“Tough Call for Tough Guy Running Back”
What is LT going to do?
This Week and This Summer?
LaDainian Tomlinson wants to remain active in the National Football League. It was thought he would get an offer to go to work for the NFL Network, but their roster seems loaded with veteran names and personalities.
There’s not really much for him to put his arms around in San Diego, since the Chargers are moving to Los Angeles.
And that’s the problem, Chargers owner Dean Spanos, again.
Trying to use his money and influence to buy friendships, after what he did to all his pals, and business associates, and politicians in San Diego, Spanos wants to hire Tomlinson.
At first it was thought to be a ceremonial job, as an ambassador, for the team in the LA market.
Maybe working in the marketing arm of the team in the new market, where they have yet to be warmly received.
Then thought that LT really wants to learn the ropes in the front office in a football related job.
But that entails around the clock 24-7 dedication to be in scouting and player personnel. Not much time for golf or other popularity functions in a post-career life.
Don’t see that fitting Tomlinson’s plans. You really have to want to have that lifestyle to dive into a front office job. John Elway loves it in Denver. Didn’t workout for Dan Marino, who tried it for a week in Miami.
The reaction has been harsh that Tomlinson would go to work for Spanos, as a sign of honor, considering what the owner did to the loyal fans and the business leaders in San Diego.
And then there’s the other, bigger story to consider.
Tomlinson will stand on the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, after a near unanimous vote for enshrinement.
Who is going to be his presenter?
Is Spanos trying to buy his way into LT’s heart now with this job, so he can be the one to make the speech in Canton? Any bets Spanos would get booed at the podium there like he has been in Los Angeles?
Sadly, the man who created all the things for LT to excel in, Marty Schottenheimer, is in failing health in North Carolina with early Alzheimer’s.
You wouldn’t bring in a failing head coach like Norv Turner to intro him would you?
John Butler, who drafted him, has passed away. GM replacement AJ Smith was as disliked as anyone in San Diego, till Spanos did his LA exit. Though AJ stands for lots of good things, he self destructed here, so why invite him there?
Philip Rivers would be a great choice, but he will be in training camp, about to play that weekend, in of all places Los Angeles.
So Tomlinson has such tough decisions to make.
I am sure he does not want to denigrate the Spanos family, though they were the ones, who ran him off, and did not even attend his retirement press conference. Still to be decided will be his uniform number retirement party.
But you surely hope, the team does not try to sell LT in Canton as a Los Angeles Charger. Those record setting days were established by #21 in a San Diego Chargers jersey with a lightning bolt on his helmet.
But knowing them, they’d do anything to put themselves in any good light, considering the bad taste they”ve left in everyone’s mouth. The ‘First of Family of Football’ that runs a last place franchise, seems tone-deaf to everything. They’d probably think this is the right thing to do by the running back icon..
Tomlinson does not need the money, but he likely needs an entree into an NFL job. It sure would be an uncomfortable position, considering so many others, led by Dan Fouts, have denounced what the owner did.
I’d say pass on the offer.
I’d say have Mom intro you in Canton too.
You did great things in San Diego. LA is just some other city, and that franchise is still not on anyone’s radar.
Tough call LT. It won’t be OK, if you say yes to a job in LA.