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Pat Tillman, 1976-2004

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by Bucknut27, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. Bucknut27

    Bucknut27 Newbie

    To: The National Football League
    To: The National Football League

    We, the undersigned, hereby petition commissioner Paul Tagliabue to retire jersey #40 throughout the National Football League in honor of the late Pat Tillman.

    Although he only played four seasons in the NFL, Pat Tillman thrilled fans with his tenacity, skill and commitment to excellence on the football field. More importantly, he inspired us all with his integrity, courage and commitment to his country away from the gridiron.

    We began calling Pat a hero the day he announced his decision to take a leave of absence from a lucrative football career in order to become an Army Ranger alongside his brother Kevin. On April 23, 2004, we received word that Pat had been killed in a firefight in Afghanistan with terrorist forces that (among other atrocities) supported the attacks on America on 9/11/01. On April 23, 2004, Pat Tillman the Hero made the Ultimate Sacrifice for his fellow citizens.

    While there is no way we can compensate Pat Tillman and his family for his selfless service, we do respectfully request that the National Football League honor his legacy and those of all the anonymous men and women who served with him. We ask that the NFL do this in the form of a lasting tribute, not a single-season commemorative patch, but rather by retiring his number throughout the league in perpetuity.


    The Undersigned
    Apache likes this.
  2. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    As a retired military man myself, I really admire what Tillman did, but retiring his jersey number throughtout the leaugue is overkill in my mind. Maybe if Arizona retired it, fine, but not the whole league.
  3. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    After reading/hearing everything about Tillman...I'm not sure that is what he would want.
  4. vrbryant

    vrbryant Ever thus to ____ers Staff Member

    Precisely. Nice sentiment, to be sure. And the Cards/ASU retiring #40 wouldn't be inappropriate. Nevertheless, the things I respected most about Tillman were his modesty and his resistance to making a spectacle of himself. It's understandable to grieve his loss, but all these propositions about retiring his number, erecting statues, etc. is exactly the kind of notoriety he wasn't out to get by leaving the NFL, by becoming an Army Ranger, or by risking (and consequently sacrificing) his life. Frankly, a more fitting tribute to Pat would be to enlist. I certainly don't have the minerals to do a thing like that, but I'm not going to make up for my lack of courage by campaigning to put him in the Hall of Fame.
  5. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    I appreciate the sentiment, but I agree with 21 on this one. This is a man who essentially refused to talk about his decision publically because it was not news - just somebody doing what he felt he needed to do.

    Further, his sacrifice is the same sacrifice hundreds of others are making in this war. Retiring of a jersey that in some sense says he is 'special' among that group sends a message that is difficult to interpret.

    That said, Tillman's death will likely make him 'special' in spite of himself. I just heard a stat that during WW II 93% of professional baseball players served in that war. That war hit everyone - and hit them hard. Ultimately, through over 50,000 deaths, Viet Nam hit everyone as well.

    Most of us know someone who is serving in Iraq. Maybe a relative (I have a nephew), maybe a friend. But chances are they are serving in a capacity that we don't normally think of as being 'at risk' (my nephew is in finance). They are certainly in a hot and nasty place, but for most isn't it really more of an inconvencience than anything else?

    We know people have died - and we all know what that means, but only in the abstract. People die all the time. (More people have died on the highways in the US than have died in combat in Iraq during the same period.)

    Then along comes Pat Tillman and in our sports obsessed culture lays it out right in front of us. Here is my sacrifice. Try to ignore this - this same sacrifice that every one of my dead comrades have made.

    I don't know how we honor that.
  6. DiHard

    DiHard Guest

    how do rangers honor a fallen hero??? i am ignorant as to this...but i suggest the nfl makes an attempt to honor that tradition as closely as possible.....

    if its a stripe across an arm...or a patch on the hat....or something across the chest....

    if its the above...i say the nfl makes their statement....
  7. Xevious

    Xevious Recovering Arcade Junkie

    Designating him NFL Man of the year might be appropriate although I think that's usually done in January.
  8. jlb1705

    jlb1705 hipster doofus Bookie

    What Tillman did was probably bigger than anything I'll ever do in my life, but I'm not sure that the number retirement thing is quite appropriate, for the reasons stated above.

    Also, I think it's appropriate that in the wake of Tillman's sacrifice, we also take a moment to reflect on Bob Kalsu, who I guess you could say was the Tillman of the Vietnam era.

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2004
    Apache likes this.
  9. ekeen

    ekeen Banned

    Tillman would not have wanted his number retired. This guy transcends humility. I can only wish I can teach my children to be half as brave.
  10. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

    The Uncelebrity: Pat Tillman

    I found this article from a British newspaper- where American soldiers don't get the best press

    on the day of his memorial service I thought it might be something you guys would enjoy reading- I did!!

    R.I.P Pat

    Apache likes this.
  11. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    It's truly amazing that such a positive article came from a British paper.
  12. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    I'm flabbergasted and humbled. What an outstanding piece of writing and insight. It's embarrassing to me that an English writer is so much more in touch with American ideals and concepts of courage, honor and duty than some baffoon from our own shores. Truly outstanding.

    Buckskins86, is there a link to the article or any way to contact the author? Thank you very much for sharing.
  13. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

    Buckskins86, is there a link to the article or any way to contact the author? Thank you very much for sharing.

    It was written by Andrew Sullivan- you can e-mail him at I think he used to write for the New Republic but now has his own website where he does a daily blog.

    It originally appeared in the Sunday Times of London May 2nd.

    It is reprinted on Sullivan's website
  14. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    Thanks Buckskin86!
  15. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Excellent read...thank you for the link

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