McNair, Steve (1973-2009)

Card: Classic 1995
Acquired: In Person, Houston Oiler Training Camp, 1995.

I got Steve’s autograph at Trinity University in San Antonio where the Oilers held training camp during his rookie season. He signed every card that day,(- which numbered into the hundreds) after an extremely hot summer practice where he was drenched in sweat.  I then created a Steve McNair player in Tecmo Super Bowl Final Edition on Super Nintendo. He became the best player in the game, where he was unstoppable both on the ground and in the air scoring 90s in nearly every attribute. McNair would also start at quarterback for my Fantasy Football teams in 2003 and 2005.

The Houston Oilers became a quarterback carousel after Warren Moon was jettisoned by Bud Adams after the 1993 season. In hopes of alleviating the problem, the Oilers signed Chris Chandler in 1995 and then drafted Steve McNair from Alcorn St with the 3rd pick of that draft. McNair has an interesting history that has strange parallels to Moon’s as he was asked to play defensive back by a major college instead the position of quarterback where he was most comfortable in high school. Instead of signing on with the University of Florida, McNair opted to play for tiny Alcorn State.  Steve would go on to set multiple All-American records in college and in his senior season would run and pass for over 6,000 yards including 16283 career yards.

After being drafted by the Oilers, McNair would ride the bench for primarily the next two seasons behind perennial tutor and quarterback of the moment Chandler. In 1997, the Oilers moved to Tennessee and coach Jeff Fisher handed Steve the reins of the team. McNair over his career would be seen as a tenacious blue chip warrior with an insatiable appetite to win. Frequently playing through injury, McNair would suffer from a malaise of injuries throughout his 13 season career including back problems and a bruised sternum.  He’d lead the Titans to SuperBowl XXXIV (SuperBowl of the Traitorous Teams) and be named NFL Player of the Year in 2003, All-Pro in 2003, and to the Pro Bowl in 2000, 2003, and 2005 playing for the Oilers and Titans. In 2006 he’d find himself run out of town (much like Bud Adams did to Moon in 1993,) where Steve would sign with the Ravens, whom he’d play the last two seasons for before injury forced him to retire in 2008.  Post NFL McNair would run a restaurant called GridIron9 and mentor quarterback Vince Young,  but would struggle with an extramarital affair, in which on July 4th, 2009 that mistress would take his life.  McNair is survived by his widow and four children.

Games   161       Att   4544      Comp     2733     %  60.1       Yds  31, 304        TD  174          Int  119            Rat  82.8     Rushes  669      Yds   3590       Avg  5.4          Td 37