Monday, July 08, 2002

A Real Sports Hero

Pat Tillman has just given up a lucrative ($3.6 Million) contract to join the US Army, in the hopes of serving his country as a Ranger. I just heard this on the radio and felt my chest tighten. With all the wonderful sports heroes today (Tyson, Strawberry, etc), Pat Tillman is a throwback. He's a man who has chosen to put the welfare of his country and its citizens ahead of his own personal advancement. With the recent passing of Ted Williams, who also volunteered, this was wonderful news to me.

Mr. Tillman is not guaranteed a position as a Ranger. I have no doubt with his education, physical prowess, and heart he will get it, but he and his brother have enlisted knowing that there is no guarantee that they'll be Rangers and that fate may end with them being cooks (doubtful but still quite possible).

I'm a big fan of American Movie Classics, old movies, old actors and old heroes. I like the fact that at one time a number of famous actors were veterans, Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin spring immediately to mind, followed by Audie Murphy and Clark Gable (though Carole Lombard was pretty instrumental in that, and tragically so). People who were famous, making better than decent money, and yet served (and there were others who were drafted and served). To me such people, including Ted Williams and Pat Tillman, are impressive, and I feel proud that such people exist among the sports and Hollywood elite in America.

Huzzah Mr. Tillman, and good luck.


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