June 18, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers former running back LaDainian Tomlinson smiles during his retirement press conference at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Look, I like Matt Ufford. I love Kissing Suzy Kolber and, back when he ran it, I was one of the biggest fans of With Leather that you could find. When I heard that he signed up with SB Nation to do videos for the YouTube channel, I was stoked. What he's done thusfar, in just the first few months, has been awesome. The guy is very good at comedy.
This video is Matt Ufford not doing comedy. There's nothing funny about it. It's him talking about what LaDainian Tomlinson will be remembered for. It's a little awkward.
Are you angry now? Worked into a lather over the comments about the Chargers Head Coaches and the re-visiting of LT's playoff injuries? That's fine. I am too, a little bit. So, after the jump, I'll let you know what I think Tomlinson's legacy will be.
When I think of LaDainian Tomlinson, I think of someone that wasn't skilled enough.
LT was a power running back that wasn't big enough or strong enough or powerful enough for anyone to take him seriously as a power running back.
He was a speed back that didn't have enough speed. At least, that's what people thought before he showed up at the NFL Scouting Combine and ran a 4.36 40 time. Then the rumors started, as he fought his way through a few bad seasons, that he still didn't have breakaway speed.
In high school and college, coaches continuously tried to move Tomlinson to Fullback. They though he just didn't have the physical gifts to be an NFL running back and didn't have the size to take that beating.
His entire career was an answer to every critic that said that Tomlinson wasn't enough. Not strong enough, not fast enough, not big enough....not meant to be one of the league's best RBs of all time. I've heard enough stories and seen enough myself to know how LT became the player that he was. Nobody was smarter about the decisions they made, both on and off the field. Nobody worked harder at their craft (running, blocking, catching, learning the playbook).
It wasn't all God-given gifts and touchdowns. Tomlinson's legacy is going to be one of wonder for future generations. My children and grandchildren will undoubtedly be pouring over his old stats and asking me "Why was LT so good?" I'll laugh as they ask "Was he the fastest RB in the league?" and "Was he the stronger RB in the league?", because he never was. He was never going to be. He became the player he was because of his brain. It worked faster, and forced him to work harder, than anybody else.
That's what I'll think about. Maybe I saw more than most did. Maybe I just think about that more. I'm certain that most won't feel that way. It reminds me of this Michael Jordan commercial a little bit.
Michael Jordan 'Maybe It's My Fault' Commercial (via shahtoosh)
What will LT's legacy be to you? What will you think about first when his name is mentioned in 10 or 15 years from now?