Source: L.T.’s comments show why Chargers didn’t win

Getty Images

A recent appearance by retired running back LaDainian Tomlinson on NBC SportsTalk has sparked a debate regarding whether a player should prefer winning a title to a spot in the Hall of Fame.  A league source with knowledge of Tomlinson’s career has a different take on the situation.

Per the source, Tomlinson’s remarks reveal much about his football character.

“That’s why the Chargers could never win the big one,” the source said.  “L.T. was selfish and a selfish leader.   They had all the talent in the world and should have beaten the Patriots [in 2006], but they couldn’t do it because they had too many guys like L.T. and he was the ringleader.”

(We wish the source had told us how the source really feels.)

This isn’t my opinion; it’s the opinion of someone who, in my opinion, is in position to express an opinion reliably.

“LaDanian was a great player, but he was never a champion and he never behaved like one,” the source said.

It’ll be interesting to see whether any of the 44 Hall of Fame voters have sources with a similar opinion, and whether that opinion will delay for a year or two Tomlinson’s entry into the Hall of Fame.

41 responses to “Source: L.T.’s comments show why Chargers didn’t win

  1. L.T. performed in every aspect he had to at his position. Who cares if someone thought he was selfish or not? He blocked, ran, received etc. If he’s doing his job and not hurting his team (he was not known as a team trouble maker), then leave him alone. He tried to win games and he showed it on the field.

  2. “United we stand, divided we fall.”

    A less talented team that pulls together will always beat a more talented team full of selfish players.

    Tomlinson was a selfish player, he proved it over and over, but he wasn’t alone.

    AJ Smith still hasn’t figured this out.

  3. L.T. was a great player, to blame him for San Diego’s short comings is just a B.S.

  4. I was with you until the last paragraph, Florio, even as a Chargers fan. Do the Hall voters typically use the voting process as a platform to weigh in on the “football character” of a player? I don’t think so. Eric Dickerson was considered a very selfish player. Barry Sanders walked away from his team at the peak of his career, causing some to label him a quitter. Both were inducted in their first years of eligibility, respectively. Excellence is excellence, and the Hall voters will induct L.T. as soon as he’s eligible on that basis. Book it.

  5. This unnamed source sounds like a jilted lover. LT was a great player. He was a running back. He was never a malcontent or made waves. I have absolutely not with what LT said about not trading his individual achievements for a Super Bowl. What he said doesn’t mean Super Bowls are not important. LT did everything he could do on the field to win. This uproar over what he said is media sensationalism… no surprise there.

  6. So, Complainian never won a ring and now that his career is over he confirms he didn’t really want one that bad anyway. Then why did he go “ring chasing” by joining the Jets? Make up your mind L.T.

  7. doesnt matter LT #2 is a hall of famer and most likely a first ballot hall of famer

    to blame him for san diegos problems is wrong. id put aj smith and phiilip rivers as the reasons they havent won long before i blame tomlinson

    how do you let turner and sproles go?

  8. The Chargers management knew this, L.T. was selfish he whined and complained when Rivers took over the offense. Instead of seeing as a chance to win a championship he instead saw it as taking away his touches.

  9. What would you expect him to say?
    No superbowl wins, not one. He is on his way out. He has no idea of what winning a superbowl feels like.
    Now all he has to hang his hat on is a HOF induction.
    Its all thats left to legitimize a life in football with no Superbowl. HOF isnt such a bad deal ya know.

  10. LT may not be perfect, but he would pretty much have to be to win a championship on a team run by AJ Smith. What is he supposed to do, play every position?? Turner, Sproles, Brees and ultimately LT end up leaving the Chargers because of Smith… Eli would rather have sat out than go there… That team can’t blame LT for now winning a SB.

  11. I think it was Herm Edwards who said “Put your name on it”

    LT’s a top 10 RB of all time and somehow this translates into why a team didn’t win more?

  12. Joetoronto got it right….look at the Dallas Cowboys teams of recent years, see the same principle at work. Look at New England and see the opposite, or the Giants also.

  13. I think the reason why Eli refused to sign with this team is evident by how the last 8 years have gone for the Chargers and how they have gone for the Giants.

    Eli may have been chastised, and rightly so, but it seems that him and his father knew something the rest of us took 8 years to figure out – that organization is FILLED with losers.

  14. He gets into the HOF easily on the first try. Undeniable stats, and he won one of those NFL Man of the Year type of awards (AFC) with Drew Brees (NFC) one year, didn’t he? So he has good p.r. mojo that way, which voters look at.
    His legacy is tarnished by the humiliating loss to an inferior Pats team in the playoffs. The Bolts were loaded, and needed guys like LT to step up and be a team leader and he wilted under the pressure and blamed everything on Belicheck. Weak. Then they lost to another inferior team in the Jets in the playoffs too. Those are the games people remember. His playoff performances fit the selfish label no doubt. With those mad skills he could have forever changed the Chargers’ culture of losing the big one, but didn’t, which is sad.
    He’s about the only player I have ever heard say they would rather be in the HOF than win a Super Bowl, which reveals a lot (none of it good).

  15. What was selfish was Marlon McCree trying to return a game sealing int which he ultimately fumbled and Drayton Florence headbutting a Patriot after a failed 3rdthe and long which would have given the Chargers the ball back deep into the 4th qtr. LT played well considering the Pats stacked the line. It was rarely LTs fault y they lost

  16. If I remember right, the 2006 game against the Pats was lost because of all the bad decisions by Marty Schottenheimer (he of the 5-13 postseason record), who couldn’t get hired for dog-catcher after that game.

  17. 1) It is obviously a greater achievement to be a Hall of Famer than a Super Bowl Champion. Every year 52 guys of various skill levels win the Super Bowl and only a handful of the elite make the HOF.

    2) Yeah, the Chargers lost the Super Bowl because they had too many guys like LT. Please, they lost the Super Bowl because they didn’t have anybody as good as LT on defense and they didn’t have as good a coach as the Patriots. This ESPN-style personality driven analysis is why 95% of NFL coverage is unwatchable.

  18. The guy dominated year after year and people want to take shots at a guy who has been nothing but class. Wow! Now I know why other writers and fans don’t understand Philadelphia. This is also probably why we get players like Dawkins, Utley, and even Giroux. It’s also why guys like Dr. J who has slip in life has always had a place to call home. Good luck LT.

  19. As fans, of course we think championships are more important because we are selfish. Championships are something we feel we are connected to, and as such can brag about to our rivals, friends of other teams, etc. If you hear to friends arguing about who is greater, Peyton or Eli, the first thing the Eli fan is going to bring up is his two rings to Peyton’s one. Arguing how many players your team has in the HOF isn’t common in sports debates, because we as fans feel much more of a connection to team accomplishments than individual accolades.

  20. All LT did was carry those Charger teams. If some of you can’t appreciate that, well, that is an issue that far exceeds any form of professional help. He played hard, I never saw him quit on a team like certain WRs. The man even made powder blue cool, now it is just another girls’ color.

  21. Eli didnt want to go to San Diego because he felt Drew Brees still had time to start. I mean they had LT, Gates, Brees, who knew when Eli was gonna start. So Eli picked the NY Giants. Eli had to deal with Tiki, Shockey, and Plax, He still won. So he definitely could have won with LT and Gates if the GM would have named him the starter. Eli didnt like the outlook so he requested a trade and at the time the chargers thought it was a steal. In hindsight it was…..for the Gmen!!!!

  22. team sports should be about team wins period. the individual stuff is gravy. dumb statement by a great player, as a Raider fan i hated him on Sunday! he sure worked us over a few times.first ballot HOF’er

  23. Nice back, but not a great back. This guy got so much hype from Fantasy Football success, not football success. This guy should not even be in the HOF discussion until guys like Terrell Davis and Roger Craig are inducted.

  24. LT’s comments generated some of the most pious BS I’ve seen on the internet in a long time.

    Every player who said they would rather win a Super Bowl than be a Hall of Famer is flat out lying, and any fan who makes that claim is a moron.

    Is there any QB who would rather have Trent Dilfer’s career over that of Dan Marino’s? Brad Johnson’s over Fran Tarkenton’s? Jim McMahon’s over Jim Kelly’s? Jeff Hostetler over Dan Fouts?

    Does anyone seriously believe that Timmie Smith’s career was better than LT’s or Curtis Martin’s? How about Willie Parker’s over Eric Dickerson’s?

    No. That would be absurd. Every player wants to be great and be recognized for his greatness. Winning a Super Bowl is significant and verify a player’s greatness, but winning a Super Bowl doesn’t make a non great player great.

  25. Thousands of mediocre players have Super Bowl rings, a game which is played every year.
    It is important and does in a way signify a lifetime achievement as part of a team.
    The Hall of Fame is a much more significant honor as it is a brotherhood of the best of the best. It is a personal, lifetime achievement award, even though it is achieved in the context of a team sport.

  26. sisqsage said: “The Bolts were loaded, and needed guys like LT to step up and be a team leader and he wilted under the pressure and blamed everything on Belicheck.”

    Nice surface analysis, did you even watch that game?

    LT had 123 yards and two TDs. Anyone with any sense who watched that game knew there were several reasons the Chargers lost, and LT was not one of them. Maybe Marty going for it on 4th and 11 instead of kicking a field goal, Eric Parker’s fumble on a punt return, Drayton Florence’s stupid head butt 15 yard penalty, or Marlon McCree’s decision to try to return a game sealing interception and subsequently losing the ball.

    “Wilted under the pressure?” Please.

  27. Whether I believe L.T. is a selfish lazy P-O-S is beside the point (I do believe it, in fact), but this “story” is bullsh&t absent the name of this “source.” Come on!! You learn that in high school journalism class. This “story” is the kind of crap that led to coining of the term “yellow journalism” at the turn of the 20th Century in response to the hyperbole published by “William Randolph Hearst. Absent a real sources, this story fits the definition of yellow journalism to a “t” because presents little or no legitimate well-researched news. It is lazy reporting that is not only unprofessional, it’s unethical.

  28. Great players step up BIG in big games.

    Tomlinson NEVER did that,,,he disappeared in big games..Yes he had great stats, but against who???

    His worst???? Not even taking parka off and trying to help his team in 2007-8 Champ game vs NE. Blaming it on a knee that didn’t need surgery…And don’t think his teammates didn’t notice.

    Why???…He might have gotten injured..Tomlinson yes, has talent…but the words suck it up have very different meaning to him.

  29. sisqsage says:Jun 30, 2012 9:35 AM

    His legacy is tarnished by the humiliating loss to an inferior Pats team in the playoffs. The Bolts were loaded, and needed guys like LT to step up and be a team leader and he wilted under the pressure and blamed everything on Belicheck. Weak.

    Then they lost to another inferior team in the Jets in the playoffs too. Those are the games people remember. His playoff performances fit the selfish label no doubt. With those mad skills he could have forever changed the Chargers’ culture of losing the big one, but didn’t, which is sad.
    ———————————————————-

    Seems like the Bolts lost to a LOT of “inferior” teams, huh?

  30. Permanently affix his blacked-out-visor Darth Vader pouting helmut to his bronze HOF bust. That would be the perfect statement about him.

  31. Hahaha wtf? LT was great and it’s not his fault they never one a super bowl. It’s a team game people. The offense had it going but never consistent D

  32. The #1 complaint is that LT is a whiner because he left his helmet on when his injury kept him from playing in the biggest game of his career, his best chance to get to the Super Bowl. I wouldn’t want the camera in my face if I was devastated, would you? AND it made no sense to take himself out of the most important game of his career — unless the team’s chance to win was more important than his own ego.

    For those who say LT could have continued to play in that game: in his last play in that game, Tedy Bruschi caught him from behind. Enough said. A QB can manage on a gimpy knee, but a running back? Tell us Florio, from your personal experience as an NFL RB.

    LT only said he’d rather have a great career than win a Super Bowl AFTER he retired. What was he supposed to say, “25 years of dedication to football ended in failure” ?

    It’s meaningless when dogs yap at a lion.

  33. So, from memory, who was the backup RT on the 2002 Super Bowl winner? Anyone? …. Now, Who was LT? The Defense rests.

    Ask his teamates, his coaches, about his commitment to winning, not a lawyer from the East Coast. LT was sometimes moody, and he struggled with a diminished role, like Michael Jordan and many other great athletes. It doesn’t mean he kept his team from being champion.

    Ladainian Tomlinson carried the rock better than anyone fora decade (during which only 4 or 5 teams won the SB), and set records that may last generations. So haters, go back to eating sour grapes.

Leave a Reply