Collected Wisdom: Spencer Tillman, former OU running back/CBS college football broadcaster
Spencer Tillman is the lead studio analyst for CBS Sports' college football pregame show, and he was a captain on OU's 1985 national-title team and a co-captain on the San Francisco 49ers' 1990 Super Bowl-winning squad.
I've got four girls. I love my girls. But he was born and died shortly thereafter. To see something that looks like you, is built like you and totally dependent upon you, and physically is a spitting image of who you are, and not to be able to pour into their life ... maybe it's selfish to say this, but I was so looking forward to being a father to a son.
I've been able to be that to my girls, no question about that, but I would've loved to pal around with my little boy and do some of the things fathers get a chance to do. It was not to be. But I've got a special place in my heart for him. Blake is his name.
When my brother died, I was 28 years old and in the prime of my NFL career. I was with the San Francisco 49ers, and my sister called and told me what happened. I immediately flew to Oklahoma and was there at his deathbed.
I listened to him articulate the events that led up to that moment, and the individual who abused him, and basically told him that if he'd told anyone about it, he would kill everybody in our family. It absolutely shaped him and crushed him.
That's the reason why when this Jerry Sandusky garbage came out, I didn't hold back because I'd seen what it could do to the lives of the people involved. It was tragic because it had happened to my brother.
My family was in New York City, and some couple remembered that I worked at WABC, the ABC affiliate, and they asked me for my autograph. My 9-year-old — at the time — was looking up at me, and I caught her out of my peripheral, running back vision. When they left, she looked at me and said, ‘Why do they want your autograph? You ain't nobody.' I was like, ‘Well, you know that, and I know that. But they didn't know that.' My family keeps me grounded.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 90847Oklahoma weather: Severe storm updates
- 47098Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'
- 38051Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 30921Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
- 13823Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 11468How to help tornado victims