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Vandermeer's View: Remembering a Houston legend

Bob McNair is no longer with us. It’s so sad to lose someone who made so many people happy. And I’m not just talking about through the Texans.

Bob gave. A lot.

About a half billion dollars have been donated to charitable causes by Bob and Janice McNair and the entire McNair family. This was important to him because he cared very deeply about his community and his country.

Bob McNair is the most positive person I have ever met. I once asked him how and why he is this way and he simply said “I don’t know of too many negative people who are successful, do you?”

So simply put and so true. You don’t get to the level of success he achieved by being bogged down in negativity.

Another one of my favorites of his was “You can’t go wrong doing what’s right.” That was a drop-the-mic kind of statement that always stuck with me. In fact, it’s been recently emblazoned on the wall of one of the conference rooms here at NRG Stadium.

“You can’t go wrong doing what’s right.” Robert C. McNair

Without him, we wouldn’t have the NFL here in Houston. It’s hard to imagine how what is now known as NRG Park would look if the Texans were never formed. We certainly wouldn’t have had two Super Bowls in a 13-year span. And even the Final Fours - forget about those.

The economic impact of what Bob McNair’s commitment to bring the NFL to Houston is gargantuan. But the emotional and psychological impact is even greater. The Texans are a Houston passion. Every game is sold out. Every performance produces reactions that fill hours of sports talk, dinner conversation, water cooler banter and social media posts that consume our lives.

The Texans go beyond entertainment. They are a way of life for so many. It’s heartbreaking that the founder will not be here to see the team’s first championship. He wanted, so badly, to bring joy to the city and the region.

And he did. It’s in the team’s mission statement to not only strive for championships but to ‘do great things for Houston.’

None of that happens without McNair fighting to get the NFL back here. The quest to beat Los Angeles in a late 90s campaign for the league’s 32nd franchise is legendary. The league had obvious reasons for wanting to get back into L.A.

McNair would not be denied. He loved Houston and knew that the fans would embrace the team. He continuously went back to the league, putting up a record $700 million to bring professional football back to our city.

This is how he’ll be remembered the most. But the story is incomplete without talking about all the giving, all the lives he touched and changed through his extreme generosity.

God Bless you, Mr. McNair.

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