Nine Lives

During his brief tenure in Baltimore, Steve McNair never really showed us what made him great. True he was a Pro Bowler (as an alternate) in 2006, a testament to his greatness given that his arm strength had long left him. McNair instead relied on guts, grit, and guile in leading the Ravens to a 13-3 regular season record.

But while we celebrate his career today in Baltimore, McNair was, and will be remembered as a Titan. His toughness and determination defined that franchise for a decade. He was the ultimate rival for the Ravens, famous for his battles with Ray Lewis, but always one you respected.

His brutal style of play cut short his career. Granted, 13 years far surpasses the average for a quarterback in this league, but there was nothing average about Steve McNair. His ability to shake off a bad throw as easily as shed a tackler was remarkable. But when you watch the tape of his highlights, of his amazing escapes, and vicious hits, the fact he lasted this long marks the last of his amazing escapes.

He walks away from the game today, able to walk away. No noticeable limps for number nine. He still has enough physical ability to for what he really wants, to simply be dad. To play catch in the back yard, to wrestle a little, to enjoy the good life.

He got out in time, maybe using the last of his nine lives, but out none the less.


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