Sunday, April 25, 2004
Tagliabue honors fallen hero
By Barry Wilner
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Pat Tillman was praised at the NFL draft as a hero by commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who wore a black ribbon with Tillman's name on it and a Cardinals helmet pin with the No. 40 attached.
Tillman, who left the Arizona Cardinals in May 2002 to join the Army Rangers, died Thursday night in an ambush in Afghanistan. His jersey was hung below a video screen, along with a photo of the former Cardinals safety.
"Pat Tillman personified the best values of America and of the National Football League," Tagliabue said Saturday. "Like other men and women protecting our freedom around the globe, he made the ultimate sacrifice and gave his life for his country."
A moment of silence then was held in Tillman's honor, after which the crowd at Madison Square Garden chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A."
"It puts things in perspective," Iowa tackle Robert Gallery said of Tillman's death. "The guy gave up a career in the NFL, which shows what kind of man he is. He is a hero to all of us, especially the guys in football."
The Cardinals took Tillman in the seventh round of the 1998 draft, the 226th player chosen. He developed into a starting safety known as a hard hitter.
All NFL staff members wore ribbons and pins in honor of Tillman.
In Washington, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., the son of the late Hall of Fame coach, sent a letter to Tagliabue asking the league to dedicate the season to Tillman and other U.S. soldiers "serving in the war on terrorism."
In Tempe, Ariz., a steady stream of people stopped at a makeshift memorial outside Cardinals headquarters to pay respects to Tillman.
On Friday, the Cardinals set up a table in front of their headquarters with Tillman's jersey in a glass frame. In front, was a large poster showing Tillman in uniform on the sidelines with one knee bent.
His death hit the NFL hard, from veteran players and coaches to the members of this year's draft class.
"It's real tragic," Virginia Tech cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "He decided to leave the NFL and go fight for his country, fight the good fight. He loved his country, and you know how big a role model he is. He said, This is what I need to do.' He's a hero."
BENGALS / NFL DRAFT
Bengals pick up their missing pieces
First pick Perry has all the tools
Team was impressed by instincts, smarts
Bengals get ton of talent in pick
Speed, versatility attract club
Johnson fits team's new mold of linebacker
Gold and black fits RedHawk
A day in the life of Ben
After tense hour, Giant victory for No. 1 pick
Three Buckeyes selected in first round
Tagliabue honors fallen hero
COLLEGE SPRING FOOTBALL
Dantonio sets new course
Bearcats are waiting for receivers to step up
Zwick holds slight advantage as starting QB
Pittman tosses helmet into Buckeyes' RB derby
UK spring game: QB Boyd continues to shine
Horse racing's dirty little secret
Adding to family's grief are the debts
'Jockey' moving but lacking in context
REDS / BASEBALL
Bad start, big finish for Reds
ONLINE EXTRA: Photos of Saturday's game
Freel is OK after beaning
Kelly: Marlins managing Phillies
Time to ride out April hot streaks
Prior throws 50 pitches off mound
NL: Astros, Cubs keep pace
AL: Boston now 5-1 vs. Yanks
AAA: Toledo 6, Louisville 3
More runner-friendly course awaiting increased Pig field
Confident Kings makes statement
Groeschen: Coach has Maupin on mind
Ernst: Kentucky high school insider
Prep sports results, schedules
Dow: Recruit Odia says visa the issue
NBA: Davis leads Hornets to take series lead
Ducks take pivotal Game 3 with shutout
Marleau scores again as Sharks jump Avs
SUNDAY PAGE TWO
Thoman hopes summer schedule includes Olympics
What's up with that?
A quick chat with ... Mike Battaglia
Seton graduate Becca Brinker part of top-ranked Ohio State rowing team
This week's poll question
MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Golf: Morgan stays atop Legends by stroke
Sports today on TV, radio
Return to Bengals front page...