July 9, 2002
NFL's Tillman Is In The Army Now
NFL player Pat Tillman made a living pushing his body to
the limit, putting himself through grueling training and sweating
it out in the summer heat. This year, he's doing it for the
Army for a lot less money.
The 25-year-old starting safety for the Arizona Cardinals
told coaches last year that he wanted to join the Rangers—the
Army's elite infantry unit—and train with his younger brother,
who enlisted with him.
Tillman turned down a three-year, $3.6 million contract
with the Cardinals to make $18,000 per year for an uncertain
future, since there is no guarantee he will make Ranger.
Basic training began yesterday at Fort Benning in Georgia.
Tillman has rejected all requests for an interview about his
Tillman's goal will be difficult. Only 35 percent of all
candidates get to wear the coveted black and gold Ranger tab.
Physical fitness is key, but Army training is different from
"Mental toughness separates those that drive on," retired
Ranger Capt. Todd Bearden said. "When you take away somebody's
sleep and somebody's food and push them to the limit, it changes
the dynamics of everything."