Saturday, February 4, 2017
LORMAN, Mississippi -- The pain is still there for Fred McNair.
As he prepares to celebrate his first anniversary as Alcorn State University’s head football coach, the original Air McNair often thinks about his late younger brother Steve, who adopted the nickname and soared to an impressive collegiate and NFL career.
Steve “Air II” McNair was a legendary quarterback at Alcorn State. In 1994 pro scouts routinely came to Lorman, Mississippi, to see him perform at the small Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) school. He was a running and throwing talent who would finish third in the Heisman Trophy voting.
“People forget that I’m the original Air McNair,” quipped Fred, who is five years older than Steve. “He followed me and he took off. I’m very proud of what he was able to accomplish. Some people mistakenly called me Steve. In fact, some still call me Steve. It’s always been that way and I guess it will continue. I’m OK with it.”
On July 4, 2009, Steve McNair was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in a Nashville, Tennessee, condominium he rented. He was found next to the body of a young woman, Sahel “Jenni” Kazemi, with whom he was involved in a relationship. The case was ruled as a murder-suicide.