Jump to content
Clubplanet Nightlife Community

Former Arizona Cardinal - TILLMAN - killed overseas

Recommended Posts

Updated: 12:08 p.m. ET April 23, 2004

WASHINGTON - Pat Tillman, who gave up a lucrative NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers, was killed in action in Afghanistan, military officials said Friday.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Tillman decided to turn down a three-year, $3.6 million contract with the Cardinals to enlist in the Army.

Tillman, who went through Special Forces training to become a Ranger, was first deployed to Iraq in March 2003 with the 75th Regiment Ranger Battalion.

In Afghanistan, Tillman's battalion was involved in "Operation Mountain Storm," part of the U.S. campaign against Taliban and al-Qaida groups along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, military officials told NBC.

He was killed during action in the past 24 hours, they said.

Separately, officials who spoke with The Associated Press said a formal announcement was expected later in the day. Spokesmen at the Pentagon and U.S. Army declined comment.

Tillman joined the Army with his younger brother Kevin in May 2002, but Pat Tillman denied requests for media coverage of his enlistment, basic training and ultimate deployments.

Kevin was a former minor league baseball prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization.

According to Army officials at the time, Pat Tillman wanted no special treatment, wanted no special attention, but wanted to be considered just one of the soldiers doing his duty for his country.

Tillman played four seasons with the National Football Leagues Arizona Cardinals before enlisting in the Army in May 2002.

He made the decision after returning from his honeymoon with his wife, Marie.

Tillman's agent, Frank Bauer, has called him a deep and clear thinker who has never valued material things.

In 2001, Tillman turned down a $9 million, five-year offer sheet from the Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams out of loyalty to the Cardinals, and by joining the Army, he passed on millions more from the team.

Tillman turned aside interview requests after joining the Army. In December, during a trip home, he made a surprise visit to his Cardinal teammates.

For all the respect and love that all of us have for Pat Tillman and his brother and Marie, for what they did and the sacrifices they made ... believe me, if you have a chance to sit down and talk with them, that respect and that love and admiration increase tenfold Coach Dave McGinnis said at the time. It was a really, really enriching evening.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Tillman was distinguished by his intelligence and appetite for rugged play. As an undersized linebacker at Arizona State, he was the Pac-10's defensive player of the year in 1997.

He set a franchise record with 224 tackles in 2000 and warmed up for last year's training camp by competing in a 70.2-mile triathlon in June.

Tillman carried a 3.84 grade point average through college and graduated with high honors in 3 1/2 academic years with a degree in marketing.

You don't find guys that have that combination of being as bright and as tough as him; Phil Snow, who coached Tillman as Arizona State's defensive coordinator, said in 2002. This guy could go live in a foxhole for a year by himself with no food.

Tillman and his brother Kevin last year won the Arthur Ashe Courage award at the 11th annual ESPY Awards.

NBC's Jim Miklaszewski contributed to this report.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I attended ASU during the time he was there, i did not know him personally but what i hear he was an all around nice guy. He was one guy who stood out on campus as a guy you admired.

Not physically big he made the most out of what he had. When he would hit people on the football field you could feel the pain.

It's a dam shame who knows what this guy could of accomplished in his life

I don't like to use the word hero but to me he was the Definition of one


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...