With the Arizona Cardinals finally making it back to a Super Bowl, there has been a lot of talk surrounding the upcoming Hall of Fame selections. Talk has risen about whether or not former Cardinal and war hero, Pat Tillman, deserves to be inducted this year.
Obviously we all know the story of Pat Tillman, and I realize that Pat doesn’t have the stats or the overall career to normally be selected or even considered to be in the Hall of Fame, but this isn’t a normal situation by any means.
I heard former New York Giant Randy Cross say this week that while Tillman’s actions were heroic and deserved all the credit in the world, he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
I’d like to take a look at why I think he does deserve that honor.
Is there a player that would be a better role model for people that follow the NFL than what Pat Tillman could be?
In a world and in a league that is a “me first” attitude, where people are watching every week to see who has the best end zone dance, wouldn’t it be nice to have a person the caliber of Tillman represent your league in it’s most coveted place of honor?
There aren’t any qualifications to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame either. There is no set number of yards you have to throw or number of touchdowns gets you an automatic bid.
The point of the Hall of Fame, in my view, is to honor the players that were not only great, but that made impacts on the cities they played and left lasting legacies in football that will never be forgotten.
Will anyone ever forget what Pat Tillman did and what he died for?
I don’t think so.
By all accounts Tillman was revered by his teammates as a warrior on the football field, a true field general that led his team with his passion and relentless attitude. I would imagine if you asked both players that he played with and against, to a man they would tell you that Pat was a player that left it all on the field.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has an unbelievable chance here to do something truly great. They have a chance to make a statement by saying that a person’s unwavering courage can lift them above statistics and championship rings. A player’s choice to fight and die for his country over earning millions of dollars playing football, is a choice that should be honored and not pushed aside.
The next time someone watches a pro football game, they can think of the greed and selfishness that runs rampant through the game, or just maybe they have an opportunity to think about Pat Tillman.
They can remember the day that a man gave up millions to fight and die for his country was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In a game that relies on a team to be successful, Pat Tillman gave his life for the most important team any of us will ever play on, the team that is this country.
So to all the voters, do the right thing.
Honor Pat Tillman the way he deserves to be honored.
What better time than right now, when his former team the Arizona Cardinals are about to play in the Super Bowl for the first time in decades.
Pat Tillman deserves it and the people of Arizona—to see their hero honored for his great play and his heroic actions.