See the finishers – big and small – of the .42-mile Kids Run at Pat’s Run in Tempe on April 22, 2017. Hannah Gaber/azcentral.com
You are 12. You turn on NFL Network and land on “Pat Tillman: A Football Life.” You are transfixed.
Even as a sixth-grader, his story moves you. How could he give up NFL millions to serve his country?
You have an idea. It is two months from Christmas. You tell your parents the gift you would want is a trip from your home in Indianapolis to Tempe to participate in Pat’s Run, the race that finishes at the Sun Devil Stadium 42-yard line, that benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation and that honors an athlete, a soldier and a scholar.
It was a choice that was “completely unsolicited,” your father, Danny Feeney, says.
Your family agrees – it has some airline mileage – but with one condition: Upon your return, you will write a report for class about what Tillman, and the experience at the race, means to you.
You run with your father Saturday and the experience is even more than you dreamed. You watch him call your mother afterward and he is tearing up from being so moved.
You spot the Cardinals’ standout running back, David Johnson, and have your picture taken with him.
2017 PAT’S RUN: Thousands race in Tempe to honor Tillman
You are asked about the day.
“It was awesome,” you say.
You are Jack Feeney from Indianapolis. You are 12. You ran in Pat’s Run on Saturday, the 13-year anniversary of the day Tillman lost his life in Afghanistan.
You had an experience that will stay with you forever.
- Congratulations to play-by-play voice Greg Schulte, who broadcast his 3,000th game with the Diamondbacks on Friday.
- The Suns are in search of a TV play-by-play voice now that Steve Albert has announced his retirement.
- The Cardinals’ schedule released Thursday includes two primetime games, both at home. The home opener will be Monday night, Sept. 25, against the Dallas Cowboys. They also have a Thursday night game on Nov. 9 against the Seahawks.
Bad ring tone
The Chicago Cubs caused a stir in their attempt to discourage selling of their World Series rings.
The team has asked non-players to sign an agreement that would give the organization the right to buy back the ring for $1.
“I signed that thing willingly,” Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer told ESPN. “Everyone except for the players signed it. I look at it as (ownership was) so unbelievably generous in the cost of the ring and the number they gave out, I think it’s totally appropriate when you’re paying for the ring and helping out with the taxes along with that – it seems appropriate to say, ‘I don’t expect you to take the gift I’m giving you and run out to the market with it.’”
That means, for example, a lower-level employee couldn’t sell the ring, which some have estimated could attract $50,000, even if they were in financial need.
Should gifts come with strings attached?
The U.S. men’s national under-18 team that advanced Saturday to the IHFF World Championship gold medal game has a collection of interesting players.
Start with forward Brady Tkachuk, the son of former Coyotes player Keith Tkachuk and the brother of Matthew, who plays with the Calgary Flames
Add goalie Dylan St. Cyr, the son of Manon Rheaume, the former standout goalie for Canada’s women’s national team and the first woman to play in an NHL game.
And don’t forget forward Sean Dhooghe, who is only 5-foot-3 but has been a factor in the U.S. team’s tournament run and scored the game-winning goal in overtime over Sweden on Saturday.
The puck drops for the gold medal game against Finland at 10:30 a.m. Sunday on NHL Network.
Quote of the day
“I left during the NBA All-Star break … except nobody noticed.” – Suns play-by-play voice Steve Albert after announcing he was retiring.
Tweet of the day
“K John Wall we get it you’re good” – The Atlanta Hawks Twitter account, after the Wizards’ John Wall had a big third quarter to lead Washington to victory over the Hawks in the first game of their series.
Stat of the day
The number of Major League Baseball teams that had more victories than the Diamondbacks, entering Saturday’s games. (Houston was the team, with 12.)
Stat of the day, part deux
The number of quarterbacks from the Pac-12 selected in the past 10 years of NFL drafts, the most of any conference, according to ESPN’s Ted Miller.