The Career Of LaDainian Tomlinson, As Seen By A Raiders Fan
However, there was about a six year stretch during which there were always two games per season when I would have to sit on my hands to keep myself from changing the channel. Those six years were the prime of the hands-down, no-question, first-ballot Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Playing his Chargers twice a year and having one of the all-time terrible run defenses, I frequently had to watch my team get the football shoved down their throat, ripped out, and shoved back down again.
In 2005, I watched him run on the Raiders for 140 with a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown, and PASSING touchdown. In 2006, I watched him run for 109 yards with two touchdowns plus a 19 yard touchdown PASS against the Raiders. In 2007, I watched him ring us up for 198 yards (8.25 per carry) and 4 touchdowns. Ugh.
I despised this guy. He was maddening to have in your division. Especially when that division is the AFC West and you thought you had finally escaped the days of Terrell Davis and Priest Holmes, then this freak runner comes along. I hated the way he'd be ALL OVER Sports Center every Monday. I hated the way people called him LT (Lawrence Taylor is LT). I hated his neck beard and his earrings and his Darth Vader face mask. I especially hated logging onto Fantasy Football and seeing "L. Tomlinson @ Oakland - Projected: 41 points." Was Tomlinson vs. the Raiders the best fantasy matchup of all time? Probably. And I hated that too.
I used to make up rumors that Tomlinson got fat during the offseason just to get my friend, who's a Chargers fan, nervous. I'd call him Turtleson and say that he was slow and lost his quickness. Then the season would roll around and he'd just score a hundred billion touchdowns and shut me up.
The sad thing was that I secretly wanted to love this guy. He was so cool. He was so unbelievably good at football. That Darth Vader face mask with the black visor was sick, I just never would have admitted it. I wanted him on my fantasy team so bad, but I prayed that I wouldn't get the first pick because it was completely against my morals and values to select a player from my own division. Every offseason I'd hope so much that he would have some kind of contract issue or holdout or hit free agency or get traded or in ANY WAY POSSIBLE end up on a different team so I could root for him. By the time he was on the Jets he was so far past his prime it wasn't even worth it for me to jump ship off the S.S. I Hate Tomlinson.