— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 15, 2015
The Cardinals were agonizingly close to unwittingly destroying Pat Tillman’s locker at the team’s practice facilities this past offseason.
Pat Tillman was a Cardinals safety who retired from the NFL in order to enlist in the Army in 2002 in the wake of the September 11th attacks. He later lost his life in combat in 2004 in Afghanistan. The Cards have numerous reminders of Tillman at their Tempe practice facility but they were close to losing Tillman’s locker if it were not for the eagle-eyes of the team’s broadcast manager Jim Omohundro.
The Cards had spent the offseason renovating the team’s practice facility and every locker was slated to be thrown out and replaced, including Tillman’s old locker. Thanks to a Cardinals blog post on the renovations, Omohundro was reminded of Tillman’s locker and he rushed back to the facilities to save the locker minutes before it was set to be broken down.
When work quickly began post-Super Bowl to move on the locker room change, Omohundro happened to notice a blog post on azcardinals.com that pictured the lockers coming down. Away from the facility at the time, Omohundro rushed back to make the save. Coming around the corner he feared he was too late, but one final turn to the area showed that Tillman’s former stall was one of only a few left – and a worker headed to the corner with an electric saw, ready to take them down.
After the locker was in safe hands, the Cardinals restored Tillman’s name to the locker that he used to occupy. It will likely rest in the lobby of the practice facility as a tribute to Tillman’s service.