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Pat’s Run and Tillman anniversary

Posted by Darren Urban on April 22, 2017 – 6:58 am

It’s a weird morning for me. For the first time in more than a decade, I am not at ASU, getting ready to take part in Pat’s Run. I did not participate in the first race, but I had run every one since then until today, and that had been the plan (I have a bib and everything). But a trip to spend some time with my brother – which I don’t get to do enough – came up, and sometimes, life happens.

I would’ve liked to be there, especially this year. The race falls on the anniversary of Pat Tillman’s death 13 years ago. I remember that morning – I was still a Cardinals beat writer for the East Valley Tribune – vividly. I was in the kitchen, bathrobe on, toddlers eating breakfast on a Friday when my cell phone rang. A producer I knew a little from a local station was calling to ask if I had heard that Tillman had been killed. I, like everyone, was stunned.

It was the day before the draft – that’s when the draft was still Saturday-Sunday, and the Cardinals would select Larry Fitzgerald with the third overall pick the next morning – but everyone gathered at the Cardinals’ Tempe training facility. It was supposed to be that last day before the draft, when guessing who got picked where was the topic, and instead, the organization was crushed. Former Tillman teammate Pete Kendall was asked to speak to the media, along with Michael Bidwill and Anthony Edwards. Meanwhile, Dennis Green was around but he didn’t look like he knew quite what to do – he was hired after Tillman was long gone; he had no personal connection unlike almost every other non-coach still in the organization.

These are the kind of things that are going through my head every year as Pat’s Run starts. I’m sorry I’m going to miss it.


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10 Responses to “Pat’s Run and Tillman anniversary”

  1. By Ryan Sherman on Apr 22, 2017 | Reply

    Darren you don’t have to apologize to us or Pat. You have given more to his name than anyone else in the media. I am a longtime Pat Tillman fan and subsequently an Arizona Cardinals fan. He solidified me as a Cardinals fan after watching him switch from college linebacker to Professional safety and just his demeanor. I will always miss Pat Tillman but it is truly his story that is inspiring to me and many that I know. When I first became an Arizona Cardinals fan was the early 90’s when Garrison Hearst was the running back. I started watching ASU very closely at the same time and Jake Plummer, Pat Tillman, Adam Archuleta, and later Terell Suggs all stood out to me. We got 2 of the the Four. What an amazing ride we have been on since those days. I am Proud to wear my Tillman jersey’s as well as be a Cardinals fan. Remember Family comes first but football family is a close second. Thank you again for your years of heart felt and relevant writing i appreciate it, you , and the whole organization.

  2. By Big Ken on Apr 22, 2017 | Reply

    Great post by Mr. Ryan Sherman.

  3. By Dan Zinger on Apr 22, 2017 | Reply

    I was there this morning and I can’t help but to think about that day too. I saw people from all walks if life celebrating this man’s influence on their lives.
    I saw older folks stumble and fall right in front of me, I saw a lady in her 50s in a manual wheel chair refusing help to get up the hill on Curry road. I saw Firefighters in full gear running. I saw people sprinting by, (mostly kids), but everyone one showed a sense of pride to be representing what Pat stood for and meant to them personally. We need real hero’s in our lives like Pat to keep us all hopeful of the good that comes from it.
    And I always have one more thought on a day like today. The disparaging comment that his teammate made about him all those years ago. And I wonder how that person feels today about what he said.
    I will leave it at just that.

  4. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Apr 22, 2017 | Reply

    Pat Tillman, American Hero. He believed in in taking responsibility for the safety of America, accepted in advance risk of dire consequences for his courageous actions.

    Personified American exceptionalism.

    You cannot repeat his story enough.

  5. By Scott H on Apr 22, 2017 | Reply

    I love that Pat’s locker is still there, still there as a tribute to Pat, still there to remind everyone what a warrior Pat was on the field and in life in general. I’d love to just be able to see it up close some time.

    Such a sad thing, his death. Such a great story, right up until his death. I can only say that since his life and the NFL did intersect for a brief period ( too brief ), I am glad it was a Cardinals uniform he wore. I think his dedication to the Cardinals – and fighting for them on the field – was the same dedication he felt to needing to go fight for his country wherever he was needed. That was his way….he only had one gear. All in. All out.

    If anyone still hasn’t seen his A Football Life story, make it a point to take that in. Hard to watch it without a lump in the throat. But also impossible not to feel the pride that we, uniquely, as Cardinals fans can feel that he wore this uniform.

  6. By Marc Cardinals All the Way on Apr 23, 2017 | Reply

    Pat Tillman will always be remembered by us many long-time Cards fans. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Darren.

  7. By mitchaz on Apr 24, 2017 | Reply

    “Passion is what makes life interesting, what ignites our soul, fuels our love and carries our friendships, stimulates our intellect, and pushes our limits… A passion for life is contagious and uplifting. Passion cuts both ways… Those that make you feel on top of the world are equally able to turn it upside down… In my life I want to create passion in my own life and with those I care for. I want to feel, experience and live every emotion. I will suffer through the bad for the heights of the good.”
    ― Pat Tillman

    Your legacy shines eternally on, Pat.

  8. By Ryan Sherman on Apr 24, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H.
    I agree wholeheartedly with you. I have the “A Football Life Story” of Pat Tillman saved on my DVR and find myself rewatching it over and over again just to get that feeling of pride again. There is so much negativity in this world and to watch someone that was so positive in so many ways, do what he did, was something that is hard to fathom. His story is what kept me a Cardinals fan even though i am not from Arizona. I am from Oregon and I can proudly say that I am a Pat Tillman and a Cardinals fan for life. Garrison Hearst got me interested and Pat Tillman made me believe. One day we will be Superbowl Champions but we have all watched a champion play. Pat Tillman was the Champion on and off the Field. AZCARDS4LIFE

  9. By Andy Kw on Apr 24, 2017 | Reply

    Haven’t posed here in a while:
    Here is my one and only AZCardinals.com Mock Draft: Made one on SBNation but might as well post my alternate scenario.
    1. Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
    2. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
    3. Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego St
    4. Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
    5. Donald Payne, S, Stetson
    5. TJ Logan, RB/KR, North Carolina (trade comp & 7th with Bengals)
    6. Storm Norton, OT, Toledo

  10. By Scott H on Apr 25, 2017 | Reply

    Ryan –

    Well said, young man! You definitely get it. I wear my Pat Tillman jersey with pride and I hope you do the same.

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