4.25.2004

so a professional football player lost his life in iraq this past weekend. pat tillman, the former arizona cardinals and arizona state sundevils linebacker bought the pepperidge farm this weekend in afghanistan. he had just got married, signed a 3 million dollar contract with the cards when 9-11 happened. he then decided that it was a good idea to join the army rangers and go play dress up as a soldier in the mideast. as you might suspect, the media was a deluge of salutes to the brave american that walked away from millions of dollars to serve his country. i have a few thoughts on this matter.

1. it's funny how people somehow equate honor and bravery with intelligence and selflessness. it's really sad that he died, and it's really sad that his family has to deal with this. but in the end, it is his own fault. he was not being brave, he was not defending freedom, and he was certainly not thinking about his family when he signed up for the army. i can't say why he signed up for the army, but i don't think that it's unreasonable that he did it to satisfy his own ego that wouldn't let him sit back while america's ability to exploit the rest of the world was threatened. if he really was worried about making a difference, almost anyone would be able to reason that he would be able to make more of a difference in a position of celebrity, as his professional sports athlete would afford him. he could be a spokesman for a charity organization to support people who died in 9-11, he could start his own organization to really help those who were affected by 9-11. but no, instead, he felt that he had to be a war hero to do this. he had to be a man and protect his land and his women. i mean, really what if he didn't sign up for the army? would we have lost the war? did he make a bigger difference over in afghanistan than he could have here? of course, not. so he basically abandons his wife, and a contract which he had signed, and sure enough, we make a hero out of him.

2. i haven't even gotten into his stupidity in thinking that his presence (or the US' presence for that matter) in the mideast has anything to do with protecting our freedom. he was duped. he got tricked because he wasn't smart enough to see through the very transparent ploy put on by the bush administration to make rich white guys richer and making poor people poorer. in a sense, he's also perpetuating the problems of terrorism by being over there.

3. but i guess that you can't really be surprised since he went to ASU.

4. he really wasn't that good of a football player. i mean i guess he was allright, but i can think of at least 10 teams off the top of my head where he wouldn't be the starting linebacker. he's nowhere near the same universe as the elite or even just the top third of linebackers in the league. he couldn't sniff ray lewis' jock. but since ray lewis is one of the top 4 linebackers of all time, i'll just say that he'd be the below dat nguyen and dexter coakley on the cowboys' depth chart. one of the reasons why people are buying into this hero stuff is because he embodies the scrappy white player with heart, which as we all know, really doesn't exist. scrappy white players is really just another name for "we can't have black people totally dominating a sport, so we'll say that white guys are good because the have heart". heart doesn't win championships people, talent does. look it up.

what i'm trying to say is that we really shouldn't be honoring this guy for being an idiot and causing his family uneccesary suffering. instead we should hold him up as an example of what happens to people when they're stupid enough to buy all this bullshit rhetoric that is surrounding what's going on in the mideast. you get what you sign up for. that and that we got totally got ASU. bear down arizona!

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