When we look back at L.T's career we can often get tangled in his spectacular accomplishments statistically. But as fans remember, watching L.T. was more than the stats he put up game to game, or if he scored your fantasy team enough points. Tomlinson defined an era for both the San Diego Chargers and the NFL with his demeanor on and off the field, leadership, and impact on the community.
There was something magical about watching L.T making cuts and dissecting the opposing defenses. He moved the ball so intentionally and was obviously a threat at any part of the field.
His touchdown dance captures the character Tomlinson had. The iconic touch of the helmet and flip of the football with an extended hand. It was smooth, humble, but the other team was guaranteed to remember it.
Perhaps the fondest moment fans shared with Tomlinson was December 11, 2006 a game against division rival Denver Broncos, when Tomlinson snapped Shaun Alexander's single season touchdown record of 28 by scoring three in one game, placing him one ahead of Alexander.
It was the 15 seconds between the moment the play started, to when L.T embraced his teammates. It seemed to have just happened yesterday, the play started out with a perfectly calm crowd, (which was a little surprising because the Chargers acquired the ball through an exciting fumble) the play started, Tomlinson took the ball from Rivers and broke to the left, as the the end zone approached with each step, the crowd noise increased. Finally, he crosses the line, camera's flash, the crowd is going wild. So what does L.T do? Turns around immediately and embrace his team thanking them for all that they have done for him. A pure class act move by Tomlinson.
L.T was a superstar off the field too, starting many different charities himself, including, but not limited to, Tomlinson Touching Lives Foundation, Camp L.T and an annual golf tournament he hosted to raise money. Serving in different ways in each one, L.T was one of the most charitable men in the league, and still is today.
Though he never won a championship, Tomlinson has no regrets or quarrels with leaving the league without the coveted ring."I'm okay with it" He takes wisdom passed down to him from Coach Marty Schottenheimer, "There were many days that you had that were championship games and championship days". Taking the moments he had to share with his teammates, being around the game and his accomplishments, as his own championship. Certainly, Tomlinson has had a lifetime of championship moments and will continue to because of his character and humble attitude.
Charger fans will never forget the exciting memories they shared with RB legend Ladainian Tomlinson, he will be remembered for being a legend for his character and football abilities.
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