I feel sorry for Mechelle. To be sure, there are many who are hurt by the tragic news of Steve McNair's death over the weekend here in Nashville. Fans, teammates and other family members were caught by surprise with the breaking news this past Saturday. But my heart really goes out to Steve's wife, Mechelle.
And it's for more than the reasons you might expect. Time after time, report after report, I have watched with interest as interviews talked about Steve's life. There is no doubt that he was one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. There is no doubt that he was a wonderful leader and teammate for all of the Tennessee Titans. And you cannot argue that he had a significant impact on many lives through his foundation, his restaurant and other services to the community.
But why does it seem that everyone is avoiding the obvious fact that Steve was in a place where he shouldn't have been with a woman he shouldn't have been with? Why do interviewees want to change the subject when this is mentioned (particularly people here in Tennessee. Media from other locales seem to be more willing to discuss it.)?
Let's be clear. Steve's death is sad. So is the death of the young twenty year old mistress. But Mechelle was at home being a mother to the children as she had been all along. Steve's death happened because Steve was not where he should have been. Steve made some very poor choices...and this wasn't the first time. So, while we definitely should honor the contributions and the life of a man who did much, let's not miss the chance to learn lessons like this: it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. No matter what your contributions may be to this world, good works can never outweigh a pattern of really poor choices.
Now, Mechelle and her children will have to live a life in the shadow of that legacy. Let Steve's life teach us all important lessons.