There's no doubt that Tillman is someone to be looked up to. He was a legend, and a great man.
But does he belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Today is the 10th anniversary of his death, and recently there has been a groundswell of support for his Hall of Fame case.
CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel is one of the many who believe that Tillman should be enshrined in Canton.
In Gregg's words:
On one hand, he's right. They really don't get more legendary than Pat Tillman.
On the other hand, Tillman's not a legend of the NFL. He's a legend of life. His NFL feats aren't anywhere near what you'd expect from a Hall of Famer.
Sports Illustrated senior football writer Peter King is on the other side of the argument. He says that although Tillman is a hero, he doesn't deserve a bust in Canton.
As I wrote today, QB Eddie LeBaron was twice wounded in Korea. Returned to QB in NFL. Was good. He's not in. Should we put him in?— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 21, 2014
There's a big display, including Rocky Bleier's Purple Heart, in the Hall of Fame. Tillman is honored there. It's a great room of tribute.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 21, 2014
People: The Hall of Fame has a special room, a big one, that recognizes all NFLers who served in wartime. Big Tillman exhibit there.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 21, 2014
Personally, I agree with King on this one.
There are guys who have exhibits in the Hall of Fame, whether for their single-game accomplishments, single-season feats, or even team achievements. And players who served in the military are honored in an exhibit like that.
It's entirely different to be permanently enshrined as a Hall of Famer. That honor is reserved for those who were the best of the best on the field.
Tillman should be honored. He should be recognized. He should be forever remembered. But an unworthy honor like Hall of Fame induction isn't the way to do it.