Pat Tillman Was The NFL’s One True Hero

Getty Images

Getty Images

The word hero can be defined in many ways. When looking the word up in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Pat Tillman next to the word. Tillman was a former NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals. He played for three seasons, and he enjoyed his best season in 2000 as he finished with 155 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception.

As a player, Tillman was turning into a good one on the field. Tillman gave every ounce of his body and left it on the field. Pat Tillman the player resembled a lot to Pat Tillman the person. He was a selfless person who made numerous sacrifices. He wasn’t your typical athlete, and he saw life outside of the box.

In May 2002, Tillman enlisted in the U.S. Army after forfeiting millions of dollars to return to the Cardinals. Athletes are normally looked as spoiled brats, but it was an example of the type of person Tillman was. In all reality, football is just a game that millions of people love to watch and play. Protecting and serving the United States is more heroic than scoring touchdowns.

Tillman’s sacrifice to defend his country can never be duplicated. On April 22, 2004, Tillman lost his life in Afghanistan. He could have easily made his money and played professional football, but instead he wanted to represent his country.

Football fans get caught up in the moment calling their favorite players their heroes. I am not taking anything away from anyone playing football today, but there is only one true hero that played the game of football, and that is Pat Tillman. Happy Memorial Day to Tillman and his family. Thank you, Pat, for being a true American hero.

Ronnie Hampston is a writer for, Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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  • machgman

    This will be sacrilegious to the many who have bought into and ascribe to the sainthood movement of Pat Tillman, but if you had spent any real time with Pat, you know how the real person would have viewed all of this.

    The real Pat Tillman would tell everyone to stop this BS about calling him a hero (yup, that’s him). As he was always saying, “I haven’t done anything yet.”

    All of these same ad nauseum stories that work hard to make him out to be a hero because he died in a friendly fire fiasco would not please him as all of these stories focus on an incident that happened TO him instead of anything significant he really and actually accomplished.