Thursday, October 6, 2011

Phoenix Coyotes Goalie pays tribute to fallen hero

Phoenix Coyotes’ goaltender Jason LaBarbera chose to pay homage to stalwart Pat Tillman with his 2011-2012 goalie mask.

LaBarbera wanted a mask that honored both the U.S. and Canadian Armed Forces serving overseas. More specifically, he wanted one side of the mask to honor the late Pat Tillman; the defensive back for theArizona Cardinals who left the NFL to enlist in the U.S. Army with his brother after 9/11, and who was killed by friendly fire on April 22, 2004 in Afghanistan.

"With all circumstances leading up to the passing of Pat Tillman aside, I felt that he put a face to the everyday soldier," said Arrigo.

The mask depicts Tillman and his brother in military gear, along with an image of Pat Tillman as a member of the Cardinals, who like LaBarbera's Coyotes play in Glendale.

The opposite side of the mask features a single, faceless solider with helicopters above his head. Throughout the mask is a red-and-sand-colored camouflage that matches the Coyotes' team colors.

Part of the design: Multiples stars and maple leafs that serve as a tribute to "both Canadian and American forces serving in their respective theaters," said Arrigo.

On the front of the mask is a yellow ribbon, an acknowledgement that those serving overseas are in the thoughts of those back home.Arrigo said the mask was a perfect way to honor Tillman and the rest of the men and women still serving around the world.
"Personally, whether or not you agree with the actions overseas, I feel we need to support, to no end, our brave forces," he said.

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