Friday, April 23, 2004

Pat Tillman

I remember reading this 1997 article in Sports Illustrated. I'm happy they reposted it:

"As a senior safety-tailback-kick returner at Leland High in San Jose, Tillman so detested leaving the field that once, after his coach pulled the starters at halftime of a first-round playoff romp, he took the field for the second-half kickoff and ran it back for a touchdown. The coach, Terry Hardtke, confiscated Tillman's helmet and shoulder pads and put them under a bench lest Tillman get the urge to score again. One month later, on his recruiting visit to Arizona State, one of three Division I-A schools willing to risk a scholarship on a 5'11', 195-pounder classified by many college coaches as a too-slow, too-small tweener, Tillman was asked by Sun Devils coach Bruce Snyder what he thought of the recruiting process. 'It stinks,' Tillman shot back. 'Nobody tells the truth.'

Taken aback, Snyder filed the comment away. He remembered it the following August when he sat Tillman down to discuss--as he does with all freshmen -- the concept of redshirting. 'I'm not redshirting,' Tillman said. 'I've got things to do with my life. You can do whatever you want with me, but in four years, I'm gone.' Snyder thought, This kid is different."

Pat Tillman was always a man. He died at the age of 27.

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