Monday, July 20, 2009

The Hero of Turnberry: Watson’s Meltdown Won't Eclipse His Achievement

Subbing for Tony Kornheiser Friday on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” veteran sportswriter Bob Ryan averred that if 59-year-old Tom Watson were to win the British Open it would be bad for the game of golf.

Watson’s too old, Ryan said, asserting his belief that old guys don’t make great achievements in other sports—because their juniors are younger, stronger, better—and if Watson outclassed the field at Turnberry it would expose the current crop of competitors as weak sisters. (Presumably that would include Tiger Woods, who missed the cut altogether.)

Ryan’s co-host Dan Le Batard, subbing for Michael Wilbon, chimed in, with some wonder, that you never see 59-year-old’s tossing no-hitters or winning Super Bowls at quarterback, and Ryan jumped on that quickly. “Precisely,” he said. “Which is why it’s not good for golf if Watson wins.”

Ryan, an old fart himself—Should he not win any sportswriting awards at his age?—possibly had a point of some kind. And maybe the fact that Watson was, at the end, challenging the likes of Stewart Cink, Lee Westwood and Matthew Goggin for the Claret Jug was an indicator of golf’s low-ebb talent pool.

Well, Ryan got his wish, and Cink—a good but not elite player—finally won a major, besting Watson in a four-hole playoff in which the senior legend truly looked like an old man, devoid of the strength and stamina we normally expect of champions.

But until his meltdown on the 18th hole in regulation play—his unfortunate, gut-wrenching bogey forced a tie with Cink—Watson was the man. True, his opponents were variously blowing their opportunities to one-up him, but that, of course, wasn’t Watson’s fault. He played consistently good golf for four days, and his experience on the Turnberry course played to his advantage. (We might also mention that Watson—only nine months removed from hip replacement surgery—hit a 297-yard tee shot at one point during the tournament, proving that he can still swing the big clubs with remarkable vigor for a man his age.)

It was very sad that Watson blew his chance. A simple, straight-ahead par on 18 in regulation was all he needed to win the tourney outright. His tee shot was good. His second shot was flawed—ironically, the old man hit it too hard—but after bouncing impressively on the green, the ball kept rolling, beyond the hole and off the green, down a short ridge and into the short rough. Yet even then, Watson was in a very do-able position.

Only the gods of golf might explain what happened next. Instead of chipping the ball back onto the green, hopefully into position for a short par putt, Watson chose his putter, hoping to scoot the ball up the low rise. It was a safety-first kind of move, the sort of thing Watson had been successfully doing all week.

Much will be made of the par putt that Watson eventually blew, but that third shot was the key. Pushing the ball uphill with his putter, Watson struck the ball too hard and also miscalculated the grain of the green, the ball whizzing well past, and significantly to the left of, the hole.

When the finesse he had exhibited all week was demanded most—Where was the short, artful chip that might’ve positioned the ball for a winning gimme par putt?—Watson glitched. Of course, even then he still might’ve holed the 8-foot putt, but that was, also surprisingly, a very lame effort—and anyone watching the tourney knew that the veteran had little chance versus the younger, bigger, more vigorous Cink in a playoff.

Watson’s failure eventually has made it tough for the rest of us to put his achievement into perspective. To be one stroke away from winning the British Open at the age of 59 is simply phenomenal. Even in defeat, it remains historic. Watson proved that a veteran craftsman can eclipse the young turks if the circumstances are right, and he certainly struck a blow for older golfers everywhere, Bob Ryan be damned. (Keep on grinding, one hole at a time, fellas.)

Someday, Tiger Woods will be 59. He’ll be hard-pressed to equal Watson’s feat. In fact, he may never come that close at a much younger age.

Stewart Cink may have won the 2009 British Open, but Tom Watson was the hero of Turnberry. He came just close enough to touch golf’s Mount Olympus and inspire us all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Best Baseball City in America Is...Not New York

On the heels of last night's All-Star Game in St. Louis, we have to call your attention to the so-called worldwide leader, ESPN, which did one of its lame-ass polls the other day, determining what was the "best" baseball city in the U.S. Wow, what a surprise! New York came out on top! With Los Angeles second, and Chicago third. Funny how those are the three most populous cities.

Complete balderdash. I have to nominate St. Louis. It's heartland, the team dating back to the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1882, morphing into the Cards in 1900. They're always competitive in St. Louis—haven't had a completely embarrassing team since 1908 (49-105)—and, last night, rolling out former players Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Bruce Sutter, Red Schoendienst, and the incredibly great Stan Musial was the clincher.

The Yankees, BTW, only go back to 1901, but then they were the Baltimore Orioles. The original Yankees were a carpetbagger team!! They didn't actually become the Yankees until 1913.

Now, the Cubs go back to 1876 as the White Stockings, morphed into the Colts, morphed into the Orphans (!!), then became the Cubs in 1903. Alas, the Cubs don't have a winning tradition, but the Cardinals definitely do.

St. Louis is the best baseball town in America. The city itself has a population of only about 400,000, but a Metro area pop. of 2.8 million. New York, on the other hand, has a city pop. of 8M, with a Metro area pop. of 19M!

In 2008, the Yankees drew 4.3M fans. The Mets 4M. The Dodgers 3.7M. Who was 4th? The Cardinals, with 3.4M, outdrawing the Phillies, Angels, Cubs, Tigers and Red Sox, plus much larger cities like Houston and Atlanta.

It's a no-brainer. Per capita, St. Louis rules the baseball world. But no, ESPN runs their stupid poll and every douchebag in NY probably voted.

Never believe what you see. Always look further.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Judge Not...?

The dust seems to have settled on the Steve McNair affair. In the brief span of 10 days, the former NFL great was shot dead, oft-eulogized, and then buried in the ground in Mississippi. And, in what appears to be an open-and-shut police case, the whys and wherefores of McNair’s demise have been neatly summarized and accepted as fact.

If you’d asked me 11 days ago what I thought of McNair, I’d’ve told you that, with the exception of watching Walter Payton during my years in Chicago, McNair was the most exciting football player I’d ever followed on a local fan basis. Since 1999, when I moved to Music City, watching McNair quarterback the Titans was a thrilling experience. His feats of derring-do, if not always bringing victory, certainly roused the childlike fan in me, easily propelling me off the couch with uncontrollable zeal and a pumped fist, and evoking spontaneous whoops of joy—even when there was no one else there to share the moment with.

So Steve McNair was my hero, as he was to many, many others. On the field.

The off-the-field McNair has been touted as an upbeat fellow, modest, generous-minded, and a man who, in the common parlance of athlete-speak, gave back to his community. Or, as one newspaper account put it, had a “charming personality and charitable nature.”

In the absence of other hard data, McNair’s giving seems to have come in the form of making public appearances (Kiwanis Club, United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, etc.) and running football camps. Fine things all.

But we’re not really talking about Mother Teresa here. McNair’s public appearances for causes are pretty typical for wealthy, popular, high-profile athletes who only work at their real jobs for about six months of the year.

Unfortunately, what is also known about McNair is that he tended to get mixed up in DUIs—either his own or friends’—that he liked hanging out in bars and that he carried a gun. In the wake of his murder, and as details of his relationship with Sahel Kazemi came to light, we also learned about the McNair who publicly, even if not necessarily carelessly, cheated on his wife. Further anecdotal evidence has also pointed to the fact that he may have been cheating on the mistress who eventually killed him. So we’d be plain old naive to believe that there weren’t other “side brawds” involved with this married father of four.

But, hey, Steve was a guy so full of life that he wanted to spread the love around. That’s cool, especially to those folks who easily accept—or expect—that that’s what virile men do. And truly, if this whole tawdry sequence of events had never happened, McNair would remain a hero, and blissful ignorance would be ours.

Unfortunately, McNair’s risky private life became nth-degree public, and we learned he was no saint. Which is probably why I didn’t really know what to make of the eulogy of Pastor Joseph W. Walker III, of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, at the McNair memorial service in Nashville on July 9.

Walker’s somber speechifying included this: "Drop your stone the next time you write about Steve McNair. Drop your stone the next time you text somebody. Drop your stone the next time you Twitter. Drop your stone, those of you in the barbershops, the beauty shops. Those of you walking the streets on the corner, drop your stone."

The reference here apparently is to the biblical admonition, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...” (With some irony, we note that the online Urban Dictionary defines “drop a stone” as ”Verb. An action you take to relieve yourself of a great pressure in your abdomen.”)

I guess it’s weird enough that a man of the cloth finds it necessary to include references to text-messaging and Twitter in a very public and formal eulogy. (It’s come to that, I suppose.) But Rev. Walker seems to have missed a golden opportunity to weigh in on the wages of sin and the importance of family men sticking to their families.

I wouldn’t guess that Walker condones McNair’s “playa” lifestyle, but if a man of the pastor’s station doesn’t set us straight on things like that, who will? Are there no standards for Christian and/or moral behavior? And if there are, who will remind us of those standards if not the high-profile leader of a large flock of Christians? Do we all get a clerical pass based on “the first stone”?

McNair’s actions leading up to his shocking murder do not bespeak a man of admirable character. It’s sad, but that’s simply the truth. He still played awesome football, and if folks with tunnel-vision want to hike on over to LP Field and celebrate McNair’s life by watching highlights of his pro career on the Jumbo-Tron, then that’s great. Otherwise, now he just looks like another high-living, grossly overpaid, irresponsible jock.

Too bad Rev. Walker didn’t reach for a little Shakespeare for his remarks. He could’ve quoted Hamlet’s line to his good friend Horatio:

“Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.” 

Officially, I’d very much like to know Rev. Walker’s stance re: McNair. If it’s simply “Judge not lest ye be judged,” then it’s open season for us all—to do as we wish without any moral obligations to others. And that seems troubling.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

All-Star Break Offers Nats Respite from Futility

[Editor's note: Approximately 16 hours after this story was posted, Manny Acta was fired as manager of the Washington Nationals. Jim Riggleman was appointed interim manager.]

"It's at the point where it's just embarrassing for us," Washington Nationals relief pitcher Joe Beimel reportedly said this past Friday night. "I think everyone in the clubhouse should be embarrassed about the way we play and just the way we lose games.”

He’s right. Now 26-61 heading into the All-Star break, the Nats are on pace to post a 48-114 record this year. Things are getting downright Metsian in the Nation’s Capital.

In their first four seasons—1962-65—the New York Mets won, respectively, 40, 51, 53 and 50 games. The '62 Mets—dubbed Amazin’ by manager Casey Stengel because of their consistently bad play—were 40-120. The 1932 Red Sox were 43-111. Ditto the 1939 St. Louis Browns. The 1905 Brooklyn Superbas (forerunners of the Dodgers) were 48-104. For real futility, you can go back to the other St. Louis Browns—same name, different team, forerunners to the Cardinals—who, in 1897 posted a record of 29-102, and followed that up in 1898 with a 39-111 mark. The 1916 Philadelphia Athletics were 36-117. The Phillies, from 1938-1942, were godawful, averaging 45 wins a year in that stretch. More recently, the 2003 Detroit Tigers were 43-119.

So there have been plenty of all-time bad teams. But even the Kansas City Royals, as bad as they’ve been in recent years, have never won fewer than 56 games in a full season. The Tampa Bay Rays, who until last year always totally sucked, have never won fewer than 55 games.

The Nats are on pace to be the worst team in Montreal/Washington franchise history, and that includes the very first year of the original expansion Expos, 1969. That team finished 52-110.

But what makes the situation in Washington so baffling is that, if you look at the starting lineup, you could conclude that this might be a fairly decent ballclub.

INF—1B Nick Johnson (.305), 2B Anderson Hernandez (.255), SS Cristian Guzman (.304), 3B Ryan Zimmerman (.288, 14 HRs, 52 RBIs)

OF—LF Adam Dunn (.266, 23 HRs, 62 RBIs), CF Nyjer Morgan (.280), RF Josh Willingham (.304, 12 HRs)

C—Josh Bard is hitting .270

Of course, pitching is the bugaboo—team ERA, 5.21— but what’s really frustrating to Nats fans is that it isn’t always that. The team has some promising young arms—including six starters under 26 years of age—and newbies such as Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen have had some very strong outings. Lefty John Lannan is 6-6 with an ERA of 3.70. Shairon Martis, only 22, is 5-3 (though with a 5.25 ERA).

The point is that the pitching has kept them in games far more often than most observers might realize. They’ve even gotten some decent outings from newly anointed closer Mike MacDougal, who’s 32 and in there out of desperation but who’s nonetheless done his part. But just when a timely hit from one of those capable hitters would do the trick, they tank out. Talk about bad timing. Or these guys just aren’t what you’d call ”clutch.” In which case, the Nats are in really big trouble.

The M.O. for manager Manny Acta seems to be roll out the kid pitchers, hope they keep improving, and pray the bats don’t completely go silent.

Acta also must pray nightly for improved defense. The recent addition of Morgan should help there, though it still leaves the club with poor defense at the outfield corners. Guzman at short, over the course of his career, averages an error every 7.9 games. That’s really not the worst—about 20 errors a year—but Guzman might be attacked more for the balls he never gets to, never mind what he does with those he does get to.

This is a team that needs to hold onto what good it’s got—especially the young pitchers—and shore up its defense. For the short term, a trade might be nice. I nominate Nick Johnson as bait. He’s a good hitter, plays a decent first base and maybe could appeal to someone looking for a veteran bat for the playoff run. Parting with Johnson would free up first base for Adam Dunn, which is his destiny afield until he becomes an AL designated hitter. Meanwhile, whoever replaces Dunn in left—Willie Harris, Elijah Dukes, virtually anybody—promises some improvement defensively.

Guzman might also bring something in trade, especially if part-time shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, hitting .333 in 41 games, is, at 26, ready for a full-time role.

Acquiring in return a youngish but somewhat veteran starting pitcher whose potential hasn’t quite been tapped, or possibly a similarly positioned hitter who could drive in runs—these might be do-able risks that could improve the Nats’ immediate fortunes and still pay dividends down the road.

Meanwhile, one must view the job security of manager Manny Acta as tenuous. In the middle of his third season on the job in D.C., Acta has compiled a record of 158-252, a .385 winning percentage, with each successive year showing significant decline. It's probably not Acta's fault, but given that keeping him on board promises the completion of a terrible year anyway, it might be worth trying someone else at the helm, if only to experiment.

Acta's only 40, and he could resurface elsewhere after this baptism of fire. Yes, it may be a moldy old cliche, but you still can't fire 25 ballplayers all at once. Managers who don't win, however, are eminently expendable.

Zimmerman represents the Nats at the All-Star Game in St. Louis. He's deserving. His teammates get to stay at home, pondering how they could ever bring some joy into the remainder of the 2009 season.

Well, a 10-game winning streak wouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

McNair File: Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Questions to be asked based on published Tennessean reportage:

Report: Though many questions remain, investigators now know that Sahel Kazemi bought the gun that ended her life and killed former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair. Kazemi bought the semi-automatic pistol on Thursday evening from a person Nashville police have not named. She made the purchase the same day she was bailed out of jail by McNair for a DUI charge. Both were found dead less than 48 hours later, in a condo McNair rented.

Analysis: The Kazemi DUI was issued very early on Thursday morning, in essence, late Wednesday night. This means that the gun was purchased much later in the day on Thursday.

Report: Police still aren't classifying the deaths as a murder-suicide, although state medical examiner Bruce Levy said it's a possible scenario based on the evidence. McNair was found dead with four gunshot wounds—one bullet in each temple, and two to the chest—on the couch, Levy said. The autopsy showed that three of the shots were fired from at least three feet away. One, to the head, was shot at close range, he said.

Analysis: Who was so pissed off at Steve McNair that they felt impelled to shoot him, not once or twice, but four times? His killing looks more like vengeance than the result of a lover's quarrel. And how invested was Kazemi in McNair, given that she knew him less than five months? He was giving her gifts, and she was apparently living the life of a party girl. Why kill the golden goose?

Report: Kazemi, 20, died of a single gunshot wound to the head and fell to the floor. The pistol was found underneath her body, police say.

Analysis: These facts are consistent with murder-suicide. If that's what happened. No report yet on the gunpowder analysis on her hand. But if there is no gunpowder on Kazemi, then she is a murder victim as well. She might easily have been fatally shot once in the head, whereupon the killer then turned the gun multiple times on McNair. Or it happened the other way around, meaning she stood in horror and watched McNair being shot.

Report: The woman was not old enough to carry a handgun legally or purchase one from a gun dealer. The person who sold the gun to Kazemi is not in custody and may not be charged because the seller may not have known Kazemi was under 21, police said.

Analysis: If the person who sold her the gun is known, seems like they'd be in custody for one good reason or the other. At least as a person of interest. So what's the law? If you sell another person a gun, are you suppoosed to check identification to assure the legal age of the purchaser? Can you sell a gun to a 12-year-old and get off by saying you "didn't know the person was under 21"? How easy is it to purchase a gun from someone? And how easy was it for Kazemi to do so? Does she have friends who carry guns, and one just happened to have one to sell to her that day?

Report: There still are no definite answers as to what prompted the deadly shootings. Police are continuing to interview people who knew Kazemi and McNair.

Analysis: Well, we should hope so. There are people who might've been very pissed off at McNair. Namely, his wife—if she knew he was screwing around on her—and Kazemi's former boyfriend, whom she had lived with for quite some time until McNair came onto the scene.

Report: The fact that the gun was Kazemi's "certainly raises the likelihood" of a murder-suicide scenario, Levy said. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is analyzing ballistics evidence and gunshot residue collected at the scene. Police have not determined whether gunshot residue was found on Kazemi's hand. "We are beginning to make some headway in trying to understand what took place," said police spokesman Don Aaron. "It may be that we'll never know exactly why this happened."

Analysis: "Raises the likelihood" is pure speculation, and definitely not fact. Levy offers a bureaucratic suggestion based on Kazemi's gun ownership. That means nothing. McNair was a known gun owner. Kazemi heretofore was not. What's the connection? In the absence of gun residue on Kazemi—indicating she fired the gun—the possibility exists that a third party shot them both, then planted the gun underneath her, after making sure her fingerprints were placed on the gun.

Report: After questioning several people, including Kazemi's ex-boyfriend, Keith Norfleet, police said they are still far from a motive but learning more about the dating relationship between Kazemi and McNair, who was married to Mechelle McNair.

Analysis: This is a no-brainer. Ask the question: Who gets something out of this deed?

Report: Aaron said detectives were concerned about the length of time it took McNair's friend to call police once he discovered the bodies. Wayne Neely, who rented the condo with McNair, got there before 1 p.m. local time Saturday, but police weren't called until another friend arrived at 1:35 p.m. McNair and Kazemi had been dead for several hours by the time their bodies were found, police said. Aaron said they did not believe the bodies were moved. When asked if other evidence may have been moved, he said he couldn't comment.

Analysis: Being concerned is good. Neely's actions aren't entirely out of bounds. He might've been very shaken. Still, this needs to be explored to satisfaction. To say you "do not believe" the bodies were moved is misleading police verbiage. That is speculation only. There usually is a way to determine if bodies have been moved after a killing. What continues to plague the investigation is the fact that, apparently, five shots were fired in that location, yet not a single soul says they heard anything. Are those condo walls so thick as to muffle five gunshots?

Report: Mechelle McNair has not spoken publicly about the death.

Analysis: Nor should we expect her to.

Report: Kazemi's family has said she believed McNair was in the process of divorcing his wife when they met at her job at Dave & Busters several months ago and began dating. There is no record of divorce filings for the couple.

Analysis: Anyone who's ever been involved in a complicated thing like this knows how difficult and drawn out events prove to be. It could have been years before McNair was fully divorced. The financial aspects can get very contentious. Kazemi's family probably knew none of the details, and, like everyone else it seems, are only speculating.

Report: Bishop Joseph Walker, the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, said he had no indication there was trouble in the McNairs' marriage. When they came to service, they came together. They had not been in to see him for counseling.

Analysis: Natch.

Report: McNair had two arrests in Nashville. He was arrested on a DUI in 2003 that was later dismissed, and in 2007, he was arrested on an owner-operator DUI because his brother was charged with drinking and driving in his car while McNair was a passenger.

Analysis: McNair also carried guns. He was a hero on the football field, but a bit of a drinker and somewhat thuggish in other areas of behavior. Hardly a saint.

Report: There was no cause to arrest McNair when he was a passenger during Kazemi's DUI stop on July 2 because Kazemi was a co-owner of the Cadillac Escalade and bore the responsibility, Aaron said. Kazemi was driving 54-mph in a 30-mph zone, according to court records. She told police she was not drunk, but high. She later said it had been eight hours since she drank any alcohol. The court records don't mention McNair and a second person riding in the car. Though McNair was an owner, police did follow procedure when they released McNair, said Nashville criminal defense lawyer Nathan Moore." Absolutely, they did the right thing," Moore said of the officers letting McNair take a cab. "He had no legal obligation keeping her from driving the SUV. It was registered in both their names."

Analysis: Yes, no legal obligation. But how weird is it that McNair beat a hasty retreat into a cab, leaving his girlfriend to deal with the cops? And who is this third party also in the car? Not to mention, what kind of idiot person drives 54 MPH down Broadway at any time of day? Stupid, careless people all the way around.

Report: Officer Shawn Taylor, who stopped Kazemi, also was the officer who arrested McNair in 2003. The charges were dismissed and expunged.

Analysis: The poetic justice is thick. Taylor took a lot of heat during the 2003 incident, mainly from a public that was on McNair's side and wanted to see him beat that rap.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

McNair File: Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pieced together from electronic news sources

Former Tennessee Titans quarterback and 2003 NFL co-MVP Steve McNair is dead. The 36-year-old McNair was found shot to death in a downtown Nashville condominium this afternoon with multiple wounds to his body and head. Found next to him was the body of 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi, a local waitress whom McNair had met fairly recently. Kazemi had a single gunshot wound to her head.

Nashville police will autopsy the bodies Sunday in an effort to discern the exact means and sequence of cause of death. Speculation already swirls in Nashville that this was a murder-suicide, though there are many yet unanswered questions about the personal situations involving McNair, Kazemi, Kazemi’s recent ex-boyfriend Keith Norfleet, and two of McNair’s associates.

The bodies were discovered by McNair friend Wayne Neely, who possibly rented the same condominium with McNair, or another one nearby. According to the Tennessean online, the condominium in question, at 105 Lea Avenue, is registered to Charles Cardwell, who is the Metropolitan Trustee in charge of levying property taxes. Exact ownership is only speculative at this time.

Apparently, Neely did not call police immediately upon discovering the crime scene. Instead he contacted another McNair associate, Robert Gaddy, who arrived at the scene, and then police were called, with approximately one half hour of time elapsed.

The McNair case already takes on the drama of a TV cop show. Apparently, McNair, long married and the father of four sons, had recently purchased a 2007 Cadillac Escalade for Kazemi, of Middle Eastern descent (possibly Iranian) and 16 years his junior. The car, registered jointly in both McNair’s and Kazemi’s names—possibly for insurance reasons or because of the way the car was paid for—was pulled over by a patrol car on Thursday night, July 2, in downtown Nashville. Kazemi was cited for driving under the influence (DUI) and arrested after refusing to submit to a breath test, but not before McNair, presumably wanting to avoid embarrassment and publicity, removed himself from the vehicle and hailed a cab to make his getaway. Kazemi was taken to lockup and apparently called Norfleet, who later picked up the car. Meanwhile, McNair bailed Kazemi out of jail.

Tennesseean reports loosely quote Norfleet as claiming that he was “worried” about Kazemi having an affair with a married man. Previously, Kazemi had lived four years with Norfleet in Jacksonville, Fla., which means she’d’ve been 16 when she began that cohabitation situation.

Kazemi apparently has known McNair for less than five months. She met him while waiting tables at the Dave & Busters restaurant in the Opryland area.

Nashville TV reporters have been trying to elicit information from police with only mostly speculative results. It is not known yet exactly when the shootings took place, and police have not revealed if other condo dwellers at the site might’ve heard anything long before the bodies were found.

A single pistol was found at the scene near Kazemi’s body, thus spurring the murder-suicide speculation, though if Kazemi, as her ex-boyfriend hinted, was considering breaking off her relationship with McNair, it begs the question why she would shoot him first and then kill herself.

Apparently the Escalade in question was towed by police from the crime scene, along with another black SUV, possibly a Ford Expedition.

Police spokesman Don Aaron broke off a late evening press conference with electronic reporters, stating that until the autopsies are completed, no more official reports will be given on the case.

Area map:,-nashville,-tn_rb/#/homes/for_sale/map/105-lea-avenue,-nashville,-tn_rb/36.156305,-86.769222,36.15433,-86.772226_rect/17_zm/