It’s perhaps fitting that after a full-court press that detailed every grisly, sordid detail of the man’s life, This Week In Steve McNair Coverage will wind down on a more uplifting note. Specifically, the thousands of fans who turned out in Nashville outside of a funeral home to pay tribute to the ex-Titans star, who was gunned down, police say, in a murder-suicide by girlfriend Sahel Kazemi.
There was plenty of pomp and circumstance this afternoon, and also traffic jams and TV helicopters, during the first of two planned events. After the visitation, a memorial service will be held tonight at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Titans owner Bud Adams and Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen are expected to attend. Former teammate Derrick Mason and Titans coach Jeff Fisher are scheduled to speak.
Fans signed remembrance books at the church, and many were inconsolable:
Jean Ryan got in line nearly two hours before doors opened at Mount Zion Baptist Church for a three-hour visitation to say goodbye to the man she had followed since the NFL team moved to town in 1997.
“I love him, and he was a beautiful man and I will remember not the circumstances of his death but the great things he did for the Titans and the community,” she said, wearing a Titans’ pin and crying at what she called the “utter sadness.”