The Tragic Departure Of a Hometown Hero

Alice MeikleCorrespondent IJuly 6, 2009

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 16:  Quarterback Steve McNair #9 of the Baltimore Ravens watches from the sidelines during the first half of game against the New York Jets on September 16, 2007 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Several years ago, when I was first doing my research and weighing my options to become a sports agent, someone made a big impact on my life.  I guess he had seen the fire in my eyes, and saw what I wanted to do to help his fellow pro football colleagues. 

That someone was Steve McNair. 

I met Steve and his brother at an Arena Football game here in Florida, where his brother was the quarterback, for the Florida Bobcats. A friend who has just retired from baseball was giving me a look behind the scenes on my quest to become a sports agent, and introduced me to him.

I can tell you that Mr. McNair was very warm, seemingly kind-hearted and extremely encouraging. He told me to do my best and keep my nose clean.  And even after that, I could hear his words and other such kind words echoing inside my head as I conducted business as an agent. 

As the tragic news hit me on Saturday, it quickly came to pass that the pro football player that I had met and watched on TV was taken away from his family in tragic fashion. The speculation is mounting and frankly, none of that is my business right now. 

As always, I will rise above the fray and commend the man who donated his time and efforts to the community. I will lift up his efforts to his hometown during the time of Hurricane Katrina, and celebrate with all the players and fans who got to meet him, or people whose lives he toughed. 

At the end of the day, Steve McNair suffered a tragic death, leaving behind a wife and mother of his two children. I am not condoning his shortcomings and the public disgrace Mechelle McNair must face, but will willingly admit that we are all human.

We have to remember that life gives the greatest opportunity to shine and the biggest temptations to fail. It is upon us to choose, how we are remembered.  So today as a sports fan, mother, former wife, sports agent, volunteer and mentor, lets pick the opportunities of success and always second-guess the people we let into our live. 

To Mechelle McNair, our prayers are with you on this difficult journey, and please do not look back.

RIP, Steve McNair.