Just as he did during his Sun Devil football playing days, Pat Tillman was there to save the day for ASU.
This time, however, he was not on Frank Kush field in uniform but rather there in spirit.
Tillman's legacy allowed the ASU family to put aside for a day the constant rekindling of the tragic shooting death of former Sun Devil football player Brandon Faulker allegedly by ASU running back Loren Wade.
Instead of focusing on that horrific incident, talk on the ASU campus Saturday was about Pat's spirit and how he set aside fame, fortune, friends and family to serve his country.
Obvious from the onset of the run was that the field wasn't the usual band of young, hard-core runners with zero-percent body fat, high-tech shoes and state-of-the-art racing garb seen in most long-distance runs.
Instead, it was a diverse field of young and old runners and walkers.
Some pushed baby strollers, some carried backpacks and others ran in combat boots.
They were the type of people he would have loved.
It was also obvious from race banter and post-run chatter, the character, integrity, commitment and courage Pat showed during his life was an inspiration to everyone.
For most of the day, the constant barrage of news about the alleged murder of an ASU football player took second fiddle to thoughts of a man who laid down his life for his friends.
Pat's brother-in-law and executive director of the Pat Tillman Foundation, Alex Garwood challenged the 5,200 runners saying, "Pat made you feel alive and passionate while he was here and it's on us, it's on Arizonans in particular, to make sure we continue that feeling, that passion."
From this scribe's view, Pat's life might best be summed up in quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Sir Winston Churchill.
Emerson once said, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
That was Pat.
Churchill said, "I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
Again that's Pat -- a man of honesty, service and passion.
MSA a sellout
The always-popular Mogollon Sporting Association banquet is now a sellout, but members are continuing to accept raffle, prize and auction donations.
According to longtime MSA member Jack Koon, the event sold out March 31 but a waiting list is being compiled if any tickets become available. To sign up on the waiting list or to donate merchandise for the giveaways, call Koon at (928) 474-1662.
The celebratory banquet begins at 5 p.m. May 7 at Mazatzal Casino with a no-host cocktail hour. At 6 p.m., a filet mignon or chicken dinner will be served.
The fun is expected to peak about 7 p.m. when master of ceremonies Will E. Dietz begins the raffles and giveaways. Dave Yoke's auctioneering is also a jovial, and usually profitable, portion of the evening.