Kansas City Chief fans are very familiar with a football great that announced his retirement on Tuesday. LaDainian Tomlinson never scored less than 10 touchdowns per season while playing in a San Diego Chargers uniform. It was a brilliant career for an outstanding running back. It was also one that was brutal for Chiefs fans to watch and endure on Sunday's.
This is especially true when considering what happened after Tomlinson's rookie season. The Chargers replaced HC Mike Riley and OC Norv Turner with former Chiefs HC Marty Schottenheimer, whom promptly "Martyballed" LaDainian Tomlinson up and down the field for not an single inch less than 1,335 yards in five seasons. That isn't even factoring in the special talent LT had for catching the ball out of the backfield. He was truly a nightmare for defenses and a dream for Fantasy Football aficionados across who possessed him on their rosters.
It only took the Chargers winning 14 games and LaDainian Tomlinson having one of the best seasons in the history of the NFL, scoring 31 times in 2006, for the Chargers to thankfully come to their senses and fire Schottenheimer.
At least that is how it felt from a Chiefs fans point of view.
Every single season during LaDanian's tenure in San Diego, it seemed they were a favorite to win the Super Bowl according to some media outlets. Of course, those predictions never came to fruition and Tomlinson will go down as another great athlete to never win the ultimate prize in football.
However, LaDainian will still go down as one of the greatest backs in the history of the NFL. Many of the top media pundits around the country are talking about LT's accomplishments or hinting at the Hall of Fame:
LaDainian Tomlinson scored 162 regular-season TDs -- only Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith have scored more.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 17, 2012
Congrats to LaDainian Tomlinson, a great player and a pro's pro. Looking forward to one day visiting his bust in Canton. #nfl— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) June 18, 2012
Surely we all agree that LaDainian Tomlinson will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) June 18, 2012
"Tomlinson scored 410 fantasy pts in 06 - most ever. 54 games of 20+ fant pts. Top 10 every yr 02-07. Amazing" -@MatthewBerryTMR #RankLT— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 18, 2012
Congratulations to LT on a brilliant career. Did it the right way. Great player, great person, and walks away healthy. Next stop, Canton.— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) June 18, 2012
Of all LaDainian Tomlinson's NFL records, single-season TDs (31) & consec games w/TD streak (18, tied w/Lenny Moore) among grandest— Jon Zimmer (@NFLhistory) June 18, 2012
In Kansas City, most are respectful of LaDainian Tomlinson's career. He was a true superstar and deserves his eventual Hall of Fame entrance.