LaDainian Tomlinson: Will He Ever Get a Ring? Not in San Diego!

Farris GunningCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2009

The NFL is an acronym: Not For Long!

Today's game is much different than that of 10 to 15 years ago. "Back in the day," players would stay with the teams that drafted them until it was time to retire, get traded, or unfortunately they got hurt.

What is so sad is that many great players never had the chance to get a ring because their team was not capable of getting to the big show.

We all know of some of these fantastic players that should have a Super Bowl ring but don't. Let's talk about a few before we dig in on LT.

1. Barry Sanders

One of the greatest running backs in NFL history, and surely one of the most prolific. After a beautiful college career in Oklahoma State he received the Heisman Trophy as a junior and left for the NFL.

Many people wondered why he retired early.

Several years after retirement, and repeated refusals to discuss the abruptness of it, Sanders finally admitted that the culture of losing in the Lions' organization was too much to deal with, even though he said that he could still play. He explained that it robbed him of his competitive spirit, and he saw no reason to believe things were going to improve.

2.  Dan Marino

Dan Marino was amazing. His arm strength was tremendous and his release was incredible.  Dan has had or still has every record in the NFL for a quarterback and drove the Dolphins into the playoffs on numerous occasions.

Marino had a rocky senior year at the University of Pittsburgh. Knee injuries and alleged cocaine use crippled his draft spot.

Miami chose Marino with the 27th pick of the NFL draft and he went on to be the first ever rookie to start in the Pro Bowl. He had one shot at a ring but lost that chance to Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX.

3.  Dan Fouts

Dan Fouts was great. He led the Chargers to four playoff appearances from 1979 to 1982 and twice made the AFC Championship.  He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection (1979-1983, 1985) and compiled passer ratings over 90.0 for a three-year stretch (1981-83). 

Now, I know there are plenty more players to name, but these three stand out in my mind as some of the greatest players in the game without a ring.

Tomlinson is about to have the same fate. San Diego will not get him to the big show. They went to one Super Bowl back in 1995 and lost.

The team chokes. Plain and simple.

The last two years the Chargers should have been "rockin' and rollin'" into the big game, but they choked.

With Norv Turner there, as a GM hire, they will not have a chance again.  The team is going downhill, and L.T. is getting older.

Players don't have the same commitment to teams that they used to. Now players are committed mostly to the money.

L.T. may be different. He is an amazing player with an awesome attitude.

Unfortunately, that might be his downfall. 

LaDainian Tomlinson needs to get onto a team that has a chance to go all the way. I would hate to see him fall into that "great player with no ring" category.

So I say fly, L.T. Fly away from San Diego and get yourself a ring. You deserve it!