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Chargers To Retire LaDainian Tomlinson’s Number

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers

Arguably the greatest player in San Diego Chargers history will be honoured appropriately this upcoming season, with the Chargers set to retire LaDainian Tomlinson’s number 21 jersey during a halftime ceremony at home in 2015.

The team’s Sunday Night Football encounter with the Chiefs on November 22 will be punctuated with the festivities. Tomlinson joins only Dan Fouts (14), Lance Alworth (19) and Junior Seau (55) as the only players in franchise history to never see their numbers worn by another player. In an event certain to keep every fan in their seats during the halftime break, Tomlinson will have his number raised to the rafters of Qualcomm Stadium and be inducted into the Chargers’ Ring of Honor.

The man affectionately known as “LT” was the cornerstone of several dominant Charger teams of the previous decade. He spent nine of his eleven years in the blue and gold of San Diego, and retired after two seasons with the New York Jets. He amassed over 18 000 all-purpose yards and a 4.3 yards per carry average – an incredible stat to maintain after a long career playing the NFL’s most physically demanding position.

For all his dexterity and effort on the field, Tomlinson was incredibly fortunate on the injury front, missing only six starts in eleven years. He was also one of the most dangerous halfback passing options in league history, completing 8 of 12 passing attempts for 143 yards and a whopping 7 touchdowns. And it was these kinds of traits that made him nigh unstoppable in the great Madden games of the mid-2000s.

LT will be remembered not only as a spectacular player, but a respectable role model as well, who never succumbed to the vices that so easily plague other successful athletes. Described as “quiet and humble”, Tomlinson lost his father, with whom he had a “great relationship”, in a car accident in 2007, but never lost his desire to compete. That same year, he notably turned down a request to appear as the cover star of Madden 08, in turn passing the fabled “Madden curse” onto Titans’ quarterback Vince Young.

With the Chargers’ future in San Diego still very much up in the air in 2015, it will be great to see a franchise legend rightly honoured in the stadium he helped build.

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