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NFL Honors Tillman


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This topic was mentioned many times before, but here is an updated story from the NFL as of 8/31/04.

NFL, Cardinals team with Tillman Foundation to honor late Silver Star recipient

(Aug. 31, 2004) -- The National Football League and Arizona Cardinals will honor Pat Tillman, who was killed in military combat this spring in the Middle East, with several tributes during the 2004 season and by teaming with the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Tillman left the NFL in 2002 to join the U.S. Army Rangers with his brother Kevin. Tillman served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before being killed April 22 in the Khost province of Afghanistan during a firefight with insurgents. He is the first NFL player to be killed in combat since the Vietnam War, and the first NFL veteran to receive the Silver Star, one of the nation's highest honors for gallantry, valor and heroism, since World War II.

The NFL and the Cardinals are closely working with the Tillman family and the Pat Tillman Foundation to salute the fallen hero during the 2004 season and beyond.

Players on all 32 teams will wear a No. 40 decal -- Tillman's Cardinals uniform number -- on their helmets during the second regular-season weekend of games (Sept. 19-20). The Cardinals, who will wear the decal all season, will play their home opener Sept. 19 against the New England Patriots. Tillman also will be honored posthumously by a special halftime tribute that will recognize other Arizonans who have sacrificed their lives in the service of their country.

The NFL and Cardinals also are working to generate exposure and funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation. The Foundation seeks to carry forward his legacy by inspiring and supporting others striving to promote positive change in themselves and the world around them.

"We have created this foundation to honor Pat's memory and carry forward his legacy," said Marie Tillman, Pat's widow and Chairman of the Board. The Board of Directors also includes Pat's brother, Kevin. "Our goal is to inspire and support others who live their lives with a similar spirit and strive for positive change," Marie added. "Like Pat, the Foundation bearing his name is deliberate in developing planned courses."

The NFL and NFL Players Association will generate funds by donating their proceeds from sales of Tillman's jerseys manufactured by Reebok to the Pat Tillman Foundation. The jerseys will be sold at Sun Devil Stadium (home of the Cardinals), azcardinals.com, NFLShop.com, and military bases around the world. A specially designed hologram will be affixed to the jerseys to verify their authenticity.

Pat Tillman refused all publicity after deciding to leave the NFL.

Marie Tillman was the guest of NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue at the recent Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio. The Hall of Fame also unveiled a special exhibit entitled "Football and America: The NFL Responds During Times of National Crises." It salutes Tillman and the other NFL players who were killed in action while serving with our country's military since World War II. Tillman's Cardinals' jersey and Ranger uniform are on display in the exhibit, accompanied by an interview taped shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, during which he expressed his desire to honor those Americans killed and to serve his country.

The Cardinals also have announced several additional ways in which they will salute their fallen hero:

* The club will name the plaza surrounding the perimeter of the new Cardinals stadium, scheduled to open in 2006, as the "Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza."

* The Cardinals and Tillman's alma mater, Arizona State, have announced the formation of the Pat Tillman Memorial Scholarship Award.

"Pat exhibited the finest qualities of humanity -- loyalty, integrity and excellence -- and we are honored to show our appreciation to this citizen soldier," Cardinals president Bill Bidwill said.

For more information, visit the Foundation's website at www.pattillmanfoundation.net. All inquiries should be directed to PO Box 20053 San Jose, CA 95160 or info@pattillmanfoundation.net.

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Well, it could have been much worse.

I don't think the NFL should be doing this at all. The Cards are free to do it, but it's just pandering on the part of the NFL.

I disagree 100% with you.

One of the NFL's Slogans's is "United We Stand", so I think it is more than appropriate that all teams wear the #40 decal for only the one we, as the Cardinals wear it the entire season!

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Well, it could have been much worse. 

I don't think the NFL should be doing this at all.  The Cards are free to do it, but it's just pandering on the part of the NFL.

I disagree 100% with you.

One of the NFL's Slogans's is "United We Stand", so I think it is more than appropriate that all teams wear the #40 decal for only the one we, as the Cardinals wear it the entire season!

I agree. I think the entire NFL really needs to honour someone that was one of their own. Its shows respect from not just the Cardinals, but from the other NFL players and personnel as well.

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The Cards are free to do it, but it's just pandering on the part of the NFL.

I would have respected your idea if you'd have said, "Tillman wouldn't have wanted this big of a deak made of him" But you call it pandering? Seriously, pandering? I dont think you know what that word means.

The NFL is doing the best it can, albeit in a ham-handed way to honor the most heroic, american thing anyone has done since four guys said, Let's Roll. I admire the NFL for giving it their best shot.

I thought a silver star on every team's sleave woudl have been bettyer, but that's just me.

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going slightly OT: i was just wondering if league do anything to honor the person that was killed in Vietnam? only thing i know that he played for the Bills

If I remember correctly, his name was Bob Kalsu, and aside from his naming being on the Bills Wall of Fame and also on a plaque in the ticket office, I don't think anything was done in his memory.

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Or what about the NFL players and coaches who died in WWII? Has the NFL ever done anything to recognize their sacrifice?

The difference is that this gets them some positive media attention. I don't like it. The fact that Tillman wouldn't have wanted it is icing on the cake.

The NFL is waving the flag today in a way they never did in the past. I believe they are trying to expolit patriotic feelings for commercial gain. That, my friend, is pandering.

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Although I'd have to agree it smells like marketing, just because the NFL didn't do it before doesn't make it wrong to do it now. I personally thing they should've done it before AND now. I'm a pacifist, but I think it's very important to show respect to the people who put their lives on the line in our nations' defense. Especially when they make the ultimate sacrifice.

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I agree with you (and let me go on record as recognizing Tillman as a hero before anybody gets any other ideas).

I just don't see this as being driven by anything other than PR. I see it as pandering.

I also don't think it's appropriate for teams to honor the players of other teams. I don't think the Minnesota Wild should retire #99 for The Great One, for example. I'll make one exception for Jackie Robinson, but no matter how great a hero Tillman was, the contribution he made to football and our country isn't what Jackie did.

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ok i agree with the NFL. I am in the navy. He took a HUGE pay cut just to go in the military and he paid the ultimate for doing it. The NFL is trying to raise money for the Tillman Foundation, NOT THE NFL. I know someone that got Booted from the navy for pandering and this is not pandering. Good job to the league for doing the best at trying to remember this great man that DIDNT care about the all mighty buck and serve his counry and doing what he thought was right!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
I also don't think it's appropriate for teams to honor the players of other teams. I don't think the Minnesota Wild should retire #99 for The Great One, for example. I'll make one exception for Jackie Robinson, but no matter how great a hero Tillman was, the contribution he made to football and our country isn't what Jackie did.

WOW I didn't think some people could be this crazy. The NFL teams could of objected to do this but they all agreed, Players could of objected to do this but they all agreed.

Take a look

99-The Great One- Changed the sport, Change the way people look at the sport

42- Robinson- Changed the sport, Change the way people look at the sport

40- Tillman- Change the Sport, Change the way people look at the sport

How did Pat Tillman change the sport you ask: He showed that it is not all about the money, Tillman made all of the rich guys see that FREEDOM isn't free and that to be a man, a hero, larger than life or "great" you dont make game winning passes, you don't hit game winning homeruns; you go and make sure that the country that has given you this chance to do all of this remains free for others even if you die trying and that is how he changed.

Also it is differnet

The number 40 isn't retired by all teams just ARIZONA

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40- Tillman- Change the Sport, Change the way people look at the sport

How did Pat Tillman change the sport you ask: He showed that it is not all about the money, Tillman made all of the rich guys see that FREEDOM isn't free and that to be a man, a hero, larger than life or "great" you dont make game winning passes, you don't hit game winning homeruns; you go and make sure that the country that has given you this chance to do all of this remains free for others even if you die trying and that is how he changed.

Also it is differnet

The number 40 isn't retired by all teams just ARIZONA

Sorry for being cynical, but I'm sure every professional athelete has learned this now, thanks to Tillman's death. Yup, no more holdouts, league lockouts, contract squabbles, refusing to show up for camps, yup, Tillman really changed the way people look at sports.

I respect his decision, but don't see a whole lot of change that has come from it.

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I don't have a problem with the NFL putting the decal on the helmets for a weekend, and if certain players want to continue wearing the decal, it shouldn't be a problem, I see nothing wrong with that. However, I was at the KC/Carolina game this afternoon, and that was the biggest display of patriotic shlock I've ever seen. It was ridiculous seeing how much the league is pandering in this matter and it is driving me nuts. After 9/11, ok, that makes sense, Veterans Day weekend, that's fine by me, but to have a huge patriotic celebration at halftime of a football game in the middle of September, just to show how much the league cares about the soldiers, just b/c a man was brave enough to sacrifice everything for something he believed in is just wrong. He never would have wanted this, and it's just sad for his family that he will always be remembered as more than a man, a super soldier who fought "The Axis of Evil" all by himself, when he was just a guy, out doing what he thought was right, just like so many other guys have done in the last 2.5 years. I don't want to sound rude or ungrateful about this in anyway, but Pat Tillman was just an honorable man who stood up for what he thought was right, not a superhero. Also, don't get me started on the jersey thing...ok, too late. There is no way that Reebok, the NFL, the Cardinals, the union or anyone should see a penny of that money. If the family wants to do something like that for charity only, that's fine, but if and only if 100% of the proceeds go to the Pat Tillman Foundation.

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ok i agree with the NFL. I am in the navy. He took a HUGE pay cut just to go in the military and he paid the ultimate for doing it. The NFL is trying to raise money for the Tillman Foundation, NOT THE NFL. I know someone that got Booted from the navy for pandering and this is not pandering. Good job to the league for doing the best at trying to remember this great man that DIDNT care about the all mighty buck and serve his counry and doing what he thought was right!!

That's my opinion 100%.

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I think it's certainly ok for NFL teams to recognize somebody from a different team. I'm sure the players were proud to recognize Pat Tillman's heroic deeds and that's what matters. The second I hear a large number of players complaining about wearing the #40 on their helmet is when I'll say it wasn't a very good idea.

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I don't have a problem with the NFL putting the decal on the helmets for a weekend, and if certain players want to continue wearing the decal, it shouldn't be a problem, I see nothing wrong with that. However, I was at the KC/Carolina game this afternoon, and that was the biggest display of patriotic shlock I've ever seen. It was ridiculous seeing how much the league is pandering in this matter and it is driving me nuts. After 9/11, ok, that makes sense, Veterans Day weekend, that's fine by me, but to have a huge patriotic celebration at halftime of a football game in the middle of September, just to show how much the league cares about the soldiers, just b/c a man was brave enough to sacrifice everything for something he believed in is just wrong. He never would have wanted this, and it's just sad for his family that he will always be remembered as more than a man, a super soldier who fought "The Axis of Evil" all by himself, when he was just a guy, out doing what he thought was right, just like so many other guys have done in the last 2.5 years. I don't want to sound rude or ungrateful about this in anyway, but Pat Tillman was just an honorable man who stood up for what he thought was right, not a superhero. Also, don't get me started on the jersey thing...ok, too late. There is no way that Reebok, the NFL, the Cardinals, the union or anyone should see a penny of that money. If the family wants to do something like that for charity only, that's fine, but if and only if 100% of the proceeds go to the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Are you out of your god damned mind?

People should celebrate their Patriotism all the time and to the fullest.

Anyone can hold up an American FLag on the 4th of July alongside their aluminum can of Budweiser and call themself a patriot.

As someone who was at WTC on 9/11.. I am offended by this post and it is liberals like you who protest everything who most likely are the most far removed from anything!

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To me a patriot is not someone holding up an American flag and drinking a can of Bud. A true patriot does something that he or she believes in for the good of country. Pat Tillman is a true patriot. He did something to help his country. Heck, I might get slack for this, I consider Michael Moore a patriot because he wants the US to become a better place in some capacity.

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