this song really "sounds" like Pat to me and how I think he viewed his life
"Cap'n Kirk" by Bob Schneider
I wanna be like Cap’n
Get up every day and love to go to work
Don’t wanna be like Mr. Spock,
I wanna kick out the jams and rock the block
I just wanna feel good,
I don’t wanna hurt nobody
I just wanna get good time out of my life!
I wanna be like Cassius Clay,
I wanna change my name and go all the way
I wanna be the Marilyn Monroe
Be 'n luv with everybody that I know
I wanna be like Jesus Christ,
Keep the party movin’… givin’ good advice!
Don’t need to be no Superman,
I just wanna do the best I can!
-bob schneider bobschneidermusic.com
This short movie is presented to applaud the ways of Pat Tillman. To hopefully enliven the "Pat Tillman" that lives on in some of us. Just a small effort by me to illustrate the necessity and unlimited promise of a future world full of "Pat Tillmans", people that don't operate based on expectation, but follow their heart where ever it leads them
...this salute should not be confused as any type of endorsement of America's invasion of Iraq. I feel the Bush administration's decisions and deceptions have resulted in a deepened/heightened security threat via terrorism/religionism. Pat Tillman did not support America's invasion of Iraq. But READ THIS if you need more evidence.
Listen to "Live It Like Pat" ...a song by David D. Wright
Click HERE for a clip from Robert Greenwald's "Uncovered" ...about the importance of patriotism
CLICK HERE for my American patriotic/anti-terror music videos
Here's My 2004 Tillman Flash Movie
Hours of My Documentaries & Video Creations
Some Personal thoughts on Pat...
I'd been a fan of Pat Tillman since the mid-90's when he was playing a large role on the last great ASU Sun Devil football team, a team that fell just short of a national title. He played with wild abandoned ...and with wild hair. I remember being surprised after finding out he was such a fantastic student, and also when hearing stories of him meditating from atop the lights at Sun Devil stadium...the image didn't seem to match up with the character. After a few more Tillman stories it was clear that this dude had his own unique operating system.
When he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, it gave me some hope that at least somebody in that organization had a clue. Even Pat couldn't keep that ship headed in the right direction, but he did help get the Cards to the playoffs in 1998.
For me, Pat's decision to leave his football career to join the Army Rangers speaks volumes far beyond his patriotism. It's a demonstration of a life unencumbered by "expectation", "conventionality" or the big one..."fear"! Pat understood, this life is more than just a "read through". You are a "player", so play! Don't just watch.
I hope you can download the 8 minute tribute I produced. Shortly after Pat's death I put together a Flash movie tribute. It's a bit sappy and Pat Tillman would gag if he saw it, I'm sure. But it's something I wanted to do as applause for Pat's attitudes, actions and sacrifice. Below are two articles about Pat that were written by Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden. I encourage you to read them before or after you watch my tribute pieces. One article is from '97 and the other is from just after Pat's death. If you are unfamiliar with Pat's character, Tim Layden does a wonderful job illuminating it's unique and intriguing colors. Pat was one cool dude!
-Chris Valentine email
The following story originally appeared in the Dec. 8, 1997 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Most football players fit into a box. They're big, fast and strong (duh); they submit to authority without resistance; and if asked to define introspection, they would say it's what happens when the defense picks off a pass. Those who don't fit into the box rarely succeed at a major program. Then there is Arizona State senior linebacker Pat Tillman, who not only doesn't fit into the box but also would have to consult a travel agent to find it.
As a senior safety-tailback-kick returner at Leland High in San Jose, Tillman so detested leaving the field that once, after his coach pulled the starters at halftime of a first-round playoff romp, he took the field for the second-half kickoff and ran it back for a touchdown. The coach, Terry Hardtke, confiscated Tillman's helmet and shoulder pads and put them under a bench lest Tillman get the urge to score again. One month later, on his recruiting visit to Arizona State, one of three Division I-A schools willing to risk a scholarship on a 5'11", 195-pounder classified by many college coaches as a too-slow, too-small tweener, Tillman was asked by Sun Devils coach Bruce Snyder what he thought of the recruiting process. "It stinks," Tillman shot back. "Nobody tells the truth." Taken aback, Snyder filed the comment away. He remembered it the following August when he sat Tillman down to discuss--as he does with all freshmen -- the concept of redshirting. "I'm not redshirting," Tillman said. "I've got things to do with my life. You can do whatever you want with me, but in four years, I'm gone." Snyder thought, This kid is different. As different as Tempe is hot in July. At Arizona State, Tillman not only avoided redshirting but also progressed from special teams madman (freshman) to situational sub (sophomore) to defensive standout (junior). He had the second-most tackles and the most interceptions, pass deflections and fumble recoveries on a team that reached the Rose Bowl and fell four points short of a probable national title. "Some games I was hard-pressed to make a tackle because Pat was everywhere," says Scott Von der Ahe, who played alongside Tillman in '96 and is now a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts. Along the way Tillman grew his dirty-blond hair from a Marine buzz to a heavy-metal mane (since trimmed) and made the Sun Devils coaches his personal debate partners. For instance, last season defensive coordinator Phil Snow put in a dime package that took Tillman out of the game in certain passing situations. Whenever Snow called the scheme, Tillman would stand next to the coach and say, "Touchdown this play."
This season Tillman has become
simply the best player in the country who doesn't have his own (fill in the
blank: Heisman, Outland, Lombardi, Butkus) campaign, living proof that there
is room at the highest level of the game for a guy without much size or blazing
speed but with a brain and cojones. "He epitomizes what college football
is all about," says Southern Cal offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who
was an assistant at Arizona State during Tillman's first two seasons.
The soul of a defense that lost six starters from last year, Tillman led the Sun Devils to the cusp of the top 10 before last Friday's 28-16 upset loss to Arizona knocked them out of a share of the Pac-10 title and a near-certain berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Last week he was named the league's defensive player of the year, a remarkable achievement for a guy who bulked up to all of 202 pounds and made many of his plays against the run. He won the honor over established studs such as Jason Chorak of Washington and Joe Salave'a of Arizona, and it seemed a sweet crowning touch to a terrific career. But don't tell him about it. On Nov. 24, the day he won the Pac-10 honor, Tillman hunched over a bowl of spaghetti and sausage at a Tempe bistro. He is a walking, talking contradiction: a little guy who plays linebacker, a dedicated student who looks like a slacker, a serious 21-year-old who converses fluently in surfspeak. The public nature of awards gives him the creeps. "Dude, I'm proud of the things I've done, my schoolwork--because I'm not smart; I just worked hard--and this award," said Tillman, a marketing major who will graduate in 3 1/2 years with a GPA of 3.82. "But it doesn't do me any good to be proud. It's better to just force myself to be naive about things, because otherwise I'll start being happy with myself, and then I'll stand still, and then I'm old news." He shrugged. Introspection indeed.
"He's driving on the same highway as everybody else," says Barbara Beard, the athletic director at Leland High, "but he's on the other side of the road." He always has been. When he was five, he climbed onto the porch roof of his family's two-story house during a windstorm, wrapped himself around a slender tree trunk and swayed in the wind for fun, until his mother, Mary, coaxed him back onto the roof. He then developed a propensity for jumping from high places (bridges, cliffs) into water. He went rock climbing and invented a bizarre hobby: wandering through the woods by leaping from treetop to treetop, like Tarzan without a vine. "He has always liked testing himself," says his father, Pat Sr., a lawyer and former college wrestler who used to grapple in the living room with Pat Jr. and his younger brothers, Kevin (a scholarship baseball player at Arizona State) and Richard (a junior quarterback at Leland High). Pat Jr. grew into a ferocious high school football player who could intimidate with size, speed and attitude. Unfortunately he often did the same thing off the field. "People in our town were basically afraid of my brother," says Kevin. "He just has this tough-man mentality about him." "If there was trouble, you looked for Pat first," says Beard. "Usually it wasn't serious." One time it was. In the fall of Pat's senior year, he went to the aid of a friend in a fight outside a pizza parlor and, in Pat's words, "beat the s---" out of his friend's assailant, who was in his early 20s. Several weeks after the incident Pat was arrested and charged as a juvenile (he was 17) with felony assault. Before the case was resolved, he accepted a scholarship to Arizona State (Brigham Young and San Jose State were the other schools that offered) but desperately feared it would be revoked. Pat quietly pleaded guilty to the charge. In the summer of '94 he served 30 days in a juvenile detention facility, and his conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor upon his release. Tillman's incarceration ended two weeks before his first college football practice. Arizona State never learned of his trouble with the law. Tillman, however, learned much from it. "I'm proud of that chapter in my life," he says. "I'm not proud of what happened, but I'm proud that I learned more from that one bad decision than all the good decisions I've ever made. I'm proud that nobody found out, because I didn't want to come to Arizona State with people thinking that I was a hoodlum, because I'm not. It made me realize that stuff you do has repercussions. You can lose everything." He says he hasn't been in a fight since. Not off the field, anyway. On the field he started fighting, figuratively speaking, as soon as he arrived in Tempe. "Everybody called him the Hit Man because he was this little guy running around laying licks on people," recalls Von der Ahe. "He had this arrogance about him, as if he knew he was the toughest guy on the field."
Tillman understood from the start that he was a marginal recruit--too small to play linebacker, too slow to play running back or defensive back, the coaches figured, but too intense to pass up. He would have to establish himself every day. "That's fine. I didn't need any damn promises," he says. "I figured I could prove myself when I got here." He flourished after making the unusual switch from safety to linebacker in the spring of his freshman year. He learned to study tape and study people. "He's the best player I've ever coached at reading body language," says Lyle Setencich, linebackers coach at Arizona State from 1995 to '96 and now defensive coordinator at Cal. "One game, he noticed that a tackle would look inside every time his team ran a draw, and sure enough, Pat read it and hit the fullback right in the mouth." His speed is respectable (4.55 for the 40) but not blinding, yet he is as fast in a game as he is against the stopwatch, a rare quality.
Tillman wears out coaches with his intellect and preparation, and has just enough offbeat humor to keep them on their toes. When Snow told him last year to cut his hair, Tillman said, "Coach, the women are all over me. I keep it messy so I look dirty, and they leave me alone." In fact, Tillman has dated UC Santa Barbara senior Marie Ugenti for four years, and as for pursuit by other women, he says, "My face and my personality are my chaperones."
Predictably, Tillman isn't ready to retire from football. Just as he was told that Division I-A was beyond him, he is being told that the NFL is out of his reach. When asked how many times he can bench-press the standard 225 pounds, Tillman explodes in laughter. "How many times?" he says. "Like, dude, I max 225, and then I rack it." You can't measure or weigh or time guys like Tillman and get the story. "I know he can play in this league," says Von der Ahe. "Strong safety, linebacker in a nickel package, somewhere. He's tenacious, he's smart, he's got great instincts." "I've told NFL guys, 'If you don't want him on your team, don't take him, because he won't let you cut him,'" adds Snyder.
What will Tillman do if he doesn't make the NFL? "Beats me," he says, grinning like a man with no fear and, just in case, good grades. Grab a tree and swing in the breeze.
"Remembering Pat Tillman"
Strong-willed and humble, former Cardinals star was indescribably rare
by Tim Layden
Friday April 23, 2004 2:35PM
Our office called this morning with the news that Pat Tillman had been killed in action in Afghanistan. I pulled open a drawer in my desk and took out a manila folder in which I keep letters sent to me by story subjects. It's a thin file. In 10 years at Sports Illustrated, I've written more than 300 stories and I can count the personal responses on both hands. (Not including agents, PR people, wives and girlfriends.) This was an ordinary greeting card with a gray wolf on the front cover. Inside the card was blank -- no mass-manufactured poetry -- except for a note written in meticulous blue printing. The card was dated "12/8,'' which was Dec. 8, 1997, five days after a 2,000-word profile that I had written on Tillman appeared in Sports Illustrated. At the time, Tillman was a senior at Arizona State, the Pac-10 conference's Defensive Player of the Year as a ferocious, 5-foot-11, 195-pound linebacker. I had spent two days with Tillman and his teammates -- and his brother Kevin, who remains in the military -- in Tempe, Ariz., reporting this story.
It was a remarkable experience. Customarily, both the writer and subject understand the mechanics that exist between them. Writer asks questions and tags along with subject. Subject reveals only as much of himself as he wants the writer to know and lets the writer see only as much as he's comfortable with. Somebody forgot to tell Pat Tillman the rules. He answered questions frankly and without concern for the repercussions.
Question: Have you ever been
arrested? (A routine query in this day).
Answer: "Yes.'' (What's more, it was a minor juvenile arrest that was expunged from Tillman's record. He didn't have to tell anybody). Honesty, again.
Question: Can you play in the NFL?
Answer: "Beats me.'' (The usual college stud response is: "Hell, yes.'' Tillman had no idea, so he said so.)
It went on like this for two days. I learned that Tillman was the type of football player who performed fully without regard for his body. He played at 100 percent of his speed, power and passion 100 percent of the time. That quality is indescribably rare. He was also able to use his brain as effectively as his body. Coaches who told him something had to do so only once.
He was also a a strong student who graduated summa cum laude in three and a half years with a 3.82 grade-point average. He bragged about none of this. Why? "Dude, I'm proud of the things I've done, my schoolwork -- because I'm not smart, I just worked hard -- and this award (the Pac-10 defensive honor)," he told me. "But it doesn't do me any good to be proud. It'd be better to just force myself to be naïve about things, because otherwise I'll start being happy with myself and then I'll stand still. And then I'm old news.''
He is terrible news today, because two years ago he left a career in the NFL -- a career that scouts and personnel experts thought he never could achieve -- to enlist in the Army. He didn't give any interviews then, because he didn't want attention called to his decision. No surprise there. He is the kind of guy who probably would have preferred playing football in a parking lot, rather than in stadiums full of fans. There was a rare purity about him. I've not seen it since. I don't expect to soon see it again. Back in 1997 we ate dinner together with his brother at a cheap spaghetti joint near the ASU campus. Pat was astounded -- and oddly honored -- that I let him pick the restaurant.
I thought about all these things when I opened his card this morning. Here is what he wrote:
Thank you for the time you put into the article, my family and I really enjoyed the way it turned out. Perhaps our paths will cross again someday and you, Kevin and I can have another dinner. This time you pick the place. Until then, take care and tell your kids I said hello.
A few minutes ago my 12-year-old son walked into my home office to check on me. I turned to him, and all I could think to say was, "Pat Tillman says hello.''