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Peanut Tillman Is Building A Row Boat With His Bare Hands and Sailing It Across Lake Michigan For Pediatric Charities

Former Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is doing a difficult thing for a great cause. The 38-year-old Tillman is planning to build a boat and row it across Lake Michigan to raise money for pediatric cancer.

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As the Chicago Tribune lays out, there are a few complications with Tillman’s plan.

1. Tillman has zero experience as a rower.

2. He’s never built anything before, much less a boat.

3. He’s afraid of lakes. (And sharks.)

But Tillman is doing it because he knows it will benefit a good cause, and because he believes it is important to face his fears.

Tillman won’t be making the trek by himself. He’s teaming up with a tech executive named Jacob Beckley, who has rowed across Lake Michigan before but vowed to never do it again. Tillman had to convince Beckley to go through the whole ordeal a second time.

As for building the boat, well, that was done to cut down on costs. In order to buy a boat appropriate for rowing across Lake Michigan, the two would have had to pay $80,000.

While Tillman made plenty of money during his 13-year career in the NFL, the duo has a good reason for not purchasing their own boat, according to the Tribune.

“Every dollar out of our pocket is a dollar not going to our causes,” Beckley said. “So we immediately ruled (that) we’re going to build our own boat. I’m not sure he was extremely confident that we could, but I think after he saw it come together, he was like, ‘I think we got this.’”

Tillman was also inspired to take on the task by his daughter Tiana. As a baby, Tiana needed a heart transplant. Tillman explained he had so many people help him during that time, and that rowing across Lake Michigan would be his way of giving back.


Okay so this is just further proof what an awesome dude, yet what a bad ass Peanut Tillman is.  I’ve said it before, he’s not the *best* athlete I’ve watched on a Chicago team, though he was great, but he’s absolutely the easiest to root for.  Just such a genuine, good dude.

Think about it.  Goes from having a 12 year, really good NFL career and one that should lead to the Hall of Fame (his forced turnover numbers are absurd and will never be touched again by a DB) to joining the FBI counter terrorism unit, to building a row boat to row across Lake Michigan with his bare hands to raise money for pediatric charities.

Now this can be dangerous as fuck:

Sure it’s just a “lake” but the lake gets angry as fuck sometimes.  Anyone willingly sailing across his has a screw loose other than Peanut Tillman.  He’s just someone who wants to face his fear and raise money for charity.

Now when I first read this story I assumed Peanut was going to build some luxury yacht with his bare hands.  At least something close.  If Peanut wants to build the new titanic with just some hammers and nails, I’m of the proclivity  that he can do so.  He’s Peanut and can do anything.

But WOW was I wrong.  He’s just putting together some plywood sheets.

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That does NOT look like a comfortable sleep.  What a crazy man!

I hope he raises a billion dollars.  I want to help him get there.  Chicago fans, you love Peanut.  Again, he’s one of the most likable athletes to ever play in this city.  So, toss him $5, $10, $20, whatever you got.  We owe it to him for plays like these:

Here’s the link to his foundation: