Pat Tillman Deserves To Be in Pro Football Hall of Fame

Jason TurnerCorrespondent IApril 22, 2009

Watching the Arizona Cardinals play in last year's Super Bowl took some getting used to. But, then again, watching the Cardinals just hasn't been the same for quite some time.

Of all of the players and stories that surrounded Arizona's rise to the big game, I couldn't help but think of someone who wasn't on the field. On Super Bowl Sunday, I found myself thinking about Pat Tillman.

Five years ago today, Pat Tillman laid down his life for his country and his fellow man. He stood up to the terrorists who killed so many innocent civilians in the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, and he gave up fame and fortune to do so.

Although he was never an NFL star, Tillman was one of my favorite players. I first saw him play in his rookie season. He was running down the field on special teams like a mad man looking to knock the lights out of anything that moved.

The hair, the hits, and the fact that he seemed to get the most out of what God gave him made Tillman an instant favorite.  I would follow him for years to come.

In a time when athletes seemed to be driven by money and referred to football as a business, Tillman turned down millions from St. Louis to remain loyal to the team that drafted him.

In a time when our sports stars were caught lying and cheating, and when players seemed just as likely to show up in jail as they did a box score, Tillman gave up everything to go to war on our behalf.

Tillman is a true hero and role model. He was a walking personification of everything a man should aspire to be and would want his daughter to marry.

Tillman was also the perfect example of what the NFL is looking for in its players. With that being said, I think that it is time for the NFL to give Tillman the ultimate honor. It is time for the NFL to put Pat Tillman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Career accolades aside, Tillman should be in the Hall of Fame based on the man that he was, the sacrifice he made for his country, and the impact his decision and death had on all of us.

He is a perfect representative of not only NFL players, but he also represents all of the men and women who sacrifice day after day to keep this country and its people safe and free. 

So, as you go through your day, take some time to remember Pat Tillman and all those who have been lost in the service of the United States military. Help keep Tillman alive by keeping his story alive. When your kids ask you who your sports heroes were, tell them Tillman's heroic story.

As long as we remember Pat Tillman, he will always be with us. So let us take a moment of remembrance and hope that someday the Hall of Fame does the same thing.