Marcy Wheeler reminds us that “the most famous [Arizona] Cardinal” won’t be playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow, when his team takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers:
I speak, of course, of Corporal Pat Tillman, who left the NFL after 9/11 to serve in the Army Rangers. Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. For months after his death, he was used as a propaganda tool to glorify Bush’s failed wars. The exposure of the truth behind Tillman’s death has since turned him into a symbol of the duplicity of the Bush Administration, the fight for the truth, and the futility of the war itself.
The New York Times writes that Tillman will not be forgotten this weekend. Soldiers will watch the game “from a U.S.O. center in Afghanistan that bears Tillman’s name and was built with money donated by the N.F.L. in his memory.” Tillman’s jersey, emblazoned with his number 40, is the best selling item on the team’s website. “It’s great,” said former Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer, who was Tillman’s college and Cardinals teammate and a close friend. “But in the grand scheme of things, it all kind of stinks because he’s not around.”