Steve McNair Foundation
A Look Back
For a number of years this was the official site for the Steve McNair Foundation which was established by Steve McNair and his family for causes near and dear to him.
The new owners of this domain's registration wanted to this site's content visible on the web so that visitors could learn more about this exceptional athlete, Steve McNair, his life and his foundation which closed after his untimely death. RIP.
Content is from the site's 2006 -2009 archived pages and other outside sources.
The contrasts couldn't be more stark. We met w/ Steve to discuss his charitable work for a story we were working on focused on good/bad people and how society creates and mythologized them. Steve was the example of the good that people can do. His selfless work raising both money and awareness of good causes is admirable and worthy of significant attention. Perhaps we can learn from him how to improve our lives by helping others. The other side of the coin is represented by infamous con artist George Binakis, who has perfected the art of contractor fraud. One of his latest victims was a woman in her 70's who had hired him to renovate her apartment in NYC. He gained her sympathy by telling her he had a heart condition requiring a pacemaker and would sometimes appear to be ill when the spoke on the phone. George had so thorougyly gained her trust that when he disappeared with over $65,000 of her money, her first thought was his well being - she thought he had suffered a heart attack, and was possibly dead or gravely ill. She eventually tracked down George's brother, Patrick Paraskivas Binakis, a NYC lawyer in private practice. She called him concerned that he might have bad news about George, but Patrick told her he had no contact with his brother. When she mentioned money, Patrick Binakis hung up on her. It was only then that she realized something was very fishy and that Patrick might have been involved in the fraud. There always seems to be more to a bad person's story than to the opposite, so we'll leave it here - you can read the rest when our story is published. I want to close with Steve McNair's quote, "No worthwhile cause is too big or too small..." RIP Steve. The good will always outweigh the bad in the end.
The Steve McNair Foundation
Stephen LaTreal McNair Nicknamed Air McNair was an American football quarterback who spent the majority of his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans. Thanks to all of the fans and support of Steve McNair and his foundation!
Steve McNair Foundation | circa 2006
The Steve McNair Foundation was established five years ago to assist charity organizations dear to Steve and his family. Today over 25 non-profit charity organizations throughout Tennessee and his home state of Mississippi benefits from the Steve McNair Foundation.
The Steve McNair Foundation is dedicated to serving under-privileged children through programs that focus on inspiring and empowering today’s youth better utilizes the educational and civic opportunities available to them. The Steve McNair Foundation also provides financial support to non-profit agencies that promote self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth among children, as well as many other charitable organizations.
Steve has always been a big believer in giving his time to worthwhile endeavors. Sometimes, this can get as important, if not more important, then monetary contribution that can be made. He hosts three youth football camps each off-season, attended by over 1,000 campers each year. This camp focuses on football fundamentals on the field and important life issues off it. The 5th annual Steve McNair Celebrity Golf Classic was held at the Governors Club in Brentwood, Tennessee this year.
For the past two years, The Steve McNair Foundation has awarded over $200,000.00 to non-profit charity organizations receiving financial support from The Steve McNair Foundation
“No worthwhile cause is too big or too small for the Steve McNair Foundation being involved with”
FOUNDATIONS & CHARITIES
The Steve McNair Foundation was established by Steve and his family for causes near and dear to him.
McNair makes donation to Boys and Girls Club
McNair makes $30,000 donation to hometown Boys & Girls Club
By Kyle Payne
NASHVILLE, TN, June 3, 2004 -- Lucille McNair can easily recall the days of taking her son Steve to school as a child, but last week it was Steve escorting his mother to her former school.
The NFL co-MVP and his mother were at Collins Middle School where Lucille attended in Collins, Miss. to impact the lives of 600 area youths.
The Covington County Boys and Girls Club is an important organization to Steve McNair and his family. The club meets at Collins Middle School for their activities because they do not have a club building. Paula Flowers, a board member for the club, told Steve the organization was facing financial challenges due to government budget cuts, a lack of funding and financial struggles during the fall session. This lack of funds was going to result in the loss of the Summer Program, which has annually has more than 600 youth participants.
McNair took immediate action to help the club, which is only miles from his hometown of Mt. Olive, Miss. On May 28, in the presence of numerous town dignitaries, the mayor, and some of the youth enrolled in the Summer Program, Steve McNair made the largest individual donation ever, in the amount of $30, 000.00, to the Boys and Girls Club of Covington County through the Steve McNair Foundation. Due to that donation the club will now start the Summer Program on schedule, June 7.
"They really needed a donation," Lucille McNair said. "Steve decided to give a donation because when he was coming up, it was hard for us to participate, so he wanted to give back to the community and the county to help the boys and girls out."
Steve spoke about the importance of the Boys and Girls Club and of the impact that the Covington County area had on him as a child. He talked about his dream of giving back to the community that had given him so much. With his donation, that dream has been realized. But the donation isn't just monetary, he hopes to continue to act as a mentor and a positive role model for the youth that are enrolled in the program.
Seeing her son's dedication to giving back makes the mother of the Titans star full of pride.
"It makes me feel good, and it makes him feel good," Lucille said. "He has said time and time again that it is things he didn't have when he grew up that makes him want to give back. He enjoys helping kids and he really loves putting smiles on their faces."
The Steve McNair Foundation also made a $5,000.00 donation to the Outreach Program at the Bethlehem Center in Nashville two weeks ago and plans to make charitable donations to a few other non-profit agencies within the coming months in Nashville.
The following are the remaining events that the foundation will host in 2004: The Fourth Annual Steve McNair Football Camp in Nashville-June 3-4, the Sixth Annual Steve McNair Football Camp at Alcorn State University on June 27th, Fourth Annual Steve McNair Golf Classic in Gulfport, MS on July 9-10 and the MVP Celebration in Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 2, 2004.
Steve McNair's Katrina Relief
Steve "Air" McNair Foundation
Hurricane Katrina Relief
STEVE MCNAIR RESPONDS TO HOME STATE OF MISSISSIPPI WITH HURRICANE RELIEF
Please join the Steve McNair Foundation in assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina, in Steve McNair's home state of Mississippi.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals and families, left homeless with critical, immediate needs, are beginning the long and arduous road to recovery. The foundation has received a myriad of calls asking, “How can we help?” And, Steve wants to respond.
The Steve McNair Foundation will provide financial support to different agencies on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and throughout the state, to provide immediate relief and long-term support for individuals and families needing assistance.
We are seeking donations, and are asking that you join the Steve McNair Foundation to raise as much as possible. Your contribution, through the foundation, will go directly to efficient relief and recovery assistance programs.
To thank individuals for their support, Steve will send an autographed photo to those who donate $100.00 or more to the foundation’s relief effort. All donations to the Steve McNair Foundation are tax deductible.
For businesses and companies who wish to donate supplies, the foundation will collect and distribute these to the relief effort on your behalf. For more information on how your company can assist, please call 615-256-5577.
Please join the foundation by contributing, to ensure Mississippi survivors and displaced families have the vital help they need at this difficult time.
Donations should be made payable to:
Steve McNair Foundation
209 10th Avenue South, Suite 342-B
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Please make checks payable to: The Steve McNair Foundation, Inc.
You can send you donation to:
The Steve McNair Foundation, Inc.
209 10th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37218
The Steve McNair Foundation Teams With the NFL Youth Football Fund for $100,000 in Katrina Relief.
In continuing his charity and philanthropic work, Tennessee Titans Quarterback Steve McNair was recently honored as Nashville’s Philanthropist of the Year. Steve will be selecting fifteen football programs that have been affected by Hurricane Katrina to receive grants ranging between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 from The Steve McNair Foundation that could qualify them for a matching grant from the National Football League Youth Football Fund.
Interested high school and youth football programs need to review the following guidelines and fax their completed application form, with necessary attachments, to 601-264-5377, mail it to The Steve McNair Foundation, #1 Willow Bend Drive, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39402, or submit it by email to email@example.com.
The deadline to submit applications is December 15, 2005.
Grants will only be made payable to schools and non-profit youth football organizations and not to individuals. Eligible youth football organizations are limited to local affiliates of the NFL National Youth Football Partners (see below for approved listing). Grant awards must be earmarked for non-salary or non-personnel related costs (e.g. football equipment purchases, blocking sleds, football field refurbishment, AV materials, etc.).
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only football programs from high schools and certain youth football programs that have sustained verifiable damage or loss of equipment due to Hurricane Katrina will be considered for a grant at this time.
• Please Note: If an NFL Player Matching High School Football Grant was issued to a particular high school football program in 2004, that school is not eligible to receive additional NFL Player-Matching Grants in 2005. The YFF will support these schools through matching funds in 2006 if NFL players elect to provide financial donations towards these programs. This procedure allows for other high school football programs located in NFL team markets, players’ hometowns and other communities nationwide to benefit from this grant opportunity in 2005.
• Once the fifteen schools or programs have been selected to receive a grant by The Steve McNair Foundation, a grant request will be submitted on their behalf to the NFL Youth Football Fund for a matching grant. Final determination of qualifying matching grants will be at the sole discretion of The NFL Youth Football Fund.
• Youth football organizations that are eligible to receive NFL Player Matching Grants are limited to local affiliates of the following NFL National Youth Football Partners: Amateur Athletic Union; American Youth Football; Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Jewish Community Centers Association; National Association of Police Athletic Leagues; National Football Foundation; National Recreation & Park Association; Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.; and YMCA of the USA. These partners serve as the nation’s largest youth-serving organizations that include football as part of their curriculum. The YFF will determine if a youth football organization selected by a player applicant is eligible to receive a Player Matching Grant.
• The Steve McNair Foundation and The NFL Youth Football Fund mandate that Player Matching Youth & High School Football Grants be earmarked for non-salary or non-personnel related costs (e.g., football equipment purchases, blocking sleds, football field refurbishment, etc.).
• All approved matching grant checks will be issued to approved high schools and/or youth football organizations selected by player applicants and then earmarked for use by those respective organizations’ football programs.
• All youth and high school football program matching grant recipients are required to report back to the YFF on the use of grant funds. Failure to do so will result in disqualification for any grant considerations in the future.
What is the NFL Youth Football Fund?
The NFL cares about young people both on and off the field, which is why youth football is a top priority for the players like Steve McNair and owners like Titans Owner / President K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. In 1998, Adams and his fellow owners and the NFL Players Association formed the NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF) - a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation.
McNair and Adams are joined by their fellow NFL players and owners in support of the game at the youth level and to promote positive youth development. Since 1998, hundreds of thousands of youngsters have been given the opportunity to learn the game of football, get physically fit, and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors.
The YFF also has provided youth football participants with safe and accessible places to play as well as programs and initiatives that address the importance of proper coaching, academics, health and safety and life skills development. The NFL Player Matching Youth and High School Football Grant Program is one of many elements of the Youth Football Fund program.
McNair, players reach out to youth at football camp
By Shannon Ashford | Titans Online | 2006
Titans QB Steve McNair instructs campers during his youth football camp last week at Goodpasture Christian School (photo by Steve Cole).
NASHVILLE, TN, June 6, 2005 – Approximately 350 boys ages 7-16 got an inside glimpse of life in the National Football League last week, participating in the Steve McNair Football Camp held at Goodpasture Christian School.
The two-day camp gave young people the chance to meet and learn from the Titans’ MVP quarterback, along with several of his teammates.
“Every year this camp gets bigger and better, and this year has been one of the best years,” McNair said. “The kids come in all excited wanting to learn, get better, and to make something out of themselves.”
Whether or not the campers go on to play college or professional football, McNair said the camp’s goal is to leave a positive impression that by working hard, anyone can achieve their goals.
“With myself and some of the other NFL players coming in and spending time with them, they can dream of one day being a part of the NFL. And if they don’t become an NFL player, they can get their education and become something else. Maybe it’s a doctor, a nurse or an engineer. They can say ‘I’m here with Steve or Keith Bulluck or Drew Bennett. These guys are normal.’ We can show them how to work hard, how we made sacrifices to get to where we are, and how they can dedicate themselves to being the best individual they can be.”
Along with McNair, Titans like linebacker Keith Bulluck and wide receiver Drew Bennett taught the youngsters about the fundamentals of football. They also addressed campers about the importance of education and succeeding in life.
“At this age, the main thing these kids should focus on is paying attention,” Bulluck said. “It’s important to pay attention to the coaches, stay focused and work at every little thing they tell you to work at. This is a developmental stage. This is the most important stage as far as learning sportsmanship and understanding that it is just a game. We stress that they need to have fun. I also stress the importance of school and teamwork. Football is the ultimate team sport. You can’t be successful without a good team.”
While the camp focused on football, the players and coaches were quick to tell the campers that there is much more to life than football.
“It’s not all about football,” said McNair. “Football only lasts so many years. If you don’t have your education, do the right things, make the right decisions, and surround yourself with good people, then your life won’t be worth anything. That’s what I try to install in these kids. This world is bigger than football. It’s bigger than any sport. We try to teach the kids how to protect themselves, how to go out and communicate, meet people and respect people. That’s what we’re trying to get out of this camp. It’s not all about football. It’s about going out and trying to be the best individual you can be.”
Bulluck can relate to the excitement of the young campers. As a teenager, he also attended a football camp featuring NFL players.
“The one camp I went to they had James Lofton and Reggie Roby,” said Bulluck. “I went there when I was like 15. I still remember that. So for these kids to be local kids and to have their local athletes come through and show support, give them tips and pointers and sign autographs, I think it’s great. All of these kids at the camp say that they want to be professional football players, so who better to learn from than an NFL MVP and some other football players from around the league.”
McNair first started the football camp in his home state of Mississippi seven years ago. 2005 marked the fifth year for the camp in Nashville.
“You have a lot of kids in the summertime with nothing to do,” said McNair. “You look around and see a lot of talent out there that can only get better. You have kids out there that think you’re a role model, they look up to you. Probably the only chance they have to meet you is at a function like this. It also helps the community to become better. When you see kids out there that want to become better, the only way to reach out to them is to try and bring them in to your environment and try to teach them as much as you can. We teach them not only about football, but life in general.”
McNair also plays a big role in the Mississippi camp.
“I’m also very involved in that camp,” said McNair. “I’m not a guy that puts on a camp and then is not a part of it. I did a drill yesterday with the kids and it was a lot of fun.”
McNair is happy with the turnout and looks forward to future camps.
“I’m very pleased with the turnout,” said McNair. “Each year it grows and grows. We want the kids and parents involved this year to go out and tell other kids about their experience and let them get involved. We have great coaches and great staff. This is all about the kids. They are our future. These guys need to learn to make the right decisions at this young age.”
Thanks to these 2005 Steve McNair Foundation Sponsors
101.1 The Beat
Allstate Insurance Co.
American Bug Busters
BMW/Mercedes of Bowling Green
Capitol City Scaffolding & Equip
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Dalton's Grill, Inc-Bellevue
David Ward & Associates
Enviro Scape Landscaping
First Class Tailgate
Goodpasture Christian School
Greater Nashville Apartment Assocication
Hatteras Envestment Parnters
Hilton Suites Downtown
Kitchen & Bath Concepts
Nashville Sporting Goods
WaterScapes Backyard Resorts
Steve McNair Biography
Steve LaTreal McNair was born February 14, 1973 to Ms. Lucille McNair in the small rural community of Mt. Pleasant, (in Mt. Olive) Mississippi—population of approximately 100. He was raised in a single-parent household with his four brothers--Fred, Tim, Jason, and Michael ("Doc")--by his mother who worked a factory graveyard shift to provide for her family. Ms. McNair not only worked hard to provide for her family but strived to instill in them certain values such as hard work, perseverance, honesty and integrity. When Steve was very young, Fred, the oldest of the McNair boys, became the man of the house / father-figure for Steve and his brothers. He made certain that everyone did their homework and farm chores as well as bathing and brushing their teeth before bedtime. Fred was also the one Steve turned to for advice on everything from choosing a college to deciding which sport to play since he was an All-Star athlete in four sports. Steve once said he owed Fred everything...and that he (Fred) was "forced to grow up too quickly" by having to help raise his brothers.
Steve grew up performing farm chores from before daylight until after dark. This (most times) included “catching” food for supper and helping his grandmother, Ms. Hattie Fray, prepare it (which is likely why Steve enjoys and excels in cooking today). He and his brothers also performed odd jobs including mowing yards in the summertime to help their mom with the bills.
Steve McNair attended Mt. Olive High School where he was an outstanding athlete excelling in several sports—track, basketball, baseball, and, of course, football. He received “All State” honors in all of these sports. He played shortstop and outfield for the baseball team, conquered the point guard position in basketball, ran long and short distance races as well as competed in the long jump in track, and terrorized competitors at both offense (quarterback) and defense (defensive back) in football. Upon graduation Steve was drafted by the Seattle Mariners professional baseball organization, but after much discussion and guidance from his mother, Lucille, and big brother, Fred, he decided to pursue his true love of football. His next major decision related to football was his choice of college. He was pursued by many large colleges including Louisiana State, Miami, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Mississippi State, however they all wanted him to play defensive back; Steve was determined to be a quarterback. So, once again, leaning on his mom’s and older brother Fred’s advice, he signed with Alcorn State (located in Lorman, Mississippi) where he was guaranteed a shot at the quarterback position. He would actually be following in Fred’s footsteps as he had played quarterback for Alcorn as well. The McNair family has no lack of athletic ability. As previously stated, Fred (the original Air McNair) also quarterbacked for Alcorn putting up impressive stats himself. Fred would also enjoy ten (10) successful years in the Arena Football League playing for Albany, Florida, Carolina and Buffalo. Another McNair brother, Tim, was Steve's craftiest wide receiver in their years together at Alcorn. Eventually, Steve would borrow Fred's nickname to become “Air McNair” II.
- married to wife, Mechelle, 6-21-97 with four sons, Junior, Steven, Tyler, and Trenton
- Height: 6 ft. 2 in., Weight: 230 lbs.
- spends his time between homes in Nashville and Mt. Olive
- likes to fish, hunt, and cook
- friend and mentor to University of Texas star-turned Tennessee Titan quarterback Vince Young whom he (Vince) calls "Pops"
- raised by his mother, Lucille, with four brothers, Fred, Tim, Jason, and Michael
- brother, Fred, also a quarterback for Alcorn, played 10 years as QB in the Arena Football League (playing with Albany, Florida, Carolina and Buffalo)
- brother, Tim, also played with Steve at Alcorn (wide receiver)
- cousin, Brandon McDonald, is a cornerback and punt returner for the Cleveland Browns
- remains a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity--the “Omega Man” (tattooed on his arm) references his fraternity with arm gestures after every touchdown
Alcorn State University is a member of the Division I-AA Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and is significantly smaller than the other schools that were courting him. Both Steve and his family knew that by choosing a small school he was injuring his chances of winning the Heisman and potentially risking his position in the NFL draft, but he remained true to his heart’s desire to be a quarterback.
During his career at Alcorn, McNair broke many records including becoming the only player in NCAA history to gain more than 16,000 yards (16,823) in a college career. This broke Ty Detmer’s (Brigham Young) record of 14,665 career total yards. He set nine records alone as a freshman. Among his accolades, Steve was named Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year four years in a row; received the Walter Payton Award (top Division I-AA player), named top player in college ranks (Eddie Robinson Trophy) and placed third in the Heisman race--making him the first Division I-AA player to rank in the top five since Jerry Rice in 1985. His junior year brought about another major decision—should he continue in the Braves uniform another year or should the “Omega Man” make a run for the NFL draft? It was a tough decision since he wanted his degree (in Physical Education), but a NFL contract would financially relieve his mom and his family of significant, long-term burden(s). Eventually, at the urging of his mom and brother, Fred, he decided to return to Alcorn for his senior year where he finished with another spectacular season. He became one of only three Alcorn Braves to have their jersey retired, joining Jack Spinks and, who else but his brother, Fred.
It soon became apparent that McNair’s choice of a Division I-AA school would not negatively affect his NFL draft status when, on April 22, 1995, he was chosen as the third pick in the first round of the draft by the Houston Oilers. At age 22, McNair became the highest-drafted black quarterback ever. In August of 1995, he signed a contract for $28.4 million dollars over seven (7) years, making him the Oiler’s highest-paid player and the highest paid rookie in the history of the NFL.
Steve was trained intensively during the off-season by offensive coordinator Jerry Rhome. Oiler management, including head coach Jeff Fisher, made it clear early on that they had planned to prepare McNair for 2-3 years before putting him in the starting position. They didn’t want to “throw him to the wolves” by putting him in the much different, fast-paced and challenging position of an NFL quarterback too abruptly. Steve’s job for the 1995 and 1996 seasons was to learn the warp-speed, more specified NFL playbook which included steering away from the shotgun offense he had perfected at Alcorn State. He was, however, forced into action early when starting quarterback Chris Chandler was injured in McNair’s first season (1995). After an impressive second-half game against the Detroit Lions, few questioned his ability to make it as a pro. He started the next two games, leading the Oilers to back to back victories over the New York Yet and the Buffalo Bills, respectively.
In 1996, he played in ten games, starting in four, completing 88 of 103 passing attempts racking up 1197 yards and 6 touchdowns. On December 1st he connected with Chris Sanders for an 83-yard touchdown against the New York Jets and recorded his first 300-yard performance (308 yards) versus the Jacksonville Jaguars one week later.
McNair’s career as a starting professional NFL quarterback began in 1997 when the Oilers traded Chris Chandler to the Atlanta Falcons. The franchise relocated to Tennessee the same year putting extra pressure on the quarterback. However, McNair rose to the occasion, accruing impressive stats, leading the team in rushing TDs (8)—his 6.7 yards-per-carry average led all NFL rushers—helped set a franchise mark for the fewest interceptions in a single season (13).
In 1998, the Tennessee Oilers became the Tennessee Titans, and McNair became the youngest franchise quarterback. For a second season he led all NFL quarterbacks with 559 rushing yards and lowered the franchise mark for fewest single season interceptions to 10. He was voted most improved NFL player in an ESPN poll, ranking 4th in the NFL in third-down completion percentage (62.3%) and led the Titans to nine scores during “two minute drills”. He also became only the fourth NFL quarterback to reach a 3,000 yard passing mark.
The 1999-2000 season could be compared to a roller-coaster ride, with ups and downs, unexpected twists and turns and a few high altitude drops. McNair caused hearts to drop when he missed five games September 19-October 17 following low back surgery to repair a ruptured lumbar disc. However, shocking his team, fans, and even medical professionals, Steve returned to play much earlier than expected and helped the team to the AFC Championship. He threw for a career-high five touchdowns and 291 yards against Jacksonville (12/26), and joined George Blanda (5) and Warren Moon (3) as the only players in franchise history passing for five or more touchdowns in a single game. In the AFC Championship, leading the Titans to that all-important win over Jacksonville, Steve threw for 112 yards and one TD (his first career postseason touchdown pass) to wide receiver Yancey Thigpen. McNair also rushed for 91 yards and 2 TDs on nine carries. On January 30, 2000—Super Bowl XXXIV—Steve McNair took the field as only the second black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl. He established a new Bowl record among quarterbacks by putting up 64 rushing yards on 8 carries, including the longest rush by a quarterback—23 yards. He helped to bring the Titans back from a 16-0 second-half deficit, falling one yard short of the end zone on the final play to Kevin Dyson for a 23-16 loss to the St. Louis Rams. And, yes, there was the Music City Miracle.
His performance for the 1999-2000 season prompted fans to name him to the Pro Bowl, replacing Brian Griese (shoulder surgery), however, McNair was sidelined for the game due to his own shoulder injury. September 10th against Kansas City, (2nd game of the 2000-2001 season) McNair was forced to leave the game after suffering a helmet-to-sternum hit. He was not expected to play the next game against Pittsburgh, but was once again called into action when Neil O’Donnell was injured. And, once again, he gets the job done. Number 9 completed 3 passes for 55 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Erron Kinney for the win. He then threw for three touchdowns and led the team to four scoring drives of 80 or more yards against the New York Giants. Steve orchestrated the second comeback victory of the season moving the ball 62 yards in 10 plays (including a 17-yard completion to wide receiver Derrick Mason on fourth-and-eight) to set up the winning 29-yard field goal with four seconds left in regulation play. According to teammates, Steve gave his first-ever (by his own admission) “angry halftime speech”, which they credited as a reason for the win.
In his 2001-2002 season with the Tennessee Titans, McNair established a career best, throwing at least one touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games to end the regular season and became the first franchise quarterback since Warren Moon to pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season. He was also named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time of the season (and third of his career).
McNair started every game of the 2002-2003 season and led the Titans to ten victories in their last eleven games with a perfect 5-0 December record (without ever practicing due to a stretch of separate injuries—turf toe, strained ribs and back pain). He finished third in MVP voting behind Rich Gannon and Brett Favre and was named All-Pro by Sports Illustrated. November 10th (against Houston) he surpassed Warren Moon’s franchise record with 22 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass. He also became the 5th quarterback in NFL history to record at least 19,000 passing yards and 3,000 yards rushing on December 22 at Jacksonville. In an AFC Divisional Playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers (1/11/03), McNair passed for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns.
In 2003, McNair received much recognition in the football world, no doubt related to his 100.4 passer rating. He was named Associated Press’ co-MVP (shared with Peyton Manning), Sports Illustrated Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated All-Pro, second team Associated Press All-Pro, Football Digest second team All-Pro, captain of Howie Long’s Tough Guy Team, and Pro Bowl starter. He completed 250 of 400 pass attempts covering 3,215 yards, nailing 24 touchdowns, and suffering only 7 interceptions. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. He also led the Titans to a Wild Card Playoff Victory at Baltimore (1/3/04), particularly a 35-yard drive leading to a game-winning Gary Anderson field goal with 29 seconds remaining. He battled right calf and left ankle injuries early in the season as well as dislocating his right fourth finger against Indianapolis (9/14).
In 2004, McNair played and started in eight games, missing as many with an extremely unusual sternum injury which ultimately required an unorthodox surgery (December 28) to take a piece of bone from his hip and graft it into the gap of the sternum; synthetic bone was also placed to help fill in any open spaces. Steve was required to use a bone stimulator device to help speed the bone growth and recovery. He finished his 10th season with 72 wins becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in wins by a starting quarterback, surpassing Warren Moon’s previous record of 70 wins.
McNair returned to the Titans, playing 14 games in the 2005 season. The Titans then had the youngest and most inexperienced team in the NFL.
On April 30, 2006, the Titans gave permission for McNair and his agent, Bus Cook, to speak with the Baltimore Ravens. On June 7, 2006, the Titans and Ravens worked out a deal to send McNair to Baltimore in exchange for a 4th-round pick in the 2007 draft. The next day, McNair flew to Baltimore, passed a physical, and was announced the newest member of the Ravens—leaving most Titan fans heartbroken. The 2006 Raven season ended with McNair starting every game, missing only small portions of two games (Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns) due to minimal injuries. He led the Ravens to a 13-3 record and an AFC North Championship but later fell to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Playoffs.
The 2007 season for Steve and the Ravens started out on the wrong foot as Steve suffered an injury in the first game that limited his mobililty and lingered throughout the season. Steve later had to have surgery and ended the season on injured reserve.
07/10/2009 Steve McNair connected with high school players
07/09/2009 Arrangements for Steve McNair
07/08/2009 Reactions on Steve's passing from around the NFL
06/09/2009 Air McNair's 7 on 7 Passing Championship
11/01/2008 McNair Foundation donates $35,000
07/11/2008 Steve McNair Mississippi Football Camp
04/28/2008 Boys and Girls Club of Covington County Receives $1,000 Donation
04/17/2008 Steve McNair Retires
12/20/2007 Steve McNair and Castle Toyota Spreads Christmas Cheer
11/20/2007 Happy Thanksgiving from Steve McNair
11/20/2007 McNair Foundation Donates $10,000 in Thanksgiving Cheer
07/10/2007 McNair Feels Good About Coming Season
07/07/2007 Steve McNair returns to Alcorn for camp
06/13/2007 McNair Foundation Presents $5,000 donation to Ray Lewis Foundation
05/31/2007 Steve "Air" McNair 2007 Nashville Football Camp
04/13/2007 McNair Foundation donates $5,000 to Diane Greer Walker Scholarship Fund
03/29/2007 Former Titans QB Headlines Boys and Girls Club Dinner
11/12/2006 'Pops' McNair faces off against protégé Young
03/31/2006 McNair and Favre hand out $150,000 in Katrina Relief
02/13/2006 Eighth annual O'Charley's Dinner of Champions honor
11/25/2005 McNair Wins Titans' Walter Payton Man of the Year
11/21/2005 2005 Titans Man of the Year
09/02/2005 Mississippian McNair steps up Katrina relief effort
07/12/2005 McNair Foundation donates $75,000 to local charities
06/03/2004 McNair makes $30,000 donation to hometown Boys & Girls Club
12/30/2002 Titans QB Steve McNair Presents $7,500 Check To Bethlehem Center
McNair Wins Titans' Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
Steve McNair, pictured with head coach Jeff Fisher, teammate Jarrett Payton, and his wife, Mechelle.
NASHVILLE, TN, Nov. 21, 2005 – The Tennessee Titans announced today that quarterback Steve McNair has been named the 2005 Titans Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner. McNair is now a finalist for the league-wide 2005 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
This prestigious NFL award has been in existence since 1970 and is the only NFL award that honors players who demonstrate outstanding balance in their lives between civic and professional responsibilities.
In 1999, the NFL renamed the award after the late Walter Payton as a tribute to his greatness, both on and off the field. McNair was selected by a majority vote from his teammates, Titans staff, members of the news media and local non-profit & community executives for his dedicated community service.
“My community work is not about the awards, but I am very grateful for this,” said McNair. “I’m about helping families and through the work of my foundation I have the ability to influence a lot of young kids and adults. I want to help people that haven’t had the fair opportunity to be successful in life and then give them a chance of hope.”
Making today’s announcement even more meaningful was the fact that Walter Payton’s son Jarrett, currently a running back for the Titans, presented McNair the award named for his father.
“My mom (Connie Payton) told me presenting this award would make for a very special day,” Jarrett said. “It’s always special when someone can win an award like this. The meaning of the award is not only about being a football player but a person that’s a ‘real man’ who does great things off the field as well. It’s very exciting to have one of the guys on my team that’s so worthy of this award.”
McNair was equally excited to receive the award from Payton and spoke of the importance of setting the example for his younger teammates like Jarrett of getting involved in the community.
“As young guys come along, they don’t often realize how important it is to not only be successful on the football field but off the field as well,” McNair said. “I hope my work off the field will lead the younger guys towards doing things in the future like I’m doing now. The young guys have to realize how important it is to get out in the community to help those that are in need.”
Drew Bennett, Keith Bulluck, Erron Kinney and Peter Sirmon were finalists for the prestigious award. These players were named “Titans Community All-Stars” for their significant community service contributions.
“I continue to be very proud of all of the terrific charitable work done by Steve and all of our players,” said Titans Owner/President K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. “It is very important to my wife (Nancy) and me that everyone in the Titans organization accepts their responsibility to help improve the lives of those less fortunate.”
McNair has made a significant impact in Tennessee since the team’s arrival in 1997. Now in his 11th season with the Oilers/Titans franchise, he earned NFL MVP honors in 2003 and led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV. Today’s honor recognizes his MVP status off the field as well.
Steve and his wife Mechelle are active philanthropists in the Nashville community and founded the Steve McNair Foundation in 2000 to assist with causes dear to Steve and his family. Today. over 25 non-profit organizations throughout Tennessee and Mississippi have benefited from his foundation. McNair is devoted to serving underprivileged youth through programs focusing on inspiring and empowering today’s youth to utilize the educational and civic opportunities available to them. McNair also strongly believes in giving his personal time, energy and attention to many worthwhile endeavors.
McNair fields questions from reporters during his press conference Monday at Baptist Sports Park.
“Steve has been doing this for years and he really stepped up this year, not only with his Katrina Relief efforts, but all of the other great things he has done,” said Head Coach Jeff Fisher. “I know that Steve will accept this award on behalf of his teammates because his teammates have also done a lot of work in the community. This is not a race to see who wins the award, it’s basically very, very important to each and every one of them.”
As a former Bears teammate of Walter Payton, Fisher knows first-hand why this award is named for Payton.
“There is no better example of a professional on and off the field than Walter Payton,” Fisher continued. “His legacy will live forever. It will live not only through the Community Man of the Year Award, but through many other awards throughout the country. You just can’t think of any better player than Walter to serve as an example to today’s players and the players of the future!”
“This is very special because I was a great fan of Walter,” McNair added. “He showed his leadership throughout his career both on and off the field. Plus, he played at Jackson State, one of the biggest rivals I had in college (Alcorn State) and it’s incredibly rewarding to accept this award named after him.”
Most recently, McNair was personally impacted by Hurricane Katrina as his home and family are in Mississippi. McNair hosted a relief drive in the parking lot of Titans Coliseum to aid the victims on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and surrounding areas for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.
Steve’s foundation collected 20 semi-trucks full of supplies and $50,000 during the 12-hour relief drive. McNair then joined Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as NFL spokesmen for the Hurricane Relief Fund in partnership with the American Red Cross. To date, the Steve McNair Foundation has raised in excess of $250,000 for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund and has distributed approximately 500,000 pounds of supplies. A distribution center has been set up in the Waveland/Bay St. Louis, MS area for anyone needing supplies.
On November 16, McNair was also named the 2005 Philanthropist of the Year by the Nashville Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for efforts such as these. The AFP is an international organization working to advance philanthropy and mentor fundraising professionals.
Steve will be selecting 15 football programs that were affected by Hurricane Katrina to receive grants ranging between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 from The Steve McNair Foundation. These grants could also qualify for a matching grant from the National Football League Youth Football Fund.
High school football or youth football programs that were affected by Hurricane Katrina are invited to visit www.officialstevemcnair.comfor additional information on how to apply for these grants. DEADLINE FOR THESE GRANTS IS DECEMBER 15, 2005!
“Every year we have many, many players that make a significant contribution to a number of charities,” continued Fisher. “They do it without the intention of getting personal recognition and that is what Steve and his teammates are all about.”
McNair will now compete with the other 31 NFL team winners for the prestigious Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year Award where the winner will be honored during the Super Bowl in Detroit. The inaugural winner of the NFL Man of the Year Award was legendary Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas in 1970. Warren Moon is the only player in Oilers/Titans franchise history to win the overall NFL award as a member of the Houston Oilers in 1989.
“The NFL and it’s players are committed to strengthening the social fabric of communities nationwide through public service,” said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. “From NFL Charities to the NFL/United Way partnership to our youth football initiatives, the NFL works to support those in need through a myriad of philanthropic activities.”
WALTER PAYTON NFL Man of Year Award
The award is named after legendary Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, who died in 1999 of liver cancer.
Winners of the award include 13 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and also some of the greatest names in NFL history.