Although the Chargers cut him two years ago, LaDainian Tomlinson returned to San Diego on a one day contract to retire as a Bolt. After eleven years in the league LT has decided it is time to move on. The stats speak for themselves. He rushed for 13,684 yards in his career, fifth highest all time, 18,456 total yards from scrimmage. He scored 145 rushing touchdowns, second only to Emmitt Smith, 162 overall touchdowns only topped by Jerry Rice and again Emmitt Smith. LT also won the rushing title in two consecutive years (2006 and 2007) as well as winning the Walter Payton award.
LT seemed very calm, and even chuckled when his son came up and needed a little attention from him, a far cry from the emotional outpouring at his press conference two years ago when he announced he was leaving San Diego. What was the same was his thanking of his teammates, coaches and even the equipment managers that he had played and worked with throughout his career.
Tomlinson is a once in a generation player, a future Hall of Famer. Charger fans will never forget how he made their team relevant after years of mediocrity. His type of movement was unique, like a dancer, agile and graceful but with what seemed like unlimited power behind it. He ran with a purpose, and even later when he was with the Jets, he ran like he still had something to prove.
Tomlinson remarked that he was healthy and it wasn’t that he couldn’t play anymore but rather the emotional toll of being prepared to to play. He talked of the LaDainian Tomlinson Preparatory Academy he would be founding to help young student athletes prepare for college, assisting them in acquiring scholarships, as a way of giving back what had been given to him.
Tomlinson referenced his teammate Junior Seau saying that he felt like this was his graduation as well. LaDainian, you may now move your tassel. Thank you for keeping us on the edge of our seats, you will be missed.