LaDainian Tomlinson Has Given Fans Something To Be Proud of in a Chaotic Season

Kyle McMorrow@@Kyle_McMorrowCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2010

DENVER - OCTOBER 17:  Running back LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 17, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

For the New York Jets, much of this season has been odd, to say the least.

It began with the roster additions of LaDainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie. Two of these athletes, Holmes and Cromartie, entered New York this season with troubled pasts.

However, to the surprise of most, both Holmes and Cromartie have done a good job of making headlines inside the hashes and not outside the sidelines.

As the season wore on, many wondered how good this team could possibly be.

With some very impressive wins and woeful defeats, the team has been marred by constant foolishness that has certainty derailed and tarnished whatever respect people had for the organization as a whole.

With the now infamous "wall" incident and the current foot fetish interest, the New York Jets seem to have ended their HBO contract and taken a mid-day slot right after "Days of Our Lives."

But there is one player who has epitomized the word "professionalism" throughout all of the nonsense.

In what may have been the best roster move this past offseason, LaDainian Tomlinson has not only proven he is still a back to be feared, but a role model that should be revered.

In his first season with the Jets, he has said and done all the right things, given Gang Green a legit ground attack, and perhaps more impressively, resurrected his career.

In a two-back system, LT has gained almost 1,000 yards on the ground, and 50 receptions through the air. His feel for the game has given Quarterback Mark Sanchez a peace of mind knowing the check down will always be there.

He went from a forgotten pick in fantasy leagues everywhere, to a must own within a few weeks of the season.

There is no denying his impact on the team both on and off the field.

It may be because of his work ethic or perhaps a deep desire to win. It may even be the long line of Gatorade products he uses to refuel and rehydrate his aging wheels from week to week. With Gatorade's G Series, athletes can recover faster, something LT is going to need now more the ever with the playoffs looming.

Whatever it may be, Jets fans should be thanking their stars at night for the one man who they actually needed with the one trait that is overlooked so often in sports, quality.