In the wake of the Tennessee Titans’ painful loss to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, Steve McNair sat in front of his locker in a quiet room of the Georgia Dome, and he cried.
“So close,” McNair said of the championship game’s final play, when Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson was stopped by Rams linebacker Mike Jones 1 yard shy of the end zone and a tying score. “It was so very close.”
I was a sports reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time, covering the first title game ever played in my adopted hometown. And what I recall foremost about that game and the minutes immediately after it, more than Dyson’s almost-touchdown or the dynamic 73-yard reception by Isaac Bruce for the contest’s winning score, is the glint of tears in Steve McNair’s eyes that day.