Adam Hoge’s Charles Tillman Story

| July 19th, 2016

From Adam’s Facebook page, located HERE:

I haven’t shared this story publicly, but with the news of Charles Tillman’s retirement, it seems like the right time:

My son, James, has a couple congenital heart defects that will eventually require surgery. We first learned about these defects in 2014 when James was born prematurely and spent two months in the hospital. The fall of 2014 was stressful not only because of what was going on at home, but also because the Bears were going through a drama-filled season and it seemed like something crazy was happening every day at work. As if that wasn’t enough, 87.7 The Game suddenly folded in November, creating a tumultous (and awkward) final month and a half of the season.

Meanwhile, Charles Tillman was going through his own personal hardship after suffering a season-ending triceps injury for the second year in a row. But in the middle all the chaos, Tillman got word of what was going on with James from former PR guru Mike Corbo and pulled me aside at Halas Hall to talk to me about what was going on. As you may know, one of Tillman’s daughters needed a heart transplant when she was just three-months-old, so he could relate to the fear we were experiencing after hearing doctors put the words “heart” and “surgery” in the same sentence.

It was a small gesture, but one that meant a lot to both my wife and me. The fact that Corbo took the time to set that up and Tillman took the time to talk to me about everything won’t be forgotten.

I tend to be very skeptical when I hear people say that a particular athlete is “a good guy” or even “a bad guy” because the truth is that (for the most part) we don’t really know them that well. In Tillman’s case, I think the work he does with The Cornerstone Foundation speaks for itself, but there are also many other stories like this one that show the type of character he displayed on and off the field during his career.

The 2014 season seemingly got uglier and uglier every day, but Tillman didn’t go anywhere. He was hurt and likely knew it was his last season as a Bear, but he was right there on the field every day trying to coach up his teammates, when many players would have collected their money and watched from home. From time-to-time when I saw him, Tillman checked in with me on James and that continued even after the season when he was no longer with the organization.

I’ve said this before, but watching Tillman go one-on-one with Calvin Johnson twice a year was a highlight of my time covering football. And the “Peanut Punch” was an important contribution to the game. Congrats to Charles Tillman on retirement. A great player, a great Bear and a great person.

Special thanks to Hoge for allowing me to share this.

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  • willbest

    hear hear

  • Swing Tackle of Destiny

    Excellent story.

    I would love to see Connie Payton decide to call the award the “Walter Payton And Charles Tillman” man of the Year Award.

    And I think Walter, were he here, would also agree to that.

    • BearDown100393

      Create a new team reward in his honor instead. For example the best defensive player of a game gets the Tillman Bronzed punching glove or something for a week.

  • I miss Tillman as a Bears CB so much. His 2012 season was magical.

  • MB30SD

    hear, here!

  • Bears-4-Ever

    I’d like the Bears to pick him up just for a day so Peanut could officially retire as a Bear and not a Panther, etc., just as the Rams picked Isaac Bruce up for Just one day when he retired, so he could retire a Offical Ram. Tillman will forever be a BEAR in my heart. Period. Class act.

    • willbest

      Well we have a billion dollars in cap space, we can afford to put him on the roster for an hour at vet. min.

      • Sactowns#1

        Have the McCaskey’s gone cheap on us again? Are they calling it a season before it even begins? I just cant understand why we aren’t spending any of that cash.

        • willbest

          Its probably more Pace still lives on Ramen, Jack’s Pizza and miller lite and is unaccustomed to the finer things in life. Like Malik Jackson.

  • Swing Tackle of Destiny

    On the morning Score show today, there was some speculation by Rich Campbell that Fox is unhappy – that he has a reputation of getting teams to the playoffs at this stage of his involvement – he likes to build the running game and play good D – just basics from the Parcells school of football – and that while he got some stuff he wanted – he wanted more top talent than he got.

    • willbest

      Unsurprised. Pace has 20 million dollars he could have bought talent with and no doubt Fox had a half dozen more guys on his wish list in FA

      • You’re about to get Jericho’d

        ouch, that sucks. We could have used a DB, DL, OL or TE. One injury in the D backfield and we’ll have an UDFA out there. One injury on the DL and we’ll have a JAG or dude wearing number 78. One injury to OL and we’ll have a seriously bad backup and one injury to TE and Jay will be out there hoping Moeaki’s leg doesn’t straight up come off his body again.

    • AlbertInTucson


      Don’t even bother to cite some anonymous, imaginary source.

      Just make stuff up.


      • Scharfinator

        I feel like I could be a radio host if all I have to do is speculate!

    • Irish Sweetness

      Jocksqueeze or Perry could end up being the 3rd down guy, Howard will get the short yardage. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jeremy becomes #3 back quick smart.

  • Sactowns#1

    lol. After yesterday they disabled the live chat for the RNC live stream. Couldn’t possibly be because of the anti-Semitism.

    • MB30SD

      everything’s always our fault

      • DaMurph

        What did ya do now?

        • MB30SD

          I don’t know my brother, but the hillbillies think the jooz did it

          • Swing Tackle of Destiny

            I saw an interview with Terry Gilliam. He told a story of talking to Stanley Kubrick upon a meeting with him (which was rare and uncommon).

            They discussed how only Steven Spielberg would make a holocaust movie with a happy ending. Apparently Kubrick thought Schindler’s List was a terrible firm. He went on to work with Spielberg on A.I. but I guess he really did not get that movie.

          • willbest

            But without the Holocaust we wouldn’t have a name to call Trump, so that really was a happy ending.

          • Swing Tackle of Destiny

            It’s really easy to tell you are a lawyer IRL

          • Irish Sweetness

            I laughed out loud in the cinema towards the end of A.I. That was some cheesy shit.

        • willbest

          The Jews have married to both Chelsea and Ivanka. Two percent of the population yet 100% of the Son-in-laws of the presidential nominees. Conspiracy I tell you.

          • MB30SD

            thasss how we do eeet!

            Speaking of jooz… where the FUCK is shady?!

  • Swing Tackle of Destiny

    Hottest chick with an IQ over 150. Nominate. Note: 150 is really smart. So no passing a 130 off as a 150.

    I’d have to go with Betsy Woodruff of Daily Beast.

  • Swing Tackle of Destiny

    In Texas there is a funeral home chain called Boxwell Brothers. The guy who sells pre-paid funerals is named Justin Case.

    • willbest


      Everybody dies. But not everybody truly lives – Melania Trump.

      • Swing Tackle of Destiny

        See? This is why we don’t invite lawyers to the BBQ

        • willbest

          BBQ is one of my hobbies and I am pretty good at it. It gets me invited to the block party on the other block because my backyard neighbor likes it.

      • BearDown100393

        He’s not really dead. As long as we remember him.

  • AlbertInTucson

    And now a word from out sponsor…

    Knocking footballs loose from man after man…

    …causing turnovers by the bunch.

    The one, the only, Charles Tillman…

    …master of “The Peanut Punch”.


    • AlbertInTucson

      I did consider making the sponsor tag for this one “Planters”.

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