Steve McNair: Most Valuable Player, Most Valuable MAN

Francis ParkmanContributor IJuly 6, 2009

The phrase "leader by example" is tossed around lightly in the sports world, but no one is more deserving of every letter of that phrase than Steve McNair.

As a kid growing up and being a fan of the Titans, I learned a lot of life lessons by just watching his style of play from the quarterback position.

He taught me to never give in when failure is looking you straight in the face, even if you don't feel that you can fight anymore. He taught me how to be humble after every victory and defeat, no matter how big or small. Despite my mom and dad's many attempts to teach me this, it was the crafty quarterback from Alcorn State that taught me respect for all things, no matter how minuscule or intimidating.

It is very rare that an athlete can change the personality of friends, family and communities. Steve was one of those athletes.

Although his stats may not warrant induction into the Hall of Fame, his style of play and his sheer will to win should get him in. People a generation older than me reminisce of John Elway and "The Drive."

Steve McNair was my John Elway.

Every team that goes on an inspiring game-winning drive with a quarterback that has played lights out all game and is literally running on fumes will remind me, and hopefully all of you, of Steve McNair.

My heart goes out to his friends and family, and I mourn the loss with all Titans fans.

Rest In Peace Steve McNair.