The Arizona Cardinals' Pat Tillman might have been the most recent NFL player to give his life fighting to protect this country, but he certainly wasn't the first or only former player to do so. Dan Pompei of the National Football Post wrote a portion of his NFP Sunday Blitz on other, more obscure names of former NFL players to lose their lives in the ultimate sacrifice for this country and their names should not be forgotten regardless of how long ago this might have happened.
The names might not be familiar to you, but their stories are those that could easily have names that everyone might know throughout their lives. Al Blozis (1945), Jack Lummus (1945), Bob Kalso (1970), Don Steinbrunner (1966) all gave their lives in wars and left families, friends and teammates behind just as Tillman did. Blozis and Lummis played for the New York Giants, Kalsu for the Buffalo Bills and Steinbrunner for the Cleveland Browns before they left the battles in the trenches of the gridiron for those in Europe and Asia.
Along with Tillman, we should never forget that these guys' stories prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what a game this is compared to real life. If the NFL owners and players want to complain about how greedy the other side is being, they should be reminded that guys like these as well as all the others who have served are the reason that they can argue about the luxury of dividing so much money the NFL produces in the first place.