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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Arizona faithful remember Tillman

Associated Press

On the playing field where he had some of his brightest sports moments, Pat Tillman was remembered Saturday as a nonconformist who gave up his football career – and ultimately his life – to fight for his country.

Tillman, the first NFL player to die in combat since the Vietnam War, was honored Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., where he played for Arizona State University and the Arizona Cardinals.

About 5,000 people attended the memorial, including Tillman’s widow, Maria, his parents and many former teammates and coaches. Another service was held Monday in San Jose, Calif., his hometown.

An Army Ranger who turned away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract to enlist after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Tillman was fatally shot April 22 in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

The Army posthumously promoted him to corporal and awarded him the Silver Star for valor and the Purple Heart, saying he was leading his team to help ambushed soldiers pinned down by enemy fire.

“These types of noble acts by men of Pat Tillman’s stature are going to reverberate for a long, long time,” said former Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis, who choked back tears several times during his remarks.

“It is our duty to keep his spirit alive in our world,” McGinnis said.

Former Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder recalled the shock waves Tillman sent through his staff when, as a freshman, he refused to consider red-shirting and told the coach he had other things to do with his life than waste time.

“There is no redshirt year in life,” Snyder said.

Niners’ Rattay needs surgery

San Francisco quarterback Tim Rattay will have surgery to repair a torn muscle in his groin and is expected to miss up to four months.

Rattay was injured Friday while attempting a pass during the opening session of the team’s first spring mini-camp.

“The muscle came off the bone and they’re going to go in and attach it in the groin,” 49ers coach Dennis Erickson said Saturday. “It’s a temporary setback. It’s not a season-ending injury by any means. He’ll be here for training camp. Tim Rattay should be our starter when we play our first game.”

Dolphins rookie released from jail

Miami Dolphins rookie defensive back Will Poole was released from jail in Los Angeles after serving less than one full day of a five-day sentence for driving under the influence, officials said.

Poole pleaded no contest after he was charged in February with driving under the influence in Los Angeles.

Miami selected Poole, a cornerback from Southern Cal, in the fourth round of last month’s draft.

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