LaDainian Tomlinson retired last week without a Super Bowl ring, but he doesn’t view that as an indication that his career is incomplete.
Tomlinson noted on NBC SportsTalk that football is a team sport, and no matter how much a player does individually, he can’t get a Super Bowl ring on his own. And when asked whether he’d rather have a Super Bowl ring but not get into the Hall of Fame, or be a Hall of Famer without a Super Bowl ring, he didn’t hesitate.
“Hall of Fame player without a ring, because you’ve got to sacrifice so much individually just to be good,” Tomlinson said. “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 is right: Induction in the Hall of Fame is a greater accomplishment than earning a Super Bowl ring. Plenty of bench warmers have rings, but only great players are in the Hall of Fame.
Here’s the interview, in which Tomlinson calls Lorenzo Neal the best teammate he ever had and says he wants Marty Schottenheimer to present him for induction in the Hall of Fame: