Seemingly each week, college football teams have some sort of celebration before or during a home game. It’s rare, however, that the celebration is one that is special to both teams.
On Saturday night, Colorado (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) will visit Arizona State (4-4, 3-2) on a night that ASU will honor active U.S. military and veterans. The Sun Devils will wear special “Brotherhood” uniforms that were inspired by the legacy of Pat Tillman.
A former ASU and Arizona Cardinals defensive back, Tillman turned down a contract worth several million dollars from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army in the spring of 2002, less than a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the U.S.
On April 22, 2004, while on duty in Afghanistan, Tillman was killed.
CU head coach Mike MacIntyre and running back Phillip Lindsay both went out of their way Tuesday to talk about the Buffs being honored to play in a game that will honor Tillman and the military.
“(Tillman) was extraordinary in the things that he did for our country,” Lindsay said. “For him to go and be able to play in the NFL and decide to stop and fight for our country, a lot of people wouldn’t do that.
“It’s going to be an honor to go out there and play in this game.”
The families of 12 fallen service members will be on hand for the game and Lindsay expressed his admiration for those who have served and those who have lost loved ones in service.
“I have so much respect for them,” he said. “They’re putting their life out there. We’re putting our bodies on the line for football, but they’re doing it for our country and for us so that we can have this today, so we can be here to talk and laugh and smile. They’re just selfless. They do what they have to do to help us out. There’s nothing more you can do than that.”
MacIntyre believes Saturday will be an emotional night for the Sun Devils and their fans, but also for the Buffs, and he’s glad his team can be in the stadium that night.
“We have freedom because people go and fight for our country and give us the safety and the ability to do all the things we can do, even being able to sit in this room and have the jobs that we have,” he said. “Saturday night will be a neat thing for our players to see that and honoring (Tillman) and all the other service people.”
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