Newly retired San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson told NBC Sports Talk yesterday that he would choose to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame over a Super Bowl championship. His admission has raised some eyebrows around the internet, but why should it? What else was he expected to say now that his storied career has ended.
Tomlinson announced his retirement from the NFL June 18. He played the last two seasons as a member of the New York Jets, but he was able to mend fences with the Chargers front office and after signing a one-day contract, retired as a member of the San Diego Chargers. Tomlinson received little interest on the free agent market this offseason but told the San Diego Union-Tribune after his retirement that he considered joining the Denver Broncos. Tomlinson told the paper that his agent had spoken with the Broncos and he gave the idea a thought before choosing retirement.
Tomlinson was asked whether he’d choose a Super Bowl ring and miss the Hall of Fame or join the Hall of Fame without a Super Bowl ring, he chose the latter.
“Hall of Fame player without a ring, because you’ve got to sacrifice so much individually just to be good. 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,” Tomlinson told NBC SportsTalk.
Tomlinson’s career will land him in the Hall of Fame, likely as a first-ballot player in five years. His accomplishments on the field were record setting. It is a shame that one of the league’s best players wasn’t able to secure a Super Bowl championship, but he will now live in immortality in Canton.
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