The Gut: A Real Sports Hero

I recently wrote an article about my backyard heroics as a child. Well today, Friday, April 23, 2004 we were reminded what the word hero meant. Pat Tillman, 27 years old and a former Arizona Cardnial was killed in a planned ambush in Afghanistan.

Pat and his brother Kevin, who was a minor league baseball player in the Cleveland Indians, joined the army rangers walking away from millions of dollars and a comfortable life in Arizona. Pat was somewhat of a local hero in Arizona as he grew up there and went to college at Arizona State University where he graduated in 3  years with 3.84 GPA. He was the 1997 Pac 10 player of the year there.

Most people have never heard of Pat Tillman before today so I’m going to give you a little insight on the kind of man he was. In 2001 when he was a free agent he turned down a 5 year 9 million dollar contract from the world champion St. Louis Rams to make less money in Arizona because he loved the organization and felt a sense of loyalty to them. After 9/11 he felt he needed to serve his country. So he and his brother went in to the army and became rangers but only after he married his high school sweet heart Marie. Becoming a ranger is no easy task, only 35% of the people who attempt this make it. A friend of the family was interviewed after Pat and Kevin left. The question was posed to the friend as to why the brothers denied all interview requests about the decision. The friend said that they felt they didn’t have anymore to lose than the 56 others they went threw basic training with so there was no reason to be interviewed.

Pat was a man than not only all football fans could be proud of but someone all Americans can be proud of. In life he lead a good life that we could all envy and now in death he left Americans with a real sports hero to look up to. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marie and the rest of his family. Thank you pat for all you left us.

5 replies on “The Gut: A Real Sports Hero”

  1. I heard about that on E! just a couple of minutes ago. Also how they honored the two brothers in a video tribute of thier achievements. It’s a shame that someone like that would have to suffer. I hope his family will remember and celebrate his life.

  2. soinds like just the kind of person sports need to see more of. its ashame to lose a person that is one of the few pro sports players without an inflated ego and fucked up priorities.

    great article… i hadn’t heard about it but I’m really glad you wrote about it. great job!! keep up hte good work, j is right, your writing keeps getting better! bravo.

  3. I am so glad that you wrote this article. When I originally heard that he had given up his football career to join the military I was shocked, and extremely proud for and of him. Now that I hear he passed while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, I am so incredibly saddened. It is a shame that anyone is losing their lives to fight terror. In a perfect world wars like this would not need to be fought, its just a shame that we lose so many of the best people like this.

  4. Agree with our government’s intentions or not, the men and women of our armed forces are all heros, most of which are people who would willingly lay down their lives to protect us, our nation and our way of life at the drop of a hat. That being said it is rare to find in any walk of life a person as unselfish as this, in my eyes he is not just an american hero but a role model for what all human beings should be like… not that we should all run off and join the military, but we should all care enough about eachother that we would do anything rather unselfishly for them when they are in need. He gave up everything for us and wether we agree on why he was put there or not you can’t help but respect him for it.

  5. I saw the only interview he ever gave after quitting the NFL. It was given on September 12, 2001, one day after the terrorist attacks. Tillman said he grandfather fought in WW2, his father in Vietnam. Both, he said, risked their life so that we all could live freely here in the US. He then went on to say how he hasn’t done shit compared to them, and wanted to make his family proud of him. He said he would be joining the Army Rangers…

    He turned down millions to defend our freedoms in war. 🙁

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