ASU unveils Pat Tillman bronze statue as football season begins
Sun Devil players will now begin a tradition of touching the statue before each game
Today marks the beginning of football season. ASU's campus was buzzing with excitement as students sported their maroon and gold fan gear, and chatted anxiously about the game.
In the stadium, ASU prepared for its own special show of pride and passion for football season. Pat Tillman, former Sun Devils and Cardinals player, had walked away from professional football to become an Army Ranger. He is now immortalized in bronze.
After his death in 2004, Tillman became a country-wide symbol of integrity and greatness. The memory of Tillman holds a special place in the hearts of Arizonans and Sun Devil fans. The bronze statue's unveiling ceremony attracted several hundred people, including Tillman's family.
Sun Devil players will now begin a tradition of touching the statue before each game. As coach Todd Graham tells ESPN, "He embodied what we are about. We're trying to teach guys to win and be a champion in life, and that's what we're here to celebrate. That's what Pat's life was all about."
Beneath the bronze statue, a plaque displays a quote of Tillman's, "Somewhere inside, we hear a voice. It leads us in the direction of who we wish to become. But it is up to us whether or not to follow it."
Just off campus, on College Avenue, bars and restaurants prepared for the floods of students and fans that would be present before, during, and after the game–truly making the night a total event.