane Katrina victims. As part
of package saluting the Good Guys in sports, Paul Attner offered the
following in June 2006:


<snip>


Steve McNair, then still with the Titans, and Favre are Mississippi
natives, and their teams were scheduled to play a preseason game in
Nashville three days after Hurricane Katrina. Favre told McNair he was
packing the Packers' plane with relief supplies for his state. That led
McNair to ask his foundation director, Mike Mu, to arrange a relief drive
in Nashville.

By the end of McNair's effort, 20 tractor-trailers had been filled with
supplies. More than 800 volunteers helped out, and children brought their
piggy banks. Fundraising efforts brought in more than $300,000.

A couple of weeks after the hurricane, the first trucks rolled into
Mississippi and serviced areas that the Red Cross and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency were not reaching.



----------------------------------------



Titans remember quarterback Steve McNair for toughness, leadership
By Will Graves
The Canadian Press
<http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/
article/ALeqM5gMszxlm7HWQvBwUbWD4oIe0-YhCw>


A shorter URL for the above link:


<http://tinyurl.com/n96yz5>


When the Houston Oilers fled Texas for Tennessee more than a decade ago,
the franchise needed a face to sell the NFL in a place where college
football ruled for decades.

They found it in Steve McNair.

The talented, if somewhat unconventional, quarterback gave the rebuilding
team a foundation to build on. He also helped turn the renamed Titans into
one of the AFC's most consistent winners during his tenure, a team built
more on grit and toughness than eye-popping stats.

The image of McNair picking himself up off the turf and trotting - slowly
sometimes - back to the huddle became a weekly fixture at Titans games,
where his fearless play made him an icon in the tight-knit community.

It's what made his death all the more shocking to his former teammates.
McNair, 36, was found dead in a Nashville, Tenn., condominium Saturday
with a gunshot wound to the head.

"It's kind of like disbelief, like somebody was playing a cruel April
Fools' joke," former Tennessee wide receiver Kevin Dyson said. "It's just
so surreal."

Shock gave way to appreciation for the way McNair played during his 11
seasons with the franchise, leading Tennessee to the 2000 Super Bowl while
evolving into one of the league's most effective - if not always the
flashiest - quarterbacks.

McNair threw for over 31,000 yards during his career - including 27,141
with the Titans - and made the Pro Bowl four times, yet his trademark
wasn't his sometimes shaky spiral but the way he played, more like a
linebacker than a quarterback.

All that physical play came with a price. Not that McNair complained.

No matter how many times he was bounced around, no matter how vicious the
beating, he never broke, never placed blame. That simply wasn't his style.




------------------------------------------




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Bushell, R. & Sheldon, P. (eds),
Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit,
Place, New York: Cognizant Communication Books.
Wellness Tourism: Bibliographic and Webliographic Essay
David P. Dillard
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