NFL Network’s “A Football Life: Pat Tillman” will premiere Friday (Oct. 28) at the Pro Football Hall of Fame with additional screenings on Saturday (Oct. 29). The one-hour documentary produced by NFL Films tells the life story of the heroic football player who put aside his NFL career and a $3.6 million contract to serve his country after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The documentary captures the essence of Tillman’s character following the story of his life from playing football to making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. It is narrated by Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles and includes a collection of highlights from his life, anecdotes from those who knew him best, and interviews with those touched by Tillman.
For Tillman, enlisting in the military after the Sept. 11 attacks was just another way he showed his integrity and noble personality. He had a great deal of respect for those who served as is showcased in the documentary, “My great-grandfather was at Pearl Harbor, and a lot of my family has gone and fought in wars, and I really haven’t done a damn thing as far as laying myself on the line like that. And so I have a great deal of respect for those that have, and what the flag stands for,” Tillman shared.
Guests visiting the Hall of Fame this weekend will have the opportunity to view “A Football Life: Pat Tillman” with the purchase of a museum admission. The hour-long film will run continuously from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
Tillman was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the seventh round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Arizona State. After spending his collegiate career as a linebacker despite being relatively undersized for the position, Tillman moved to safety when he reached the NFL. He started 10 games in his rookie season. Although his career was a brief four seasons, Tillman played in 60 games including 39 in which he started. He ended his football career with three interceptions, two and one-half sacks, three fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles.
Despite being offered millions from the St. Louis Rams, Tillman remained with the Cardinals out of his loyalty to the team. In 2002, that same loyalty brought Tillman to enlist alongside his brother Kevin Tillman in the United States Army. Both Tillman brothers put their professional athletic careers on hold to serve their country – Pat turning down a lucrative contract with the Cardinals and Kevin walking away from an offer to play Major League Baseball with the Cleveland Indians. Army Ranger Pat Tillman lost his life in the line of duty at the age of 27.
Tillman’s number 40 jersey was retired by the Cardinals and he was inducted into the Cardinals’ Ring of Honor in 2006 alongside many Pro Football Hall of Famers, including: DAN DIERDORF, ERNIE NEVERS, and CHARLEY TRIPPI. His jersey was also retired by Arizona State and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame posthumously in 2010.
Back to news