LaDainian Tomlinson: I feel like I’m graduating

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LaDainian Tomlinson drew some inspiration from former Chargers teammate Junior Seau as he officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday.

“One thing I’ll remember was when Junior Seau retired, he stood up here and gave his speech and one thing that stood out to me was when he said, ‘I’m graduating today.’ That’s the way I look at it. I’ve been playing football for 20-some years. You sacrifice so much. You put it on the line mentally and physically with your body. Today, I take the words of Junior Seau. I feel like I’m graduating. I’ve got my life ahead of me. I’m healthy. I’m got my great family. I’m excited to be a fan and watch you all play.”

Tomlinson told a room filled with current and former Chargers that he had opportunities to keep playing in 2012, but chose not to pursue any of them. He explained the decision when he talked about the sacrifices of time away from his two young children and about the toll the passing years have taken on him.

“”Basically, I’m going to be 33 years old and quite frankly I feel like it’s just time. As a running back you try to continue to play at a high level. At 33 years old, it’s pretty difficult.”

Tomlinson pointed out that he made it through his entire career without ever having surgery and thanked the equipment managers for helping keep him out of the operating room. There were questions about possible comebacks and whether Tomlinson still had the fire to play as well. He said he thought he would always have the fire, but belied no traces of it as he ruled out the chance of another tour of duty down the line.

43 responses to “LaDainian Tomlinson: I feel like I’m graduating

  1. LT has to be one of the greatest Chargers to put on the uniform. He ranks up there with all the greats. He left the game the way it should be…as a Charger. Thank you for all the great memories.

  2. great player, great career. during his best years he was almost unstoppable, and with the Jets he still averaged 4.1 yards a carry and was a great receiver.

  3. Great way to pay tribute to the late, great Junior Seau!!!

    Seau will likely get enshrined in Canton earlier, but ideally it would be great to see Seau and LT enshrined together!!!

    Seau: HOF in 2015!!!

    LaDainian Tomlinson: HOF in 2017!!!

  4. It was an honor to witness his years in San Diego. One of the best all around backs of all time. Haters be damned.

  5. Comparing his post NFL life to a guy who killed himself a few years out of the league? What a moron. Go home, put on your visor, sit on your neighborhood bench, and fade away into obscurity you choke artist.

  6. too bad he was such a B becoming a Jet. Oh wait, what about that Jets tattoo, LaToeinjury?

  7. LaDanian was a beast. Undeniable.
    Goin out on his own terms just adds more class to an already spotless resume.

  8. LT a class act?? Are we talking about the same guy??

    Good for San Diego for taking him back & letting him retire as a Charger after he shot his way out of town.

    Great player but LT is selfish & ringless.

    Just sayin’

  9. LT2, because there is only 1 LT and that is Lawrence Taylor. As for LaDanian Tomlinson, great running back when he was playing for the Chargers, a top 10 all time RB and a second time around HOFer.

  10. I’m a Giant fan, and a fan of Great NFL Players and LT is one of my all-time Favorite players. Never heard him getting in ANY off the field issues, Always playing hard, Leaving it on the field. He was a player I wished the Giants had acquired. I was even rooting for him on the Jets. In my eyes he could do no wrong. And going back to San Diego to retire is the right thing to do. Just wish U won a Ring b4 Graduation.

  11. LT West, or LT Offense. LT East everyone knows who he is. Both LT’s played Lights Out. Imagine both of them on same team ((Giants of course)) in there Prime. Wreaking Havoc out there.

  12. A HOF to be sure. I just wish ppl would stop using that line about making sacrifices to play or do this or that. It’s not a sacrifice when you chose to do something for yourself. It’s a sacrifice when you choose to do something for someone else and give something you want up. My father sacrificed his summers off as a school teacher to earn extra money so his kids could afford sports or dance lessons or so the whole family could take a weeks vacation.

  13. I’m a Bronco fan through and through. LT was a stud and he owned the AFC west. It’s sad to see him go, even though I’m glad he won’t be killing the Broncos twice a year. He always struck me as a team first player which is very rare. The chargers were fools to ever let him walk. When you have a HOF player on your team who is also a high character guy you DO NOT ever allow him to leave. Tomlinson’s jersey is the only non Bronco jersey that I have ever bought ( it was for my kid but still it didn’t feel real great buying it)

    Good luck in life LT

  14. i’d hardly say he’s going out on his own terms if he wanted to play for another year but wasn’t offered any guaranteed money and subsequently retired.

  15. If you’re a hall of famer when you retire (and he is) then you’re a hall of famer when you become eligible. This 1st ballot 2nd ballot talk is exactly why everyone hates the hall of fame voting process in the first place. Either you are or you arent. If you were borderline then maybe you get in on a year when no one else decent was eligible, but for the most part you are you or you arent. He most certainly is.

  16. I know someone who worked with the Chargers editing their game film and he said that LT is the opposite of what people think and is a jerk.

    It’s funny how people can put on a face for the public. What an absolute embarrassment.

  17. a definite first ballot HOFer but not a top 5 RB of all time. sad to exclude him but too many greats in front of him like brown, sanders, payton, faulk, allen.

  18. Enough of the “l.t” bologne there was only one L.T and that was lawrence taylor this guy was good during his best years but never accomplished anything and he was a whiner and his teamates from both clubs can atest to that so give it a break im glad hes outta the league

  19. @purplekoolaid1

    I know someone who works for Santa Claus and he says he’s real and kicks kids in the head while their sleep and he’s dropping off presents.

    Having met the guy on multiple occasions I can say he’s far from a jerk. I would think the thousands of families he’s helped over his career would also disagree with your “buddy”. But I’m sure the “someone you know” would override all of that right? Clowns will be clowns!

  20. Met him while eating fish tacos. Was great to my daughter and seemed genuinely nice. After that he became my families favorite player in front of the late great 55. Eish him luck in retirement. Its just too bad that he wasnt in his prime when the chargers were competative. He was responsible for how much the chargers climbed over thepast year.
    Thank u LT

  21. HoFer certainly, but he might be remembered for his poutfest after being injured against the Pats.

    Also: lots of SD homers on here right now.

  22. It’s only fitting that he goes out ring less, like a true Charger.

    Seau left his kids out to dry and Tomlinson left his teammates out to dry.

    Seau and Tomlinson, two big time cowards.

  23. SD homers on a Charger story, who woulda thought? lol

    Wow, Joe. STILL harping about Seau in an attempt to get to Charger fans? Seau was mentally ill, and LT was injured with an extremely capable back up. Sounds like you have no idea what you’re talking about. Surprise, surprise! I have no doubt you would call each man a coward to their face had you the chance.

    @raiderapologist – Everytime team and player talks about “championship days” and how they hope to win it all. Some teams/fans do it after an 8 win season.

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