HOUSTON – Robert "Bob" McNair, the billionaire founder and owner of Houston Texans, died. He was 81 years old.
One of the most influential NFL owners, McNair fought for leukemia and squamous cell carcinoma in recent years, before he died in Houston on Friday. The team did not immediately cause the cause of death, but said that he died peacefully with his wife Janica and his family.
"He was a very caring, thoughtful and passionate individual," said Coach Bill O'Brien in a statement. "As much as he cares about winning, I think he will remember the most about Mr. McNair as he cares about the players."
When Houston lost Oilers to Tennessee after the 1996 season, McNair made his mission to return the NFL to the city. He was formed by Houston NFL Holdings in 1998, and on October 6, 1999 he won the 32nd NFL franchise. Texans started playing in 2002.
"It was the reason why professional football returned to Houston and he (our) found our laser-focused franchise on honesty, integrity and high character," said Jamei Rootes team president. "He was an incredible champion for Houston and worked hard to make our city gain maximum value from the presence of Texas and NFL."
Strong strength in the NFL, McNair was Chairman of the League Finance Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.
In August 2014, he spoke openly about his cancer fight, and highlighted many of the procedures and treatments he had survived to recover.
"In the past, if you mentioned cancer, people thought it was a death sentence," McKayer said at the time. "It's just not the case."
Then he discovered that he has been dealing with skin cancer for about 20 years.
He also stressed that he will remain in charge of the team, but will work to transfer responsibilities to other members of his staff.
"We are extremely capable," McNair said. "I will continue to be the director and continue to do everything I can to build a winning football team, that's what we all are. We got this second battle, and now we have to win the battle of football.
"I'm going to all the games and I plan to continue with it," added McNair. "I think I will enjoy more and leave it to other people in the organization to take care of more. I will overcome the worry and enjoy."
He continued to attend many games after that exposure, and he often saw himself in practice under the shadow of a golf cart or talked to various staff around the building.
"For almost two decades as the owner of the NFL, Bob McNair has left a lasting sign in his city and our league," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. His leadership and determination led the NFL back to Houston, built a magnificent stadium hosted by two Super Bowls, and his beloved Tekansi are in the middle of another successful season and re-run for post-season.
"He took care of the league for a long time, and he was generous with his time and his willingness to share his insights as an extraordinary businessman, but above all, Bob was a family man, and I genuinely sympathize with Janice, their family, Tekans and the whole community of Houston."
After several tough years of construction as an expansion team, Texans won their first AFC South and the first legendary season in 2011. They also won the title of the division a year later when they entered the best place on the franchise of 12-4. Both of them lost in the divisional round of plaioffs.
McNair decided to delay longtime friend and trainer Geri Kubiak later in the following season, while Tekansi Tin at 2-14, linking the franchise record for losses. He hired O'Brien in 2014, and the team improved to 9-7 in the first year, but missed the post-season. Houston scored the same record in 2015, but this time in the weak AFC South was enough to reach the post-season for the third time. This season ended with an unpleasant loss of 30-0 in Kansas City.
In March 2016, McNair shone as he sat next to the quota Brock Osveiler on the day the team met him in Houston and seemed unsuccessful for an incredible $ 72 million, a four-year contract that gave Osvajder a draw from Denver.
"We just want to improve every day," said McNair. "Surely this is the day when we are much better."
Not really. Oswiler fought and his name was added to the long list of quarters that could not help the owner to get the title he so longed for. Oswaler was sheltered in the 2016 season before he returned his job (through a violation of his replacement) in time for the payoff. However, he threw three interruptions in loss to New England in the division circuit, and Houston saw enough and sent him to Cleveland a few months later.
Tekans was created by Deshaun Vatson in the first round of 2017, which replaced Osveilera, but he sustained a knee injury during the year when the star was defended by J.J. Wad also missed most of the season with a broken leg. Houston went 4-12 in the last full season that McNair saw.
McNair encountered a fire in 2017 when he said "we can not imprisoned prisoners" during a meeting of the NFL owners about players who are protesting for social and racial injustice kneeling during the national anthem. McNair released two apologies after the objections became public, calling it "very sorry for comment".
In response, almost all Tekensi kneeled during the anthem before their game against Seahawks on October 29, 2017, after no one in the team kneel before.
McNair was born in Tampa, and graduated in 1958 in South Carolina with a degree in science. He received a Honorary Doctor of Humanities from South Carolina in 1999, and in 2010 he received a Honorary Doctor of Humanistic Science from Medicine Medicine at the Bailor College of Medicine.
He and Janice moved to Houston in 1960 and earned their fortune as the founder of Cogen Technologies, a power company that in 1999 sold to Enron for $ 1.5 billion.
The pair is dedicated to love in the city, and was also president of the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, Robert & Janice McNair Education Foundation in Forest City, North Carolina and the Houston Tekans Foundation. Through these efforts, McNairs has provided more than $ 500 million to science, religious, educational and literary organizations.
He also founded AdvoCare Tekas Bovl, which provided more than $ 700,000 of DePelchin's Children's Center in Houston.
Together with his wife, McNair survived four children, 15 grandchildren and two grandchildren.
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