NASHVILLE – Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk announced this week the team plans to retire the jersey numbers of two of the franchise’s all-time greats – quarterback Steve McNair and Eddie George.
McNair’s No.9 jersey and George’s No. 27 jersey will be retired in a ceremony during the Sept. 15 home opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
After the news, Titans fans shared some of their memories on the players for this weekend’s Titans mailbag …
Carol Hastings from Thompson’s Station, Tennessee
My fondest memory of #9.. my youngest was around 9 or 10 and Steve hosted a charity Bball game at Belmont. My son was so shy to say anything to Steve.. he stood behind the bench for almost 30 minutes waiting to see if Steve would notice him. Finally steve did and grabbed him, hugged him and signed his hat. My 21 yr old still has “all things #9 shrine in his room.
Ethan Jordan from Ontario, Canada
Hey Jim! First time writer, long time reader. With Steve McNair number getting retired this upcoming season, I thought I'd share a bit about the impact that he had on me. I was 9 years old when I first saw him play, in my own first year of playing football. When I saw Steve's heart and resilience displayed on the field as he played through injury after injury, I found someone that I could idolize. A true team player who put his body on the line week in and week out... He was a true Titan, setting the groundwork for what we expect from everyone in the organization. Steve and Eddie were the best Titans, and I'm eternally grateful that Amy and Co. are retiring their numbers. Much love to the team, and I hope you're doing well as well, Jim. #TitanUpForLife
Albert Gardner from Flower Mound, Texas
My favorite moment from Eddie's playing career was basically all the games against the Ravens. To see him go toe to toe with Ray Lewis was truly special. He never once backed down to him. What a warrior!
My favorite moment of Steve's career was that last drive in the Super Bowl. I know they lost the game but the heart, determination, and the desire to will his team to a victory was unlike anything I've ever seen from a player. Had Dyson just got in the end zone or if they had a timeout, I truly believe they would have won that day.
Eddie George and Steve McNair were the heart and soul of the Titans. They put everything they had into every play. They will always have a special place in my heart.
Please tell Mrs Strunk thank you for everything she's doing as well. She's creating a buzz for Nashville and Titans Nation and you don't see many owners get involved like she is. To see her decide to retire Eddie/Steve's numbers is just awesome. It was long over due. These two guys are the heart and soul of what Titans Nation was built on. I commend her for getting it done!
Sean Barker from Wellington, New Zealand
Hey Jim. For me McNair and his almost knee down final drive performance in the Super Bowl will always be the defining moment of the Titans. In this sequence, it encompassed all the stress, hard work and motivation needed to bring the team to Nashville, and then develop its heart, identity, and spirit.
Anthony Carchi from Austin, Texas
My memories of Steve McNair and Eddie George: My best memories are when I met them as a kid. The first time I met both of them was in the Lowe’s hotel I think it’s called where they would stay the night before home games. I’d wait in the lobby and try to get autographs. I was sitting on the stairs one time, waiting and was about to leave. And then my mom pointed out McNair was leaving out the front lobby. I sprinted over, weaved my way through the adults and got to meet the legend. He had a broken finger so he couldn’t sign anything, but my mom took a picture of him and I when I was showing him I was wearing his jersey. During another season, I ended up getting his signature on a mini helmet. For Eddie George, he was coming out of the restaurant of the hotel and I instantly walked up to him and asked for a picture and autograph. He also invited my mom and I to his restaurant and I got to meet him again after a game. He also signed the mini helmet. Now my most priced possession will be a mini helmet with Eddie George and Steve McNair’s autograph. They will forever be my favorite Titans.
Andrew Clouse from Edmond Oklahoma
As for memories with Steve and Eddie, my little brother and I grew up Titans fans in Washington state, so the summer our parents took us to Nashville to watch the Titans practice seemed like a miracle. The first day, McNair was on autograph duty and we watched him sign autographs until everyone got one, well after practice had ended. So many of us kids revered him - and it felt like he really understood how important it was to honor that.
The next day one of the security team found out how many miles we traveled and made us honorary VIPs. We expected to meet some of the players, but when Steve and Eddie came over together! WOW. We got to talk about our favorite plays from the year before (2001) and goals for the new season. Almost two decades years later and I still can't believe how down to earth and thoughtful they were to give us that experience. They may have never won a Super Bowl but they sure contributed to our love for Titan Football which has endured to this day.
Have a great weekend everyone!
A first-round pick (3rd overall) by the Houston Oilers in the 1995 NFL Draft, Steve McNair led the Titans to the playoffs four times, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV, while passing for 27,141 yards and 156 TDs in 11 seasons with the franchise. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP, Mike Mu)
A first-round pick (14th overall) by the Houston Oilers in the 1996 NFL Draft, Eddie George became only the second NFL running back to rush for 10,000 yards, while never missing a start, as Tennessee's starter through 2003. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
The Tennessee Titans announce they are retiring the jersey numbers of franchise legends Eddie George and Steve McNair. (Photos: Donald Page)