Sunday, February 01, 2009

Pat Tillman's Spirit Very Much Alive at Super Bowl

Jennifer Waters writes on MarketWatch:

Pat Tillman wasn't at Raymond James Stadium for Sunday's 43rd annual Super Bowl, but his spirit was very much alive here.

Among the Warner, Fitzgerald and Boldin jerseys that Arizona Cardinals fans were donning were a noticeable number of red-and-white shirts bearing Tillman's No. 40.

"He's the man," said Tom Rector of Phoenix, who has been wearing his Tillman jersey since 2002, the last year that the Cardinals safety played in the NFL. "He's a hero. Everyone else is a professional athlete or role model, but Tillman's a hero."

Tillman's football record isn't as impressive as his life record, which gained star status when he gave up a $3.6 million football contract to enlist in the Army's elite Rangers after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Three years later, the 27-year-old was killed in Afghanistan in friendly fire. The incident became controversial after it was discovered that the Army covered up that Tillman was killed by fellow soldiers in the confusion of battle.

"To give that up for the country is just an amazing thing," said Scottsdale, Ariz., resident Glenn Allbritton, who bought his jersey through the Pat Tillman Foundation. "I'll do anything to help support his memory and help his foundation."

More here.


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