Not your average athlete
February 7, 2003 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Not your average athlete He walked away from pro football glory to serve his nation, and he's loving every minute of it.
posted by oissubke (51 comments total)
 
After he told a friend at Arizona State that life had become "too (bleeping) easy," no one thought Tillman wouldn't succeed at scaling mountain cliffs, slogging through dangerous swamps and jumping five times out of a perfectly good airplane.
a testosterone-tripping jock with a deathwish walks away from sports because it's not dangerous enough to suit him, and bickley twists that into some sort of admirable patriotism? bzzzt.
posted by quonsar at 11:43 AM on February 7, 2003


With apologies to Phil Alden Robinson: "I wish I had your passion, RayPat. Misdirected though it may be, it is still a passion. I used to feel that way about things, but..."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:52 AM on February 7, 2003


That Testosterone ex-jock is putting his life on the line so punks like you can enjoy freedoms, like doodling on this board.

Bravo to him!
posted by Macboy at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2003


Gosh, I hope he's having a good time. Sounds like a bloodthirsty maniac, but one day, he will surely tell his story to a captivated nation.
posted by Hildago at 11:56 AM on February 7, 2003


An old friend of mine is a SEAL and, through the course of his career, I've made friends with several of them. Unless the Rangers are dramatically different, few of these guys get involved because they are patriots. It's fun and rewarding, like playing professional sports with the added thrill of mortal danger. Then again, comparing Rangers and SEALS is a bit of a stretch.
posted by rotifer at 12:02 PM on February 7, 2003


quonsar,

I didn't know you were a punk. BTW, loved your art work, punk. But I didn't see any doodling, punk. Do you save your freedom-enjoying doodling for this "board" punk? Isn't your punk ass ashamed of itself for your obvious lack of patriotism now?

Your punkalicious friend,
nofundy

P.S.
There's still room on the bus to Baghdad MacBoy, the SuperPatriot! Get on it while you can!
posted by nofundy at 12:06 PM on February 7, 2003


Show some respect for people who serve our country. Would you walk away from 4 million dollars and a part-time job to make $18,000 and be yanked at a moments notice?

I didn't think so... burn your draft cards
posted by Macboy at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2003


...punks like you can enjoy freedoms, like doodling on this board. Bravo to him! -Macboy

Revision 1:
...punks like Bush can enjoy taking over the world, starting with Iraq. Bravo to him!
posted by letitrain at 12:11 PM on February 7, 2003


Macboy: There are many, many ways to serve this country and express patriotism. Going to kill people is not the only one.

To quote a NYC firefighter, albeit clumsily:

"Some people serve this country by going overseas and taking lives. I serve it by saving them."

Widen your view a little bit, please. Not all of us feel that taking human life is an option.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:20 PM on February 7, 2003


Would you walk away from 4 million dollars and a part-time job to make $18,000 and be yanked at a moments notice?

Wow. What a conundrum. Respect someone for giving up an overinflated undeserved unjustifiable sports celebrity fueled by a lazy gluttonous nation's desire to perceive aggressive domination without actually having to do it ourselves in order to fulfill that exact same fantasy for less money but substituting throwing a ball really far with the much more exciting ("life had because too bleeping easy") sport of killing lots and lots of random third-world people. They both sound so good!

Hey, how about I not give a shit about the "glory of war" or pampered overpaid "professional athletes?"

Wake me when we start lionizing potential superstar athletes who give up the game to work for the Peace Corps, not the Marine Corps.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:24 PM on February 7, 2003


Yea... y'all are right. There's nothing admirable about it at all. Professional athletes and Marines (hell, the military in general) are all cocksuckers.
posted by Witty at 12:37 PM on February 7, 2003


I've seen some hot videos and magazine spreads that indicate as much.

From the quote in the article, it doesn't sound like this ex-jock gave it up to protect anyone's freedom (from Iraqi invaders, no less). It seems more like he's doing it to look for a thrill.
posted by tolkhan at 12:43 PM on February 7, 2003


That, by the way, is what I took from quonsar's post, not an attack on patriotism and the military in general. This one case specifically, I think he's right about.
posted by tolkhan at 12:47 PM on February 7, 2003


No Witty, just the cocksuckers who want me to feel proud that they're giving up millions of dollars they don't deserve anyway to go brag about how they might be sent off to kill people because they claim they're bored.

This guy didn't say "I realize that people enjoy sports and that I'm honored to recieve such a lucrative and enviable position on a professional sports team, but I feel that right now our nation needs fit and healthy men such as myself to serve our duty and the defense of the country." I don't agree with a statement like that either, but at least it's not "being a football player is too bleeping easy! I wanna go kill some Iraqis!"

That is why Elvis is the King, and you're a schmuck.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:26 PM on February 7, 2003


Your right lazaruslong. I remember all the police and firemen who liberated the beach on DDay. Those German submachine guns were no match for a firehose.

Let me sugguest you read this story before labeling him a thrill seeker
posted by Macboy at 1:30 PM on February 7, 2003


And sometimes, men walk away from pro football glory (eyes rolling) because they choose happiness.
posted by Dick Paris at 1:35 PM on February 7, 2003


I can't believe most of the responses on this thread. Regardless what you think of the military, I'm glad there are people willing to sacrifice their stable and very lucrative careers to defend this country, regardless of what their true motives may be.
posted by gyc at 1:41 PM on February 7, 2003


Something tells me quonsar sucked at dodgeball as a kid.
posted by Samsonov14 at 1:51 PM on February 7, 2003


It has been eight months since Tillman came home from his honeymoon and promptly left the Cardinals to become a legitimate American hero.

How is he any different from the rest of our troops in the military?

He he has yet to have been in "a", an actual combat moment, this is when you find a hero, not before.

"He will move with his unit for whatever that unit is involved in, be it training or real world," said Carol Darby, spokesperson for the Army Special Operations command. "He's a full-fledged Ranger now. He's ready for combat."

Must not be in a unit with a lot of sensitive info or secrete orders as we speak. As you don't publize those involved in those kind of missions that they are eluding too here. Now the enemy knows whom his brother is, wife, teammates and so on. Loose lips sink ships.

He's worked toward a goal, he's made it, and he's declined all media interviews

Don't mock him but the sender. As this is a poster boy for our military army.

And let's not forget the athletes whom take scholarships that don't allow them to go pro due to their prior commitment upon graduating. Nice plug about your OTHER fellow men, army. Go Navy!

If this came as a rant against our military men/woman, it wasn't the article sucked in it's presentation. It takes more than one, two(sic) have an army.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:59 PM on February 7, 2003


Wake me when we start lionizing potential superstar athletes who give up the game to work for the Peace Corps, not the Marine Corps.

Maybe Susan Sarandon, Sheryl Crowe and Martin Sheen could give up their entertainment careers to join the peace corps. Would that be newsworthy enough?
posted by Durwood at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2003


Durwood, no. Neither is this.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:30 PM on February 7, 2003


Your right lazaruslong. I remember all the police and firemen who liberated the beach on DDay. Those German submachine guns were no match for a firehose.

Let me suggest you read this story before labeling him a thrill seeker


Macboy: In your haste to flame me, you missed the point entirely. Carefully re-read my post, and you will notice that never once did I say that the military is unnecessary or unworthy of respect. Rather, I made the delineation between various types of patriotism. E.g., being a firefighter. Let me restate: There are many ways to serve one's country, not just killing people. You seem to have a dangerously limited viewpoint of what is patriotic:

Show some respect for people who serve our country. Would you walk away from 4 million dollars and a part-time job to make $18,000 and be yanked at a moments notice?

I didn't think so... burn your draft cards


This kind of creating an emotional example in order to convince people can be used effectively, but not if you infuse all of your comments with sarcasm and attack.

I am assuming your last comment, the thrill seeking one, was not directed at me (although you did say "you"), seeing as how I never labelled your paradigm of American patriotism as such.

If you want to let people know you are an intelligent person worthy of listening to, tone it down a lot. If you want to learn how to convince people, go read a book on Rhetoric. There a lot of them out there. There are a lot of libraries that will be more than happy to let you borrow one. Until such time, reserve your inane vitriol-laden comments for those who deserve such rebuke.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:38 PM on February 7, 2003


Regardless what you think of the military,

This isn't about the military. It's about one man. Try not to confuse questioning the motivations of one man (and those who hail him as some kind of hero) with the necessity of or respect for our military.
posted by tolkhan at 2:42 PM on February 7, 2003


... teammates used to think Tillman odd because he rode a bicycle to practice each day.

Cool.
posted by rotifer at 2:49 PM on February 7, 2003


Something tells me quonsar sucked at dodgeball as a kid.

true, true. :-)

[oops, back in character]
i learned quite young about deranged sadistic bullies and the supportive infrastructure for success that this sick society provides for them.
posted by quonsar at 6:04 PM on February 7, 2003


Geez, I've just realized I confused Macboy's and lazaruslong's posts and burned my library card!

hero: "A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life"

Sports figures going to war isn't news. Please link to his story when he has actually done something heroic.
posted by ?! at 6:46 PM on February 7, 2003


And I supoose going off as a Ranger, sports star or not, is not risking one's life? And that doesn't require ANY courage to do the crazy kinda' stuff they do? Wow, I love this place but some people or just really jaded.
posted by jmd82 at 7:09 PM on February 7, 2003


And I supoose going off as a Ranger, sports star or not, is not risking one's life? And that doesn't require ANY courage to do the crazy kinda' stuff they do? Wow, I love this place but some people or just really jaded.

Yeah - alot of college kids with no sense of reality...
posted by Macboy at 8:28 PM on February 7, 2003


If you want to let people know you are an intelligent person worthy of listening to, tone it down a lot. If you want to learn how to convince people, go read a book on Rhetoric.

And if you wish to make sense and have people listen to YOU, may I suggest using logic instead of mundane dribble? After all, we have nothing to fight for in Iraq other than oil.

"But if George Bush wants to give us freedom then we will welcome it"
posted by Macboy at 8:34 PM on February 7, 2003


jmd82: Not jaded. Just pointing out he hasn't gone anywhere yet. He hasn't risked his life in battle. He's just finished training.

Being labeled a "hero" isn't for what you intend to do, it is for what you've done.
posted by ?! at 9:26 PM on February 7, 2003


Being labeled a "hero" isn't for what you intend to do

He doesn't intend anything. As a soldier, he follows orders.

He is a hero for having made the choice to serve his country, as are all our military personnel.
posted by hama7 at 9:40 PM on February 7, 2003


And if you wish to make sense and have people listen to YOU, may I suggest using logic instead of mundane dribble? After all, we have nothing to fight for in Iraq other than oil.

"But if George Bush wants to give us freedom then we will welcome it"


Where are you getting this from? At what point were my posts in this thread illogical? Why did you feel the need to troll by mentioning Iraq? At this point, I just question your sanity.....

Yeah - a lot of college kids with no sense of reality...

I'm a college kid, and I have a much better sense of reality than you appear to. E.g., expanded views on patriotism, a hesitation to result to flaming people with inane comments, et cetera.....

Grow up. And gain some coherency.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:31 PM on February 7, 2003


Oh, and good job at derailing what could have been a great thread, Macboy. You deserve a medal about as much as the football player.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:54 PM on February 7, 2003


Oh, and good job at derailing what could have been a great thread

If you reposted this thread tomorrow, it would probably elicit the same response. The subject matter is charged.
posted by eddydamascene at 11:47 PM on February 7, 2003


He is a hero for having made the choice to serve his country, as are all our military personnel.

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posted by Opus Dark at 2:51 AM on February 8, 2003


Good comeback Lazaruslong! How shocking you are in college, I would have never guessed!

Go back to your blog, write about things looking out your rainbow colored glasses and ponder how good you have it. Heroes are called such because they think of others, not just themselves (firefighters, policemen, paramedics). While you worry about your computer crashing and what roll playing games will make you feel real and the last MP3 from some obsure band - guys like Pat Tillman are defending this country. He serves his country, and walked away from million of dollars in the prime of his life to do it. That is a HERO. Am I making sense? Or would prefer I use bigger words?

Sounds like the one who needs to grow up is still in college - it's not all about YOU.
posted by Macboy at 10:01 AM on February 8, 2003


Perhaps Macboy and Lazarus could find common ground in recognizing that Tillman is not a hero simply because he joined the service but instead has put himself in a position which typically provides ample opportunity for heroism .

However: "Each man is a hero and oracle to somebody." --Emerson
posted by Dick Paris at 12:25 PM on February 8, 2003


Dick Paris: I think you're offering a wonderful compromise.

hama7 and Macboy: I, for one, don't believe anyone who joins the military is automatically a hero. However, I understand you may. Can you accept others do not?
posted by ?! at 5:56 PM on February 8, 2003


That is a HERO. Am I making sense? Or would prefer I use bigger words?
no. we would prefer you use the words as defined. while i realize you are waxing poetic here, THAT IS THE POINT. there is far too much poetic license lately. out of the mouths of the government, the media, and all the dupes who suckle at the tits of ignorance and emotion. there is nothing innately heroic about serving your country. insofar as it was inspired by gratitude toward one's country, changing careers at a financial loss in favor of military service is ADMIRABLE, it is COMMITTED, it is PATRIOTIC, it is OTHER-CENTERED. it perhaps makes one a CHAMPION of a cause, it does not, on its own, make one a HERO. hero is simply the wrong word. not so long ago military service was EXPECTED of young men. you dilute the power of the word AND the respect accorded to those about whom it is used by declaring 'hero!' of every soul who acts within the confines of your favored behavior. it isn't fair to real heroes.

and here's a bonus lesson from professor q: the fact you've finally got it all figured out doesn't mean you actually know anything useful at all.
posted by quonsar at 5:57 PM on February 8, 2003


there is nothing innately heroic about serving your country.

I am not even going to reply to that pathetic statement.

Sorry professor q, you don't even respect your own country. You might learn something by properly displaying the flag on your personal website. Hey if American sucks, I'm sure the fine folks in the Middle East would welcome you with open arms.
posted by Macboy at 6:17 PM on February 8, 2003


At 6:17 PST Macboy was officially listed as a lost cause. Please move along. Nothing to see here.

quonsar: Excellent summation.

And here is an interesting take on Tillman's decision.
posted by ?! at 7:13 PM on February 8, 2003


Eww quonsar. That flag thing is gross.

But at least it's not burning, or being torn to shreds by an angry mob. No for that, you have to go to America's staunchest allies and friends. Who needs enemies with buddies like these? No more visits to blort.

On the hero thing, we can agree to disagree, because I don't skimp in my praise of the military people who protect our country. They're always going to be heroes to me.
posted by hama7 at 7:15 PM on February 8, 2003


That flag thing is gross.
gross? it's a distress signal. very appropo.
posted by quonsar at 8:28 PM on February 8, 2003


I've never understood why people who oppose the war, and George Bush - as I do - seem to always hate patriotism and the military. I would think the truly patriotic thing to do would be to love one's country so much that you don't want the good men that comprise its military to be used as a political sledgehammer by the president. But you don't have to hate the country or the army.
posted by owillis at 9:08 PM on February 8, 2003


Owillis, did someone (or everyone) here post that they opposed war against Iraq and the current administration's view and hated the military and their country as well? Or are you taking Macboy's and Hama's assertions as truth? Not sniping, mind you, I just missed it if the former was said. (Or did you mean to write: "I've never understood why people who oppose the war, and George Bush - as I do - seem to [be cast as a type that] always hate patriotism and the military."

Quonsar did a fine job with his post and has every right to display the flag as he sees fit. The fact that he has displayed it in such a manner says a great deal about his love for the United States and his broad understanding of its flag; it is simply not the same love that others may feel.

Macboy, ?! is right. You have only slipped further into a morass.
posted by Dick Paris at 11:28 PM on February 8, 2003


I'm sure the fine folks in the Middle East would welcome you with open arms.

You might be welcome too, Macboy, if you'd stop acting like an ass.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:57 AM on February 9, 2003


I wouldn't want to live in the Middle East eddy- I love my country and respect the people that serve to defend it. Quonsar has every right to display the flag anyway he wants - we agree to disagree.

Quonsar did a fine job with his post and has every right to display the flag as he sees fit. The fact that he has displayed it in such a manner says a great deal about his love for the United States and his broad understanding of its flag; it is simply not the same love that others may feel.

With love comes RESPECT Dick.
posted by Macboy at 7:08 AM on February 9, 2003


I'll have to think about that one, as I rarely show much respect to my father but I do love the man. Let's call it tough love then, shall we?
posted by Dick Paris at 9:25 AM on February 9, 2003


He is a hero for having made the choice to serve his country, as are all our military personnel.

Woohoo! I'm a hero now.
[adds 'Hero' to his list of credentials, then goes back to work on the Uranium mill]
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:40 AM on February 9, 2003


I wouldn't want to live in the Middle East eddy- I love my country and respect the people that serve to defend it. Quonsar has every right to display the flag anyway he wants - we agree to disagree.

Works for me.
posted by eddydamascene at 1:28 PM on February 9, 2003


With love comes RESPECT.

Well said.
posted by hama7 at 3:39 AM on February 10, 2003


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