View Full Version : McNair to be installed in S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame

05-23-2010, 01:32 PM

Bob McNair does not bristle when it is suggested he has a Midas touch in business. When you are the world’s friendliest and most genuine billionaire, you do not bristle.

Instead, McNair sits up straight in his chair, pulls his sports jacket tight, leans forward and tells you he has amassed a small fortune through hard work and perseverance. Then McNair holds the index finger and thumb on his right hand about one-quarter-inch apart and peers between the two.

“The difference between defeat and victory is that,” McNair says of the space between his finger and thumb. “I see it in everything we do. I see it in business. I see it in horse racing. I see it in football. The difference between winners and losers is that. That’s where I think perseverance pays off.”

The University of South Carolina graduate will be inducted Monday into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.In his acceptance speech he is likely to credit much of his success in life to principles he learned on athletic fields while growing up in Forest City and one season as a freshman basketball player at USC. He also will point to his turn in politics at USC, when he served first as student body treasurer then as president.

“That experience really helped me a lot in business,” McNair says. “In sports, you learn when you get knocked down to get back up. The student government, the politics, learning to meet all kinds of people, to develop poise, I think it all was very helpful and productive.”


05-23-2010, 01:35 PM
McNair admits to the frustrations of operating a business within the structure of a sports league.

“It’s been a little more of a challenge because of the rules and regulations. In business, if you want to put together the best possible team you can, you look around and see who the best people are and you figure out what you have to do to go get them,” he says. “Well, you can’t do that in pro football. Everybody is under contract. ... It’s much slower. It’s a slower process.”

Few doubt McNair’s Texans will some day win a Super Bowl. He certainly will never give up trying. Some 40 years ago, McNair said he picked up on a motto that he has lived by ever since.

“On the plains of despair lie the bones of those who, when on the verge of victory, sat down to rest and died.”

McNair says he has never sat down to rest.

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