Many wondered what would happen when the great LaDainian Tomlinson retires. A Charger? A Jet? Would San Diego take him back? Could fans, teammates, coaches, and even L.T put the 2009-2010 season behind them and do the right thing?
On a night remembering another Charger great, Junior Seau, L.T’s most public apperance since leaving the Chargers and playing for the Jets, a roaring welcoming applause and the familiar chants of “L.T! L.T! L.T” on the field that introduced him to the NFL, the reaction ended all doubt for San Diego. San Diego’s most devoted fans welcomed him home with open hearts and wide eyes, hoping L.T returned the same feelings back.
“Once a Charger, always a Charger,” L.T spoke to a crowd of thousands and answered the big question if he wanted to retire a Charger. Simply, of course.
For the better part of a decade, #21 stormed into the end zone every Sunday, finished with a simple celebration, only to be surrounded by his incredible offensive line. LT may have not won a Super Bowl ring, but he’ll remember these times as, “Championship days.” Getting carried on the shoulders of his Charger teammates, those are memories many fans will never forget. LaDainian Tomlinson is a different breed of running backs. He is and will always be one of the greats.
L.T’s storied career transcends through more than his amazing stats. Many remember his 12,490 yards and his 153 touchdowns as a Charger. The magicial years of 2001-2010, L.T.’s stellar performance showed the world what an amazing athlete he is. Hard-working and dedicated are used to explain L.T’s amazing work-ethic. But his character is what has set him apart.
His work with the San Diego community, said to be inspired from Junior Seau, speaks volumes of his kindness and truly good-hearted person that he is. Having met L.T numerous times at the Blood Bank, Chargers Fan Zone, the annual Thanksgiving Turkey give aways, the love L.T recieves is definitely reciprocated. From his work with Palomar Pomerado Hospital to the football camps with the San Diego youth, L.T’s role in the community is what San Diego revered him for.
Pro Bowl, MVP, AP Man of the Year, Future First Ballot Hall of Famer, and ending his career where he started, where he has always belonged, a San Diego Charger.
“A Charger now and forever.”