Sunday, July 5, 2009

Steve McNair

Death- It is the ultimate given. No matter what happens in your life, in anyone's life, you know that eventually, you will die. It's certainly not the most pleasant fact to focus on but it is the truest truth we know. So it leaves us to question, when we hear of someone dying, what happens from here? What does it mean now that this person no longer lives on this earth? For those left to ponder, I don't think an answer ever really comes.

So he played football- Was that his greatest contribution? Is that the legacy he leaves behind in Music City? What about his extensive Charity Work? Will that be what people choose to remember about Steve McNair? Or will the scandal surrounding the circumstances of his death overshadow it all? I can really only speak for myself.
When I first moved to Nashville and began the "getting to know you" portion with my new home, the Tennessee Titans certainly proved to be a large part of that process. I had come from a place that offered only college football for my pigskin fix. This NFL thing was quite new but very enticing to me. I had heard stories of the "Music City Miracle" and I admit that I was somewhat envious of those who had committed themselves before me. Kyle and his Dad were there to witness it firsthand and to this day, I still love to hear them tell the story. So it was automatic. Nashville was my home, the Titans were my team. Steve McNair was the glue that held it together.

And now he is dead. Shot to death in the same downtown neighborhood that I once called home.

It is a strange feeling to mourn the passing of someone that you never met, but felt like you knew so well. You begin to question why you feel so affected by his death. Why does it hurt this way? I imagine it's in large part because he considered Nashville home, and we, as a collective being, loved and admired him not only as a leader for our home team but as a patron of our beloved city. Even after playing 2 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, ironically a known rival to the Titans, he was still our guy. I suppose, especially now, it will always be that way. So I will choose to remember the good and the hope that he represented for our city. I choose to remember him as an amazing football player who even when he was hurt, got up, laced his shoes and played his heart out for every fan in that stadium.

The biggest shock to me this afternoon was realizing that Steve was only 36 years old. Thirty-six. Only three years older than myself. In the world of professional football, he was old, tired, injury ridden and just, done. But in reality, he was incredibly young and vibrant. So much life left laid out before him. Now his children will never get to appreciate him the way that it was intended. They will never understand the joy and wisdom of an elderly man reminiscing on his glory days. "That time I took a trip to the Superbowl"...
Instead they will only hurt because he is gone. What a loss. What a sad, horrible and tragic loss.........


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