I don't know about you but when I thought about LaDainian Tomlinson, I thought about a great guy. Not only was he a super star on the field, but he was a super star off it.
LT had class. And I put the emphasis on had. He had and was a lot of things really. He was kind, loving, loyal, caring, respectful, a giver, a Christian... He also was an outstanding running back.
Not only did the once super running back go down hill in his career; he went down hill in his once lovely attitude.
His attitude started to really piss me off at the end of this last NFL season. Yes, I was pissed at every San Diego Charger, but that's a different story. Anyways, LT did something that I was utterly baffled by. The thought "classy" man stormed off Qualcomm Stadium's turf without congratulating any of the New York Jets.
Now it is totally understandable that the guy was sad and disappointed. He had a feeling it was his last game played in a blue and gold uniform and didn't want to end his unforgettable career in San Diego with a tragic loss. But I don't care how disappointed, angry, sad, mad, or whatever you are; you go and congratulated the other team.
Almost every other player or coach did it. Philip Rivers (have to love his attitude) stormed right onto that field and congratulated the Jets. The team deserved its congratulating; that is for sure. They weren't even supposed to make it to the playoffs and now they were on their way to the AFC Championship Game. For the type of guy LT was supposed to be, I sort of thought he would have gone and congratulated the Jets too. But hey, I've been wrong before.
I know LT has been a sore loser in the past. But this particular case of sore loserness really pissed me off.
Only weeks later, the back was released from the Chargers and signed with the opposing team, the Jets. At that point, I had basically forgotten about his sore loser attitude and couldn't help but feel sad about seeing such a wonderful teammate leave SD.
Now, only a few months later, as a scanned through NFL.com, I find a few quotes from a cheery LaDainian.
"The things that happened in San Diego, everything was taken away from me," Tomlinson said. "There wasn't an emphasis on running the football anymore, my best fullback was gone, the linemen were pass blocking, and it was a passing quarterback and a passing coach. So, the situation's kind of misleading when you look on film."
Well, weren't those just the nicest words ever? Not.
I couldn't believe that LT had actually just said that; the kind, classy LaDainian Tomlinson. I was completely shocked.
And after all that that organization, city, team, and fans had done for him. What does he do? Rip them apart. The Chargers had gotten rid of the face of the franchise, but they did it in a classy way to a classy guy. Yeah well, let's just say that that classy guy didn't return the classy favor.
But yes, I have to agree that there wasn't an emphasis on running the ball. Yes, the offensive line did pass block better than they ran block. And yes, film can be misleading sometimes.
But now I must state that head coach Norv Turner was a "run the ball first and often" type of coach. The offensive line was hurt and truly tried their best to block. And on film, the once great running back didn't look the same when he got into open space.
Some of what the back said was true to an extent. But some was just down right rude. So, if that little sore loser incident in January pissed me off, this incident REALLY pissed me off.
I couldn't, and still can't, believe that LT basically blamed all of his problems on the Chargers. Wear and tear and old age are who the back should really be blaming. But hey, that's just my opinion. After reading the quotes, I thought that that super guy had become a super jerk and hypocrite.
Even if some of what LT had been true, he shouldn't have announced it to the whole world. And if he absolutely had to announce it, do it nicely at least.
So now, I don't know about you, but when I think of LaDainian Tomlinson, I think of a has-been running back that is a complete and utter sore loser.