Memorial Day; the unofficial start to summer. Weekend trips to the beach, family barbecues, and department store specials. Although nothing beats an ice cold Miller Lite by the water, Memorial Day has a much greater meaning. Today is the day we remember and celebrate the men and women who sacrificed their own lives to keep our beautiful country free. But there's one man I want to bring up specifically, Corporal Patrick Daniel Tillman.
If you're a football fan, you should already know who Pat Tillman is; and in my opinion he's the NFL's greatest warrior. To the very few who don't know his story, let me share it with you. Pat played linebacker at Arizona State University from 1994-1997. In 1996 he won the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award and in 1997 he led the Sun Devils to an undefeated regular season and a 20-17 loss in the Rose Bowl to Ohio State. Pat was drafted as pick 226 in 1998 to to the Arizona Cardinals and had a promising start of his career as Strong Safety. After his 3rd season and the September 11 attacks, Tillman walked away from a 3 year, $3.6 million contract to become an US Army Ranger. Pat sadly lost his life in 2004 due to friendly fire in the mountains of Afghanistan. He was only 27.
Pat Tillman might've only played 3 years in the NFL, and although we'll never know how good of a player he would've been, his decision to walk away and serve his country after September 11th leaves him with a greater legacy than one with any amount of interceptions and/or championships.