I want to thank everyone who participated in our LaDainian Tomlinson sound-off question. On Monday, I asked San Diego fans, in the wake of the team releasing the legendary running back, what was their fondest memory of Tomlinson during his nine-year San Diego career.
I was blown away.
I received several great, insightful and memorable responses. It is clear how special Tomlinson is to San Diego fans. Thank you for letting us all share in your memories of one of the greatest Chargers ever to play.
Jim from Kennewick, Wash.: It has to be the overtime touchdown against Tennessee. That was such a hard fought, down and dirty game.When LT sprung that run, WOW! One of the greatest moments (Runs) in Charger history.
Jerome from Honolulu: My favorite LT memory has to have been the day he broke the single season TD record. It wasn't just that he broke the record, it was the many years of losing San Diego had to suffer before he came, it was the many years he carried the Chargers on his back, it was how he proudly represented San Diego, it was for his selflessness, it was for his humbleness, it was for his passion to win, it was a culmination of all those things and much more that made that moment; when the moribund Chargers were finally becoming a team, when he can etch his name into the record books as one of the all-time greats, that made that moment so special. All those years of hard-work, the cellar dwelling in the AFC West to reach that apex of his career, I was truly happy for LT to achieve that milestone and happy to have watched and grew with him as a Charger fan.
Tony from Redlands, Calif.: Its tough to pick out just one memory from the legendary RB that made me proud to tell people that I was a Charger fan again. His incredible '06 season and the TD record come to mind right away. As well as the nasty stiff-arm he gave Oshiomogho Atogwe in a game against the Rams, where he knocked his helmet off. Or the juke that he gave Ty Law in a game against the Jets when he literally shook him down. But for me, it was the entire '03 season. The team wasn't playoff caliber yet (they went 4-12) and LT was simply a man among boys. He had 100 receptions for the first time ever by a RB, multiple 200 yard games, and despite being the only weapon on the team, he was unstoppable. Thanks for the memories LT!
Darren Tassone from Tampa: My favorite memory is back when the Chargers were 14-2 and had the #1 seed. They loss to the Patriots that year and after the game LT was on the field going after the Patriot players telling them to show respect and act like they've been there before!!! One of the reasons that is my favorite memory is because it is the last time in my eyes he really cared and didn't sit and pout when they loss in the playoffs!!
Joe from Puebla, Mexico: My favorite memory of LT will always be when he scored his 100th TD and he ran up to his linemen and celebrated with them. After the game when he was explaining it he said that without them he wouldn't have any of this and it just showed how amazing of a person he is. He didn't take any credit and I will always love that about him.
Scott McClain from San Diego: My favorite LT moment is probably somewhat unconventional. One preseason, I think in 2005, there was a big controversy (as there was every year) as to whether LT would play in the preseason games. Well, in one of the preseason games, he got a carry...and went 50+ yards for a TD. That was it for LT. It was quintessential Tomlinson - speed, moves, and a nose for the endzone. I remember laughing while watching that thinking "Ok, he's ready."
Tomas Stonehouse from Chula Vista, Calif.: I saw LT score his record breaking touchdown right from field level. Everyone knew the game was more than just a rivalry game. The Broncos knew it too. We San Diegans knew LT was special from the very beginning, but this put the exclamation point on a Hall of Fame resume.
Jordan from San Diego: My favorite memory of LT (other than the multiple years of relevancy for the chargers) would be we the media asked LT about "VideoGate" and he responded "If you ain't cheaten you ain't trying." It just showed a funny side he doesn't show too much
Kenny Hails from Yakima, Wash.: During the 08-09 season I was so afraid that LT wouldn't be back, I made it a point to make sure I was able to see him one more time. I decided to watch the Chargers play in one of his favorite venues to score, Oakland. I bought tickets on the near the 40 yard-line, 2 rows up behind the Chargers sideline. Down 15-3 going into the 4th quarter, the Chargers rallied behind LT. He busted out for 75+ yards in the 4th quarter, including my favorite memory, the 41 yard run that sealed the victory late in the 4th quarter. He ran the ball right in front of us, down the sideline to score, and did his famous ball-drop celebration in the endzone. That will be the lasting memory I'll have of LT in a Chargers jersey. At the time, it made it 5 years in a row beating the Raiders. As we left, steak meat was throw at us.
Gerry from Sacramento: As a die hard Raider fan, LT has made sundays a miserable day for me for a long time. I hate the way he did his signiture move in the black hole and the way he always seemed to make his way to end zone.....But I respect a great athelete and he made the AFC West relivant in the NFL. The Raider Naition will miss to hate you LT. Good Luck.
Justin from Sal Lake City: My favorite LT memory will always be week 12 of 2005 when the Chargers played at Washington. LT ran for almost 150 in the second half and scored the game tying touchdown towards the end of the game. Then he scored game winning TD on the second play of overtime with a 40 yard run while watching the pursuing defender on the big screen behind the end zone. I remember me and my buddies all jumped up and came down at the same time and we broke the couch we were all on, we still talk about it to this day. I'll tell my grand kids about that sequence.