Analysis: All athletes should learn a lesson from the McNair tragedy

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Of all the athletes that would meet with a violent end, Steve McNair was the most unlikely. He was 2005 NFL Man of the Year, a respected family man and one of the most beloved players ever to have had a pro career. Even so, he met with a violent and premature death. We all morn the loss of McNair.

At this point, it is not totally clear exactly what happened. But it should raise a red flag to every athlete and every parent of an athlete. The lesson is this—your friends can be more dangerous than your enemies. They are closer to you more often than your enemies and will use your feelings for them to take advantage of you.

Every year the NFL holds a symposium for the drafted rookie players. Both current and retired players tell the newbies about the dangers that face all professional athletes. Some friends just want tickets—OK probably a lot of tickets to games. But other friends will tell athletes that they should never forget where they came from.

Part of remembering where they came from is the habits that their friends have. Those habits may have cost Pacman Jones and Donte Stallworth their careers. It was a cousin of Mike Vick that put him behind bars for 2 years and probably cost him his career.

Most young men have no fear. They never consider the dangers to which their friends subject them. Athletes have even a bigger ego and feeling of indestructibility. From the time of little league, they have been told they are special. They collect hangers on that want to stand in the light that is reflected off of a star athlete. They also want a chance at the money that he can earn.

If you are the parent of a young athlete use the tragedy of Steve McNair to explain the dangers of friends. The future you save will be that of your son or daughter.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Football,McNair,Titans,Vick,Jones,Stallworth


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4 Responses to “Analysis: All athletes should learn a lesson from the McNair tragedy”


  1. Acai Burn
    on Jul 6th, 2009
    @ 10:12 am

    Men should avoid dating young woman that are unstable, especially when they are old and married.
    .-= Acai Burn´s last blog ..June 2009 Acai Berry Free Trial Offers =-.

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  2. UPrinting
    on Jul 7th, 2009
    @ 1:38 am

    I’m not really an NFL fan and I don’t know the impact Steve McNair left among NFL fans. However, I really feel sad that a man like him has to die that way. He has not raped a girl nor trained dogs to fight, yet he died horribly. I just wish that he may rest in peace.
    .-= UPrinting´s last blog ..Joshua B. (5.0/5) on Yelp =-.

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  3. Womens Bodybuilding
    on Jul 7th, 2009
    @ 3:53 pm

    It is amazing how this can happen to someone like this. You gotta watch out with who you’re dating and the people you let into your life. You’d like to think that most people are sane, but we typically see people we know do stupid or crazy things and we just ignore it.

    A lesson.
    .-= Womens Bodybuilding´s last blog ..Federal Gov Grants =-.

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  4. no fax payday loans
    on Jul 15th, 2009
    @ 6:04 pm

    Wow, your article is SO SO true. I hope EVERYONE could learn a lesson from his death. Not just other athletes. But i agree, they need to be extra careful. Thanks for the post.

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