Now that LaDainian Tomlinson has officially closed the book on his NFL career, the next stop for the former Charger is Canton, Ohio. In his 11-year career, Tomlinson racked up 162 total touchdowns and over 18,000 total yards. He holds the NFL record for total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and total points in a single season among many other records. The video game numbers L.T. put up during the prime of his career make him a lock for the Hall of Fame.
One thing Tomlinson was never able to accomplish, however, was winning the big one. He came up just short several times with both the Chargers and Jets, but L.T. says he’d rather be inducted to the Hall of Fame than win a Super Bowl anyway.
“(I’d rather be a) Hall of Fame player without a ring, because you’ve got to sacrifice so much individually just to be good,” Tomlinson said on NBC SportsTalk. “They draft you individually and you’ve got to back them up and make them right. I think at the end of the day, even though I didn’t win a Super Bowl ring, I felt like I backed them up for drafting me. I backed up the San Diego Chargers for picking me with the fifth pick.”
While you have to do much more for a longer period of time to be inducted to the Hall of Fame than you do to win a Super Bowl, his opinion is not exactly valid. If you asked Dan Marino the same question, I bet you’d get a different answer. Until you have won a Super Bowl, you don’t know what it feels like the be a part of a team that can call itself the best in the league. I’m sure there are plenty of Super Bowl-winning Hall of Famers out there that would keep their ring over their spot in Canton if they could only have one.
This is not the type of stuff fans want to hear. Players spend their entire careers trying to prove that team accomplishments are more important than individual accolades. L.T.’s reasoning is much more friendly for his post-football life, so in a way I don’t blame him for copping out.
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