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Jason LaBarbera: Class Act

By Wyatt Earp | October 8, 2011

You can keep your baseball players, football felons, and basketball thugs; I’ll look for my heroes on the ice.

This season, [Jason LaBarbera] the Phoenix Coyotes backup goalie is using his mask to pay tribute to someone he never met yet holds a great deal of respect for: NFL star turned war hero Pat Tillman.

“To see him, as a professional athlete, stop doing what he had worked his whole life toward to do something he thought was right — join the Army and go over and do what he did — is a pretty amazing thing,” LaBarbera said. “Nobody else can say that. It’s a pretty special thing he did, so this is a representation of what he did and everyone that’s fighting over there.”

For every win he gets during the 2011-12 season, he plans to donate $420 – Tillman’s number was 42 – to the Pat Tillman Foundation. It was started by Pat’s widow, Marie, and provides support to military service members and their families.

That’s really cool. I always liked the Coyotes – since they used to be the Winnipeg Jets – but I’ll really be cheering them on now.

Topics: Ice Hockey | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Jason LaBarbera: Class Act”

  1. Dannytheman Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    OK, even though I don’t watch hockey, this is entirely cool beyond words!!

    Now I am hoping the Coyotes go undefeated!

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Danny – Yeah, it’s a great gesture.

  3. piperfromtn Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Thank you for posting this, Wyatt. It’s encouraging to see a a man stand up for a hero like Pat Tillman and care about his family in such a tender way.

  4. RT Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Great story!

    So glad hockey is back in season…I hate when the season ends.

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Piper – It’s one of the reason I love hockey. Most of the players are down to earth.

    RT – Kyle and Erik are playing fantasy hockey with us this year. So far, they’re hooked.

  6. Fenway_Nation Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I actually was at the Cardinals pregame ceremony where they retired Tillman’s number a couple of years ago. The visiting team during their home opener in Tempe? The Patriots…

    I thought there was a nice dichotomy to that

  7. Ingineer66 Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 3:48 pm


  8. Bill R. Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I’ll root for them as long as they’re not playing the Wings.

  9. Ingineer66 Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 1:22 am

    I thought we were going to get to see the mask tonight since the Sharks put up 6 goals against Smith, but they did not bring in LaBarbera.

  10. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Fenway – Karma.

    Ingineer66 – Heh.

    Bill R. – Fair enough. Gotta support your team, too.

    Ingineer66 – I thought that was odd, too. Why keep him in during the shelling?

  11. bob (either orr) Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Salute to Mr. LaBarbera!