You've probably heard the news that Steve McNair is retiring by now, and if you've been a Steelers fan over the past 10 or 11 years, you might have gotten a small grin across your face. I'm in no means glad that a player's career has come to an end, especially in the injury plagued way that McNair's career has. McNair was a 13 year veteran of the National Football League and I'll never forget watching Titan's games only to hear most of the broadcast center around the various injuries that McNair was playing through.
McNair was the co-MVP of the league in 2003 and led the Titans to 4 postseason appearances, including one Super Bowl appearance in 1999-2000. In Baltimore, after most had written him off, he led the Ravens to their best season in franchise history in 2006, posting a 13-3 record and leading the Ravens to the AFC's #2 seed. He's one of only three quarterbacks in the history of the NFL who have thrown for over 30,000 yards and ran for more than 3,500. The other two quarterbacks, Steve Young and Fran Tarkenton, are both members of the Hall of Fame. McNair will ultimately be remembered as an ultimate competitor and ambassador for the league, as well as a mentor and role model to many of the young African-American Quarterbacks trying to establishe themselves in the league today.
As a Raven, McNair was impossible to root for, but
after detaching myself from those feelings of animosity
to all things Ravens, it's easy to realize the NFL has lost
one of the greats from the past decade.
One thing you may also be familiar with was just how hard it was for the Steelers to beat McNair. Despite playing on teams that finished with a winning record only 4 times during his 9 years as a starter in Tennesse, McNair posted a 9-4 record against the Steelers and added another 2-1 record while with the Ravens. In those 16 games he posted a QB rating over 100 six times which is pretty amazing for a quarterback with a career QB rating of just under 83. He also threw 21 touchdowns (and added another three rushing) and 14 interceptions over that time.
McNair may not be the ultimate Steelers nemesis but he has definitely been a headache for Steelers defenders for the past 13 seasons. Congratulations to him on a long, productive career and best of luck in his next endeavor. The NFL has lost one of its great players of the past decade. So any fond or unfond memories of McNair against Pittsburgh?