Craig: Tillman plays dad, then football

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 10, 2012 - 5:06 PM

Bears cornerback Charles Tillman had his priorities straight putting the birth of his child before a Sunday on the field.

hide

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman

Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen finds it hard to believe that Bears cornerback Charles Tillman -- or anyone else, for that matter -- would have to defend himself from people who argue that an NFL player should choose playing in a game over attending the birth of his child.

"This game will never be more important than family," Allen said. "So I'm all for it. I think [Tillman is] a bigger man for putting his family before his job."

Tillman was the subject of national discussion and some ridicule this week when he initially told Chicago radio station WSCR-AM that he might not be available for Sunday's game against Houston because his wife, Jackie, might give birth. Tillman has since tweeted that he will play because, according to him, Jackie will give birth on Monday.

But what if that changes and the birth does come on Sunday? Tillman won't be there. First of all, he sounds like a father with appropriate priorities. Secondly, he also knows the dangers, having had a daughter, Tiana, who had to have a heart transplant to survive the first year of her life.

Tillman is having a defensive MVP- caliber season on a 7-1 team that's preparing to play another 7-1 team. So his situation stirred the question this week about where an NFL player's loyalties should lie during the season.

A survey of the Vikings locker room rejected the notion that a father's place is anywhere but in the delivery room.

Backup linebacker Tyrone McKenzie was faced with that possible decision last month. He and his wife were preparing to induce labor when the baby was born on Oct. 31, a Wednesday.

"If we had a 1 o'clock home game and the baby was born before 11 that day, I would be at the game," McKenzie said. "The baby is sleeping and my family understands. But if you're asking about the actual birth, then, no. As a father, you have to be at the birth of your child."

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier agrees wholeheartedly. McKenzie wasn't the only player he was faced with having to prepare to play without last month. He said Joe Berger, a key backup offensive lineman and special teamer, also came within days of having to miss a game.

"All of us who have kids, we know the importance of if Dad can be there, you want Dad there," Frazier said. "I know my wife appreciated me being there."

Allen's daughter was born 13 months ago during the week the Vikings were preparing to play at Carolina.

"I remember when we were going to have our daughter," Allen said. "I already told Coach, 'If I get a call in the third quarter, I'm walking off the field and leaving.' For me, there's nothing more important than family."

Allen said that will never change no matter how many children he has.

"We have great jobs," he said. "We get paid to play a phenomenal game. But football is not life or death. There will be another game. You never know when you're going to have another kid."

But what if the wife is due on Super Bowl Sunday and a certain purple-clad team is in the game?

"Before a Super Bowl?" Allen said. "We're inducing before the Super Bowl."

  • related content

  • Mark Craig's fourth-and-five

    Saturday November 10, 2012

    • Jaguars rookie Justin Blackmon, drafted No. 7 overall, shows no explosion. He's caught only 23 of 54 passes thrown to him.

  • Northern Intelligence

    Saturday November 10, 2012

    What's up with the Bears' Devin Hester? One of the best returners in NFL history ranking 12th in punt returns with a 9.0-yard average? Don't worry. He's starting to warm...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 70 3rd Qtr 3:11
Orlando 57
Charlotte 74 3rd Qtr 7:30
Philadelphia 53
Brooklyn 45 2nd Qtr 2:39
Cleveland 45
Washington 52 2nd Qtr 2:06
Miami 51
Minnesota 48 3rd Qtr
Boston 53
Toronto 52 3rd Qtr
Detroit 52
Chicago 20 2nd Qtr 12:00
Memphis 22
Portland 17 2nd Qtr
San Antonio 20
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Denver
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 1 2nd Prd 3:40
New Jersey 2
Anaheim 0 2nd Prd 19:19
Ottawa 2
NY Islanders 1 2nd Prd 17:35
Detroit 1
Boston 0 1st Prd 5:34
Winnipeg 1
Dallas 8:00 PM
Calgary
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 29 2nd Half 12:26
Alabama 47
Case Western Reserve 59 2nd Half 5:05
Bucknell 76
Niagara 34 2nd Half 13:23
Buffalo 54
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 52 2nd Half 8:43
Central Mich 79
Northern Ill 36 2nd Half 7:11
Dartmouth 42
North Florida 62 2nd Half 7:28
Florida A&M 43
Hiwassee 58 2nd Half 5:04
Gardner-Webb 84
Tennessee St 43 2nd Half 9:23
Hampton 49
NC A&T 38 2nd Half 10:55
Kent State 46
Central Penn College 55 2nd Half 7:52
Liberty 74
Eastern Ky 43 2nd Half 10:29
Miami-Florida 29
Northern Ky 64 2nd Half 5:57
Morehead State 48
Northern Ariz 43 2nd Half 6:30
Norfolk State 61
MD-Eastern Shore 35 2nd Half 5:52
Old Dominion 46
St Marys-CA 39 2nd Half 11:44
St Johns 33
Clemson 37 2nd Half 8:25
South Carolina 54
Tenn Tech 48 2nd Half 5:24
Tennessee 50
Washington-MD 39 2nd Half 4:19
William & Mary 77
Bethune-Cookman 24 2nd Half
Mercer 33
Furman 34 2nd Half
Fla Gulf Coast 38
South Dakota St 30 2nd Half 16:34
CS-Bakersfield 30
Milligan 19 1st Half 4:31
Lamar 31
LSU-Alexandria 19 1st Half 6:28
ULM 22
Southern Utah 9 1st Half 7:36
Loyola-Chicago 22
Chattanooga 14 1st Half 7:55
Middle Tennessee 16
Seattle 15 1st Half 10:09
Minnesota 22
Lipscomb 25 1st Half 0:51
Princeton 40
Winthrop 28 1st Half 6:01
SE Louisiana 29
Dickinson State 7 1st Half 8:13
North Dakota 15
New Orleans 16 1st Half 7:08
Southern Ill 17
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
Creighton
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Denver
Alabama A&M 8:00 PM
Marquette
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Texas Tech
Eastern Wash 9:00 PM
California
Idaho State 9:05 PM
Utah State
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 30 2nd Half 9:00
Virginia 43
McNeese State 36 2nd Half 11:37
Rice 31
McMurry 43 2nd Half 4:35
Houston Baptist 57
NJIT 50 2nd Half 5:26
Seton Hall 69
(6) North Carolina 46 2nd Half 10:00
Maine 29
Lafayette 53 2nd Half 7:45
Stony Brook 49
Siena 58 2nd Half 2:53
Binghamton 47
Longwood 34 2nd Half 10:59
Clemson 51
Savannah State 33 2nd Half 9:23
Florida State 67
(19) Syracuse 62 2nd Half 6:02
(9) Baylor 60
Buffalo 43 2nd Half 11:15
Manhattan 29
Canisius 40 2nd Half 3:05
Michigan 77
Davidson 50 2nd Half 6:09
NC State 64
Northern Ky 50 2nd Half 7:34
Delaware 47
Saint Louis 32 2nd Half
Austin Peay 39
(25) DePaul 33 2nd Half
(2) Connecticut 53
Ohio U 32 2nd Half 20:00
La Salle 40
Florida Atlantic 19 1st Half 7:47
Long Beach St 24
Miami-Florida 4 1st Half 16:00
Tulane 8
Miss Valley St 14 1st Half 6:13
Memphis 20
Ark-Pine Bluff 17 1st Half 5:00
UAB 29
Bowling Green 23 1st Half 8:39
Illinois State 10
Arkansas State 24 1st Half 7:03
Missouri State 21
ULM 10 1st Half 6:58
Wichita State 25
(16) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Southern Ill
Utah Valley U 8:30 PM
Montana
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
No Dakota State 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Utah State 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Bethesda (CA) 9:00 PM
Fresno State
LSU 9:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close