Gone But Not Forgotten | Tragic Death of Steve McNair Is a Day NFL Fans Will Never Forget On The 14th Anniversary of His Passing

Steve McNair‘s unfortunate ending is one of the most tragic stories in NFL history. He was a revered HBCU quarterback who helped trailblaze a path to the NFL for Black quarterbacks and took the Tennessee Titans to their only Super Bowl appearance in 2000 and was one yard away from forcing overtime against the Baltimore Ravens.

Steve McNair dropping back for a pass as a member of the Tennessee Titans. (Photo: @firstandpen/Twitter screenshot)

McNair Dies Tragically

His life was taken away at the age of 36 by his 20-year-old girlfriend Jenny Kazemi on July 4, 2009. The star quarterback was still married to Mechelle, whom he shared two sons with. He was found by longtime friend and roommate Wayne Neely. McNair had four gunshot wounds, including one in the head. Kazemi also took her own life.

While many Americans celebrate the fourth of July as a joyous occasion to spend time with family and friends, McNair’s loved ones know it as one of the worst days of their lives.

Legendary Legacy

Before McNair took the NFL by storm, he dominated at Alcorn State. He played there from 1991-94.

He them to their first SWAC championship since 1984 during his sophomore season. Also, he became the first quarterback in school history to pass for 20 touchdowns and rush for 10 touchdowns in one season.

McNair is the only player in SWAC history and school history to win Offensive Player of the Year each year and named to first team All-Conference each year while he was in school.

He was drafted in 1995 with the third overall pick by the Houston Oilers. He became the full-time starter in 1997 after the team was moved to Tennessee. The HBCU product finished his career with 31,304 passing yards, 174 passing touchdowns, and completed 60.1 percent of his passes.

McNair also was co-MVP in 2003 with Peyton Manning, named to the Pro-Bowl three times, and is the second all-time leading passer for the Titans. He was inducted into the Titans/Oilers ring of honor and had his No.9 jersey retired in 2019.

I’m Him

McNair created a lot of great memories for Titans’ fans with his dual-threat ability at the quarterback position.

The most memorable probably came in 1998 when Titans/Oilers’ fans really got a chance to experience some of his late game magic against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McNair ran a 71-yard touchdown to seal a victory.

Of course, McNair went on to make plenty of other memories after 1998 but that moment became iconic because it was equivalent to his version of a “I’m Him’ moment.

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