Texans Owner Bob McNair Given Clean Bill of Health After 10-Month Battle With Cancer
As an NFL owner, Bob McNair's December of 2013 was about as tumultuous a football month as one could endure.
Photo by Groovehouse Texans owner Bob McNair had a secret cancer battle last season.
With his team spiraling downward, losses piling up on a slide that would bottom out at a league-worst record of 2-14, McNair had no other choice but to fire longtime head coach Gary Kubiak after the season's second defeat at the hands of the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars (who would go on to finish two games ahead of the Texans in the standings).
It was a sad time for McNair, who loved Kubiak the person but couldn't bear to watch the product being put on the field by Kubiak the head coach any longer. Again, for an owner, December was what rock bottom looks like.
Little did we know that McNair himself was going through a much more serious, much more grave battle than trying to pick up wins on the football field.
In an extremely thorough, detailed exclusive for the Houston Chronicle, John McClain describes a ten-month battle with two forms of cancer that McNair had going back to 2013, an overwhelming and, at times, brutally painful trek that begins with ground-breaking experimental treatments that McNair endured under an assumed name at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and ends with a recent clean bill of health for the Texans owner.
The aforementioned treatment was for a form of cancer called chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and along the way, McNair was forced to undergo painful surgery on the left side of his head and neck as well as 30 sessions of radiation.
The radiation was so violent that it caused second-degree burns that required a plastic surgeon to perform skin grafts, which explains in part some of the blisters behind McNair's ears and on the side of his head, noticeable to media members gathered around McNair at Texans training camp last week when the team's owner met with reporters to discuss the possible move of the Raiders to San Antonio.
At the time of that informational gathering, McNair had not yet been given a clean bill of health; however, that changed this week:
"I've never been through anything like that, but two days ago, I was given a clean bill of health, so it was worth the pain and suffering," McNair, 77, said Wednesday in his first public comments on his health issues. "I didn't think I was going to die. I knew some did. I knew there were some rumors. That's one of the reasons I'm talking about it.
"I don't want people to think it's something it's not. I'm not ill. I'm healthy. I'm not going anywhere. We've got Super Bowls to win."