Who is the face of the Tennessee Titans? At this point in time, no one could say it is a member of the current team, but if you ask anyone about the Titans, two names always come to mind: Steve McNair and Eddie George. The Titans honored the team’s most popular players by announcing the retiring of their numbers, 9 and 27, for no one to wear ever again.
The jerseys will officially be retired in a ceremony on Sept. 15th, which will be the home opener for the Titans against the Indianapolis Colts. Both men were giants on the football field, and they were well-known off it, being visible and helping the community.
At the press conference held at Saint Thomas Sports Park, Eddie George seemed to be most happy about the guy he was going to have his number retired with.
“To have it retired with my partner in crime, Steve McNair, it means a lot. We were always joined at the hip during our playing careers. We’ve been through a lot of wars together on and off the football field. To go down to this day, to have our jerseys retired on the same day is huge.”
George would also mention that 2 plus 7 equals 9 and that is was totally appropriate they would get their numbers retired together.
McNair’s widow, Mechelle McNair, delivered a statement via Titans play-by-play man Mike Keith: “Retiring his jersey is a really big deal to us. 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.”
Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk was feeling the emotions when she spoke on George and McNair Wednesday.
“This is a big moment for me personally because I love these guys and I know my dad loved these guys. And he would be so happy and proud that we are honoring them today. This is the highest honor we can bestow on a player and both of them are deserving for their significant contributions to the franchise.”
McNair holds the record for most wins as starter for the Titans as well as is second all-time on the Titans passing yardage list in his eleven years here as a Titans. George, who played for the organization for eight seasons, still holds the all-time yardage and yards from scrimmage records for the Titans organization.
George and McNair’s numbers, 9 and 27, hold the distinction of being the first time those numbers have been retired by any organization. They are the sixth member of the Titans and Oilers organization to have their numbers retired, but they are the second and third to have their numbers retired who were actually members of the team when they came to Nashville, joining Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews.
For the Titans, the words “About time” seem appropriate for McNair and George’s jerseys being retired.