NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Steve McNair's family, friends, former teammates and coaches gathered Thursday night along with thousands of fans to remember the slain ex-NFL quarterback's accomplishments on and off the field.
Ravens receiver Derrick Mason, who played with McNair in both Tennessee and Baltimore, called the loss heartbreaking.
"I still remember that smile of his," Mason said before heading into Mount Zion Baptist Church, where he spoke at a memorial service. "That'll never grow old."
Mason also had a message for McNair's sons.
"Trenton and Tyler, I can't love you like your dad did, but I can love you like a father," said Mason.
Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher spoke of how McNair was in a better place.
"No more turf toe, no more shoulder problems, no more interceptions - only touchdowns. I'll miss you number 9, thank you," said Fisher.
Titans owner Bud Adams, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and more than 30 of McNair's former teammates attended the memorial.
Kevin Carter, Eddie George, Brad Hopkins, Keith Long, Derrick Mason, Benji Olson, Zach Piller, Samari Rolle, Frank Wycheck and Vince Young served as Steve McNair's pallbearers.
Fans lined up starting Thursday morning to view McNair's closed silvery-gray casket at a funeral home and later outside the church.
McNair, who was married, was shot to death at his condo early Saturday by his 20-year-old mistress who then turned the gun on herself.
McNair will be laid to rest this weekend in his hometown of Mt. Olive, Mississippi.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Story)