Let’s play the points game as it relates to LaDainian Tomlinson and his recent retirement.
1. It’s always a classy move when a player retires with the team who drafted him and/or the one where 90% of his memories originate from.
2. This suit? Something straight out the Steve Harvey Summer 2012 catalog. My mom’s response? “Oooo wee. What possessed him to put that on? And he’s got money, right?”
3. LaDainian was so good that calling him “LT” isn’t even seen as disrespect to Lawrence Taylor. Third in total touchdowns, fifth in career yards from scrimmage, fifth in career rushing yards, a visor that made him look downright indestructible and one dope ass touchdown celebration falls somewhere in the neighborhood of “all time great.” And regardless of what some of Twitter intended to imply a few weeks ago, he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer. He never had the greatest playoff resume, but neither did Barry Sanders (albeit L.T. played for better teams).*
4. Speaking of timeless feats, his 2006 season is still the finest I’ve ever seen a running back have – 1,815 yards rushing, 508 yards receiving and 28 touchdowns. We see a lot of players look video game-esque, but that year L.T. was simply everything you could ask for in a football player. Plus more.
5. He’s always been one of the stand up guys in the league since his rookie year in 2001. And it’s great to see him walk away on his own terms with his health in tact (according to him).
6. Imagining he and Peyton Manning together in Denver would have been about as provocative a QB-RB tandem as we’ve ever seen. If we’re talking 2007.
Seeing The Visored One announce his retirement is almost surreal. It’s a reminder I’m nearing the age when I’ll be telling kids younger than me “I saw (insert player) play his entire career and let me tell you something about him.” Maybe I’m getting old(er), or maybe that’s just the life for a NFL running back. Regardless, tip your hat to L.T. One of the true class acts in all of sports.
Bonus: Playing with LaDainian on NCAA Gamebreaker 2000 was almost like playing with a cheat code.
* – It’s still crazy to believe the Chargers wasted a three interception performance from one Sir Thomas Brady in a 24-21 loss which would’ve put them in the AFC Championship game.