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Sports Then and Now



Remembering Pat Tillman: A True American Hero 26

Posted on November 06, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Pat Tillman would have turned 35 on November 6th.

As we prepare for Veterans Day later this week, we remember an American hero and former NFL star who would have turned 35-years-old today, Pat Tillman.

Too often in the world of sports we want to label someone as a hero or glowingly talk about the personal sacrifices they have made for their team or sport.

There are not enough glowing words to accurately describe the personal and professional sacrifice that Pat Tillman made for his country and for all of us who enjoy the wonderful freedoms associated with living in this great land.

Though only 5-foot-11 and slightly over 200 pounds, Tillman earned a college football scholarship to play at Arizona State University. As a junior, he was part of a Sun Devils squad that went undefeated in the regular season before losing 20-17 to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. The next season, Tillman was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as Arizona State went 9-3 and won the Sun Bowl.

Despite his college credentials, Tillman wasn’t chosen in the 1998 NFL draft until the final round (seventh round) when the Arizona Cardinals made him the 226th pick in the draft.

After playing linebacker in college, Tillman was moved to defensive back in the NFL and started 10 games as a rookie while helping the Cardinals reach the second round of the NFC Playoffs.

Over the next three seasons, Tillman established himself as a defensive standout for the Cardinals, including ranking second on the team in tackles with 145 during the 2000 season. Read the rest of this entry →

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