Mediocre Athlete of the Month: January 2010
Posted by hilariousandhandsomesportsguys on February 10, 2010
Team: San Diego Chargers
Position: Running Back
Reason for mediocrity: Anger at world; Enjoyment of sulking on the sidelines; Realization his TD celebrations are lame
Was it that long ago that Ladanian Tomlinson was breaking records and scolding Bill Belichick during press conferences? It doesn’t seem like it. And guess what? That’s a problem. For all intents and purposes, LT has become a scrub and yet we refuse to acknowledge this. LT went in the 1st round of all my fantasy football drafts this year. LT has more commercials of any NFL player this side of Peyton Manning. LT’s name is one of the prominent one’s I’ve seen/heard during ESPN’s horrendous NFL off season coverage. And while this is a problem for fans because we all see now that he’s lost it, it’s even WORSE for LT. He doesn’t see it. He still thinks the Chargers are built around him. He refuses to take a pay cut. He can’t see that Darren Sproles can run circles around him. And while I feel pity for aging athletes who can’t quite cut it anymore, is there anything worse than aging athletes who can’t quite it anymore but refuse to believe it? Hardly. Think Nomar bulking up and getting benched in Oakland or the turn-off-the-tv-off-because-it hurts-to-watch-him-run final days of C-Webb.
It’s crazy when the wheels come off superstar athletes. As fans, we want to make excuses for them. Blame it on some injury or contract dispute or wife that left them or the fact that they have more kids all over town than Franklin. I make these excuses when I watch KG get burned baseline by Rashard Lewis or see Steve Nash get blocked by George Hill. I make the most bizarre excuses for them. “Oh well KG just filmed that Adidas commerical and it threw off his sleep schedule so clearly he needs a game or 2 to get back on track. Perfectly understandable” NO. Accept the fact that KG’s knees are worn down to the bone and enjoy the flashes of greatness when he displays them. The average career of an NFL player is 3 years. LT just finished his 9th. There’s no shame in the fact that he’s no longer what he once was. But the next time you watch him run (whether it be for San Diego, Dallas, or whoever) and you’re grimacing at every cut and jook he makes, don’t fall into this thinking pattern. “Well, he’s still upset about the way AJ and the Chargers did him like that. He just needs a few weeks to ‘find his legs’ (what?)”. No. Enjoy the time he’s had as the number 1 back since he took the mantle from Shaun Alexander and understand that it’s now Chris Johnson’s to hold for a few seasons.
And one last tangent….
No matter what you do LT fans, don’t ever talk yourself into that TD celebration of his. I mean EVER. We all accepted it because he was supremely talented, but that took the creativity of a child. It looked like the Karl Malone, hand behind his head, break away dunks. I sure don’t miss either of these displays.