Starting Lineups: Three Thoughts On The Great LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tramayne Tomlinson, aka L.T., that's right I said L.T., because even Lawrence Taylor can appreciate the career this latest version of L.T., ver. 2.1.

The man we've affectionately called L.T. for the past 15 years (4 for TCU, 9 for San Diego, 2 for the New York Jets) had to leap a variety of hurdles that seemed one part foolish and one part unfair. From the inability to spell or say his name correctly, to doubting his talents as a phenom tailback from Texas Christian, to blowing up the spot in San Diego, and proving his ability to perform at a high level during his swan song under the Broadway lights, Tomlinson is everything we ever wanted in  a running back.

Three thoughts on LaDainian quickly.

LaDainian Tomlinson at TCU was the scariest thing I'd ever seen: Ever since I've been watching college football, I can always remember TCU being good. However, before TCU became the power it was today, running a pro-style offense and all, they were mostly a gadget-offense and tenacious defense type of squad. It's what they had to do. They were too small and didn't have the players like that. However, Dennis Franchione crafted a beautiful running attack blending an option-based attack along with a power I-formation that was scary. LaDainian would come scraping down that edge and it'd be over in about 5-7 seconds. Wind sprints all day. The man ran for 406 yards vs. UTEP which is an all-time record. The man helped TCU defeat USC. The man got robbed of the 2000 Heisman Trophy when they gave it to Chris Weinke instead. Fuck Chris Weinke. Oh, and L.T. got his degree.

Jim Brown reveres LaDainian Tomlinson: Real recognizes real and it's looking familiar...

"That’s the class that he shows ... I wanted to come down here and show mine ... I’m happy that he did it. It makes it special, because he’s a good human being. He’s a class individual, and I hope in these later years y’all treat him that way." —Jim Brown, after witnessing Tomlinson passing him as the eighth leading rusher in NFL history on December 6, 2009

LaDainian Tomlinson is the third best back of our generation: Tomlinson is the third greatest running back of our generation. I'd put him higher on this list, but I don't want Cowboys fans coming at my head this morning. That, and I might not be in the greatest of moods after what took place in Game Three of the NBA Finals. He wasn't quite as feared and as explosive as Barry, and his longevity compared to Emmitt's is very close, but there hasn't been a better back of the last 20 years than Tomlinson.

All hail LaDainian Tramayne Tomlinson; enjoy retirement, my brother. Here is your pertinent reading material for Monday. Enjoy the week.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Thunder can't match the resolve or hunger of LeBron James and the Heat

Nielsen: Six Ways TV Networks Can Drive Viewership through Effective Marketing

Smoking Section: Watch: “Breaking Bad” Season 5 Teaser Trailer

FOX Deportes: Oakland’s Fuentes maintains upbeat attitude despite good days, bad days

SB Nation Dallas: Kendall Marshall Would Be A Big Mistake For Dallas

Hardwood Paroxysm: Summer League Makes Me Feel Fine

College Football Talk: Coach K: firing of Joe Paterno ‘horrible… a real mistake’

ClipperBlog: The Most Swaggy Man In The World

Edge of Sports:Red State Hoops: The Oklahoma City Thunder and the value of Seattle's rage

6 Magazine: 1992 Football Dream Team

David Aldridge: Educated guesses about the 2012 Draft's first round

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