LaDainian Tomlinson Tribute: Greatest Running Backs Never to Play in Super Bowl

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LaDainian Tomlinson Tribute: Greatest Running Backs Never to Play in Super Bowl
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The greatest running back of my generation retired yesterday.

I say "my generation" because at 32, LaDainian Tomlinson is a year-and-a-half younger than I am.

He's one of the first elite franchise backs I watched as an adult. The first great back to come along and dominate post Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders.

Although he never made it to a Super Bowl, his game and his numbers speak for themselves.

In 11 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets, LT rushed for 13,684 yards—fifth all time. He trails only Emmitt, Barry, Sweetness, and Curtis Martin on the all-time list.

The five-time Pro Bowler was league MVP and won his first of two rushing titles in 2006. He also had the coolest end zone celebration around, which we saw many times.   

His 162 touchdowns place him third all time, behind Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith.

LT was the heart and soul of the Chargers in the 2000s. Prior to that, he put in work at TCU. I know my elders know because they were good in years past, but who in my generation knew anything at all about the TCU Horned Frogs football program prior to LT setting foot on that campus? Be honest.

Hats off and much respect to you, LaDainian, for a great career. Canton awaits.

For a look at other great backs who never made it to the grand stage that is the Super Bowl, check out the following slides. 

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