SPORTS by Brad Weisman: Pat Tillman
Pat Tillman (11/6/1976-4/22/2004) was not your ordinary NFL football player by any means. In fact, Pat was a student in the classroom and a student of life. He spent the vast part of his life learning as much as he could about the many interests that surrounded his big brain. He was not a highly recruited football player in highschool, however earned a spot at the division I program for Arizona State University. At ASU, Tillman became a started and was an impact plate. Additionally, he was a top student when it came to academics. Ultimately Tillman made his way to the NFL and once again was an impact player. However, Pat had his sites on something beyond big NFL contracts. Interesting that is worst injury was outside of football and in the US military. This is where are story of Pat Tillman begins and still has never ended.
I could write all day about Pat Tillman, but I will keep it to a few short paragraphs if that is ok with the readers out there. I never knew him personally and have not paid attention to all that was written or said by the media. The only thing I paid attention to was the words his brother spoke at his funeral (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjKPb27hdgA).
Watch that reel and you will hear the truth and the words of Richard and a few that most likely would come from Pat. There is nothing funny about what Richard said and he was worthy of those words that day. Richard, your use of the truth was brilliant and hardly disrespectful.
It was the truth which I really appreciate. And I quote one of Pat’s college coaches “Pat had a strong dislike for the easy way out”. I strongly believe that quote says it all. Pat was a young man of strong conviction and tended to back up his conviction by taking the high road. I personally love how this guy led his life and protected the lives of others. None of us really knew him so who are we to judge and say false things. However, I did become enamored in Pat and tried my best to learn and pick up what I felt was truthful. Here is a short list:
• Extremely bright and well read
• Physical stature that was truly developed from hard work and doing more than most off the field
• Took on challenges most people fear
• Adored his wife and his immediate family (fiercely loyal to the people in his life)
• Was true to anyone who became close to him as a friend • He was not huge but he hit other players like he was the rhino on the field.
I could write a ton more, however I want to stick to the truth and it is all above in that list. The US also did a wonderful job covering up a HUGE mistake. They certainly did not protect Pat or his family. Funny how Pat signed up to protect the country and the country did not protect him. Pat—you deserved better and so did your family. I personally am very sorry things turned out the way they did. I feel for you and your family every day even though years have gone by. The painful memory of what happened to you needs to be expunged beyond the ways it has.
By Bradley D. Weisman