The New Old Pat Tillman Tale

The story about Fort Lewis Ranger Pat Tillman having been offered a contract by the Seattle Seahawks - but choosing to do another year of military service instead - comes as a surprise to some. It's currently one of the most-read stories on the P-I website, given new life by Sports Illustrated, the NY Times and others, fueled by a passage from Jon Krakauer's new book on the pro footballer-turned-Army-hero. But it's an old story, told by, among others, the Arizona Republic in 2005. In this piece by Dan Bickley, Tillman attended a 2003 game here between the Seahawks and Cardinals (his former team), and said that while he'd learned to love Starbucks, he wasn't ready to give up the Army for a Seattle football job, or any football job, even though he could opt out after two years. "I'm going to stay [a Ranger]" he said. "I owe them three years. I'll do one more tour." That's in fact how it worked out. Tillman was killed in Afghanistan the following year by friendly fire, as the Army wishes to call it.

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