CONQUERED

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

Was flipping through channels this past Veteran’s Day and came across the NFL Network, which happened to be airing “A Football Life – The Legacy Of Pat Tillman.” 

I watched the short documentary when it came out a couple years ago but immediately was dialed in and feeling every emotion the same way when I watched it for the first time.

One thing that resonated with me this time was Perry Eddinger, Pat’s trainer at ASU, talking about how Pat used to always like to say: 

“Let’s CONQUER this.” 

As a Freshman at Leland High School, a 5 foot 4 Pat was frustrated because he didn’t make the varsity baseball team. He decided to not play JV and told his baseball coach and future father-in-law, Coach Ugenti, that he was going to spend his time lifting weights and running so he could get a DI football scholarship… 

CONQUERED 

When Pat arrived at ASU, he immediately told the football coaches there that he had no plans on redshirting because he only planned on being in college for 4 years because he had other shit he wanted to do with his life. True to his word, Pat graduated from ASU in 3.5 years with a 3.8 GPA… 

CONQUERED 

On the field, Pat was a grossly undersized linebacker, yet he helped lead the Sun Devils to national prominence with a win over #1 ranked Nebraska and the schools 1st ever Rose Bowl appearance… Oh yea, he was also named the PAC 10 Defensive Player of The Year… 

CONQUERED 

Tillman was the Arizona Cardinals last pick in the 1998 NFL draft and wasn’t even expected to make the team… He switched positions, learned how to play defensive back and ended up as the starting safety and helped lead the Cardinals to the playoffs for the first time in years. Pat’s final season in the NFL, he led the entire league in tackles… 

CONQUERED 

When Pat hit the offseason, he strayed from conventional weight training and speed workouts and despite the objections of many within the Cardinals organization, he took on the challenge of running a marathon in under 4 hours… 

CONQUERED 

Of course, a marathon wasn’t enough, so the next off-season, Pat ventured into the world of triathlon and set out to complete the notoriously difficult Eagle Man Half Ironman…

CONQUERED 

After 9/11, there were many of us athletes that talked about and had visions of attempting to join a special forces military unit to help the fight and preserve our countries freedoms and liberties… Pat quit the NFL, joined the Army then endured the rigorous training to become a member of the elite special forces Ranger Battalion… 

CONQUERED 

The legend of Pat Tillman doesn’t need me to sensationalize it because this dude’s ACTIONS spoke louder than any f*cking words that I or anyone else could ever write… Let’s hope that we can continue to teach the next generation about a dude that didn’t just talk about CONQUERING shit, HE F*CKING DID IT.

-EB