LaDainian Tomlinson’s Legacy
One of the greatest players of all-time has officially retired from the NFL. LaDainian Tomlinson, or “LT”, made a tough, yet very smart, personal decision on June 18th, to sign a one-day contract with the San Diego Chargers so he could retire with the team and fans who loved watching him play for so many years.
You don’t need me to tell you that LT will be widely remember as a fantastic running back. But there are millions of fans around the world who will also remember how valuable he was in fantasy football. I understand it may seem odd to discuss his fantasy value alongside his legacy on the field, especially considering he could be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but I feel that fantasy football is so meaningful to so many people who it is fitting. I don’t mean to trivialize his importance on the field, but L.T. was a player who, if on your fantasy team, made others tremble as he was simply ‘that good’.
His statistics are far superior than any other running back who played during his era. Tomlinson’s 12, 490 rushing yards were almost 3,000 more than any other running back in the NFL between 2001 and 2009. Furthermore, his 138 touchdowns in that span are exactly 40 more than the next guy, Shaun Alexander. These stats are what garnered him such great admiration from around the league, especially in New York and San Diego, but also in the NFL fantasy world.
Unfortunately, LaDainian was not capable of leading his team to the big one, so he retires without a Super Bowl ring. The farthest that Tomlinson and his team could reach would ultimately be the AFC Championship, both with the Chargers in ’07 and the Jets in ’10. He will be remembered as one of greatest NFL players without a ring, along with the likes of Dan Marino and Barry Sanders. I wonder if that is considered a “bad” legacy to have?
Individually though, L.T. was a beast. It seemed as if he broke a new record every week. Some of the more impressive individual records he holds include:
- most single season TD’s with 31
- most single season rushing TD’s with 28
- most games with 2+ rushing touchdowns with 38
- most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown with 18
- 2006 NFL MVP award
I believe there is little doubt he will join the Hall of Fame, but will he be inducted as a first-ballot Hall of Famer? Where does he rank on the list of greatest NFL fantasy players of all time? Feel free to post comments below.
…and that is the last word.