Together Forever: George and McNair

By Anna Glenn Grove and Christian Kaposy

Any time the Colts and Titans meet, it is a big deal. On September 15th, the matchup between the two AFC South rivals will mean even more.

Tuesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park it was announced that Steve McNair, No. 9, and Eddie George, No. 27, will have their jerseys retired in a ceremony at the Titans home opener against the Indianapolis Colts.  

“This is the highest honor we can bestow upon a Titans player and both of them are deserving for their significant contributions to our franchise,” controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said.

The two will become the 152nd and 153rd to have their jerseys retired in the history of the NFL. They are also the first No. 9 and No. 27 to be retired.

Eddie George and Steve McNair were inducted into the Titans Ring of Honor back in 2008. The memorial is in Nissan Stadium and Strunk said there are plans in the works to revamp it.

“We’re going to update it and you are going to see a new look,” Strunk said.

McNair played 11 seasons with the Titans and is the franchise’s all-time leader in wins. The 2003 co-MVP ranks second in franchise history in completions, completion percentage, and passer rating. After his 13 year NFL career, McNair is one of three quarterbacks to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 3,500 yards.  

“My family and I thank the Titans community and all his fans for all the love and support you have shown us over the years,” McNair’s wife Michelle McNair said. Steve would be truly honored to know he was held in such high esteem by you. It is a tangible reminder for me and the boys to know that No. 9 will forever be held in the highest regard in the Titans nation.”

George was named Tennessee’s all-time leading rusher after spending eight seasons with the franchise. He finished with 10,009 yards in his time as a Titan and ended his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. Some of George’s other accomplishments include four Pro Bowl selections, AP All-Pro honors in 2000 and the AP Rookie of the Year award in 1996.

George was able to attend the ceremony this afternoon along with his wife and two boys.

“I really did not have a chance to say goodbye to the game of football the way I wanted to,” George said. “To have [my jersey] retired with my partner in crime Steve McNair means a lot.”

George and McNair had 80 wins and four playoff seasons together, an AFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance in 1999 as well as the league’s best record in 2000.

“We were always linked at the hip during our playing careers,” George said. “We’ve been through a lot of wars together both on and off the football field.”

George said if he was going to have his jersey retired, it had to be with McNair.

Strunk said this moment of retiring the jerseys is big for her as well, due to her love for the two and her dad’s love for them.

“It’s truly a family here with the Tennessee Titans,” George said. “That logo means a lot, not just about football, it’s a family.”

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