A happy birthday to ASU football great Pat Tillman

There are few names that conjure up the same positive reactions from everyone. One of those names, especially when mentioned in the state of Arizona, is Pat Tillman. The former Sun Devil and Arizona Cardinal who was killed by friendly fire in 2004 would have been 36 this week.

Tillman was born on Nov. 6, 1976, and is honored throughout the ASU athletic facilities. From Tillman Tunnel, to the annual Pat’s Run to the image of him next to the elevators in the Ed and Nadine Carson Student-Athlete Center, Tillman’s presence is felt throughout the Tempe campus.

Tillman’s list of accomplishments is simply too long to write out, but there are a few notables. In 1997, his final season at ASU, the California native was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, Sporting News Honda Scholar-Athlete of the Year and ASU’s most valuable player.

Americans should thank Tillman and all veterans for their service on a regular basis, but this week, the message should include a simple “happy birthday” as well.