Pat Tillman, the Arizona Cardinals standout defensive back who forsook a $3 million contract to enlist in the Army in 2002, and who was killed by friendly fire in an operation in Afghanistan, returns to the football field as a special offering within Madden NFL 13's Ultimate Team mode. Tillman's appearance in the game is supported by the foundation established in his name.
Tillman played for the Arizona Cardinals from 1998 to 2001, appearing on the roster of Madden NFL and other video games licensed by the NFL Players Association in those years. His last video game appearance, though not by name, was on an all-time Arizona State roster in NCAA Football 2005, alongside Cardinals teammate and good friend Jake Plummer.
Tillman is easy to acquire: 40 Madden coins, which you can get by simply selling back pretty much any player in your reserve roster, gives you an 85-rated Tillman at strong safety (go to the Card Deals menu in Ultimate Team). A 99-rated Tillman is also available in Legendary packs, but it's not known how many of those cards will be inserted into them.
Tillman's controversial death, the Army's dishonest announcement and cover-up of it, the incident's apparent use as a propaganda tool, and Tillman's posthumous criticisms of the war have made him a complicated figure to a society that loosely distributes a "hero" label to any who serve. That falls well short of honoring a man whose actions always demonstrated the courage of his convictions, and who fulfilled the commitments he made, the real reasons for which Pat Tillman remains widely admired.