Monday, April 26, 2004
It has come to my attention that I’m the only person left in the blogosphere who hasn’t made a comment on the death of Pat Tillman. Very well.
It’s not that Tillman’s life was any more important, or his death any more sad, than any of the other soldiers who have been killed, or indeed any of the Iraqi civilians who have suffered and died. The story is getting attention for several reasons.
One: he was a celebrity, after all. You think Kobe’s the only man facing rape charges right now? Or that Martha Stewart’s the only person being tried for, well, whatever the hell it is? Celebrities attract attention.
Two: in joining up, he didn’t just risk his future potential, he walked away from a sure thing. 3.6 million over three years (astonishing how many people are getting that detail wrong) and all the fame and adulation that comes with being a player in the NFL. And he was a seventh round pick who worked his butt off and made it; he set a team record with 224 tackles in a season; he graduated from ASU with a 3.84 GPA.
Three: it was a great story (NFL player quits to join army in wake of 9-11), and we wanted a happy ending.
There are other stories all over the place. I found Michelle Witmer’s particularly heart-wrenching. But excessive attention on one of them doesn’t mean it’s somehow more important than all the others.
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