Now that LaDainian Tomlinson has officially closed the book on his NFL career, the next stop for the former San Diego Chargers star is Canton, Ohio. In his 11-year career, Tomlinson racked up 162 total touchdowns and more than 18,000 yards from scrimmage. He holds the NFL record for total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and total points in a single season, among many other records. The video-game numbers LT put up during the prime of his career make him a lock for the Hall of Fame.
One thing Tomlinson was never able to accomplish, however, was winning the big one. He came up just short several times with both the Chargers and Jets, but LT says he would rather be inducted to the Hall of Fame than win a Super Bowl anyway.
“(I’d rather be a) Hall of Fame player without a ring, because you’ve got to sacrifice so much individually just to be good,” Tomlinson said on NBC SportsTalk. “They draft you individually, and you’ve got to back them up and make them right. I think at the end of the day, even though I didn’t win a Super Bowl ring, I felt like I backed them up for drafting me. I backed up the San Diego Chargers for picking me with the fifth pick.” Full story
Hey, that makes sense
Some may argue that it is easy for Tomlinson to have that opinion, in light of the fact that his career is now over without achieving Super Bowl glory. It is, nevertheless, difficult to argue with his logic. Granted, football is the ultimate team sport, requiring every player on the field to meld into a cohesive unit, each individual separately doing their respective jobs but executed with well-honed precision in order to be successful, be it on a single play, a game, or even an entire season or playoff run.
But the same reasons that make pro football the ultimate team sport also provide evidence in abundance that when presented with an either/or scenario, having Hall of Fame credentials perhaps is a more revealing indicator of just how much a player contributed to a team’s quest for Super Bowl glory than actually winning a Super Bowl championship. It’s not entirely Tomlinson’s fault that the loaded Chargers squads came up short when those teams reached the playoffs no more than it could be stated that LT’s stellar on-field performances were the sole reason why the Chargers franchise had the success it had during his time with the team. Read more
A Super Bowl ring is the only omission on Tomlinson’s resume. He won’t lose sleep over it, though, which makes sense given the running back’s propensity for playoff failures.
Tomlinson, who recently retired, will most certainly get a Hall of Fame nod before long. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, won an MVP Award in 2006 and was regarded as arguably the best running back in football for nearly a decade. To say he lived up to the billing of a No. 5 overall pick would be an understatement — at least from a personal achievement standpoint.
What’s unfortunate is that the individual accolades are all that Tomlinson has to hang his helmet on. And what’s even more unfortunate is that he seems to be OK with it. Read more