McNair: A Legacy Spiraling Downward?

July 7, 2009

mcnair 1 Steve McNair was a player.  And now we know it.

Oh, sure, he was a gritty, gifted leader on the field.  The kind of QB you’d want in your huddle most any day.  And, for the most part, to anyone who wasn’t an absolute insider, a pretty good guy in the community, too.   A good guy, who kept his nose clean and was an asset to the community.  At least, that’s what I hear most of my colleagues and friends here in Nashville say (I moved here only a year ago).   And, I won’t deny that someone who makes a mistake now and again can’t be a great person or an asset to a community.  They absolutely can and in a big way.  We all make mistakes.  It’s important that you hear me say that.   I’m not here to judge McNair, and God knows I’m a flawed son of a gun, myself …  as depraved and sinful as anyone else.  And, he probably was, in all likelihood, a great guy to be around … unless you were his wife or kids – in which case, he wasn’t (around, that is).

Alright.  Maybe that’s not fair.  Maybe he was around alot … except when he was off running around with one of, what appears to be, numerous girlfriends he’d had over the years.

And, I agree that it’s no one‘s place to question a man’smcnair 2 love for his children, right?  But, the question has got to be asked, doesn’t it? … if you really love your children, do you cheat on their mother? For years? Do you spend the money that could secure not only their futures, but the futures of their children and grandchildren on Cadillac Escalades for cheap sex with 20-year old girls?  Are those the lessons that fathers whose children are truly their first priority teach them?

I don’t know …  I mean, a man was brutally murdered and four children have lost their father.  A woman has lost her husband.  I really, really am not here to disparage the guy.  And God knows, I’m NOT getting around to saying “he had it comin'”.  But, it’s disheartening, to a degree, to see what really happened get glossed over or flat-out dismissed by so many because the man was a great football player.

When you get right down to it, I mean, when you really boil it down, I guess what wins out, for me, is this:  If he’d been at home, being a husband to his wife and a father to his children, and not running around with a 20-year old girl, he’d still be alive.

I know that sounds harsh.  And, I’m really sad that this has happened, just like everyone else …  But, I can’t shake that thought.

What are yours?



  1. Good thoughts Jason,
    I this story grieves me greatly. I pray this tragedy teaches his children a valuable lesson they may not have learned had their father continued his adulterous patterns. Perhaps his four sons will have a better opportunity to become loyal husbands, fathers and citizens rather than following in dad’s tainted footsteps.
    Unfortunately, this is one of thousands of pro athlete stories world wide that follow the same pattern save for the murderous finish. McNair is not much different than many of America’s most heralded sports figures (Ali, Jordan, Bird, A-Rod). McNair’s legacy will be scarred, not because he cheated, but because he cheated and paid the ultimate price for it.
    Thanks for raising the question.

    • You’re absolutely right, Rick. It’s so sad that they had to learn that lesson in that way … would have been so much easier to teach them about the sanctity of marriage and what God intends a husband to be, by example.

      Sounds like everything is going incredibly well at Fellowship Memphis. Really, really happy to see that great place growing.

  2. I agree with you, Jason. Steve McNair was a great athlete who made a great mistake. And, I agree had he been at home with his family he would most likely be alive today.

    However, I am getting the impression that a lot of people expect more of others than they can live up to themselves. I’m trying to use caution and not jump on the finger pointing bandwagon. Only God knows the heart.

    The end result is that I am so sad that Steve McNair is no longer around to help those less fortunate and spread goodness to those less fortunate in TN and MS. I live in TN and call MS my home…so, I have a unigue fondness for him. And, it goes without saying that my heart breaks for his four sons, his mom, brothers, and his wife.

    • I had written that into my post, but edited it out for lack of space, Debbie – but I CERTAINLY agree … what may be saddest is what he left on the table. He could have done SO much for his community back home in Mississippi and had such a tremendous following here in middle TN, as well … could have done SO many great things with what he was blessed with. Most of all, though, of course – and as I said – what he could have done for his FAMILY … generations down the line, is what breaks my heart most. And, not just financially. The legacy he COULD have left for so many … just a wasted opportunity. The lesson this will hopefully teach his sons could have been learned in a much less devastating way. He could have taught them about the sanctity of marriage, etc. by example and through conversation. Now, they’ve had to learn that message through losing him.

      As for what I expect (can’t speak for others, certainly) of him and other men … I stated clearly that I am as depraved and sinful as any. And I don’t expect perfection or anything close to it from anyone. Absolutely not. But, what I CAN and DO live up to – and what so many men CAN and DO live up to (and what even more SHOULD live up to) – is that I’m a faithful husband to my wife and an attentive father to my children. I’m not running around publicly with girls half my age. I don’t think that’s all that much to ask. JMO.

      Again – not pointing a finger. And, yes, only God knew his heart. But, I feel like what I’m saying here is a basic truth. If he’d been at home, where he should have been, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. That’s all.

  3. Well said, JPJ. Like you, McNair and most men out there, I’m certainly a flawed human being. I’ve made more mistakes than I care to think about. I’ve paid for and am still paying for them. I don’t have a legacy, but if I did it would certainly be tarnished.

    McNair had second chances. Sadly, he didn’t take advantage of them. I pray that his mistake opens the eyes of men like myself and causes us to take advantage of the second chances we get.

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