December 23, 2006

LaDainian Tomlinson is Sportsman of the Year.: His teammates idolize him. He respects his profession. He cares about his community. Oh, yeah, and he's a touchdown-scoring machine. LaDainian Tomlinson is a worthy Sportsman in every sense of the word.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia to football at 10:16 AM - 24 comments

"to see how he conducts himself, to see what a really nice, modest guy he is, and to see how he plays on the field without doing any crazy stuff, it is a beautiful thing." Indeed it is. Great selection, and bah humbug to all the schools and scouts that overlooked him.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:59 AM on December 23

The idea Tomlinson had this type of year with a first-year starter at the helm only makes him and this choice more appealling. I hope the Chargers and LT can carry their success on through the playoffs. Also on the subject of the Chargers, it's great to see how they took the whole Eli Manning "I'm not going to San Diego" thing and turned it into positives. I read that allowing Team Manning (and the Giants) to get their way netted the Chargers Philip Rivers, Shawn Merriman, and Nate Kaeding. All-Pro players on offense, defense and special teams as opposed to a underachieving, struggling, often-confused player who may not reach his potential. Excellent job, Chargers.

posted by dyams at 11:17 AM on December 23

Right On!

posted by sickleguy at 01:19 PM on December 23

Just please, whatever you do, do NOT put him on the cover of Madden '08!

posted by wingnut4life at 03:56 PM on December 23

I think Tomlinson is a heck of a running back and if he keeps it up, could be the best to ever play. If he wins the MVP award over Drew Brees, I'll have no problem with it. However ... I really hate to buy into awards magazines hand out to athletes, especially one that gave the same award to McGwire and Sosa not too long ago. (And don't even get me started on organizations handing out awards -- anyone remember Eugene Robinson? Wait. Am I bah humbugging? Dangit. And I only had two more days to go.)

posted by forrestv at 04:32 PM on December 23

Congrats to LT, I had the chance to see him play this season when the Chargers came to Buffalo, he ran all over us. The guys incredible, sees gaps that dont exist. On a side note, he's LaDainian, the article said his wifes name was LaTorsha, can we expect LaTouchdown for the firstborn??

posted by nymetsfan at 04:45 PM on December 23

Dyams hit the nail on the head regarding the whole Manning incident. I'm sure Eli would love to play on a team right now that had Tomlinson as the feature back. It might make his job a bit easier.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:50 PM on December 23

Um, Tiki Barber's no slouch, either. Not quite in the same league as LT- but hell, who is?

posted by jmd82 at 06:22 PM on December 23

Sounds like a great canidate for the NFL Man of the Year! (or did they already give out that award and I missed it?)

posted by steelergirl at 07:02 PM on December 23

Let me say at first that i agree that LT is one of the best in recent memory. He is amazing. He is also a class act. I wish that there were more athletes like him. That aside, i hope everyone realizes how great his o-line is. that does make a big difference; LT says as much. Could tiki or LJ be as successful as LT with that line? I think that it might be possible.

posted by brainofdtrain at 07:12 PM on December 23

I've not seen anything about his off the field activities. Is he one of the few superstars that are ultra-giving to the community or is he of the ilk of a younger Randy Moss? Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Thanks.

posted by FonGu at 05:50 AM on December 24

From the article- a section at Qualcomm Stadium filled with kids from his LT 21 Club, needy kids who otherwise never would see a game in person? new flag football program at San Diego's inner-city Jackie Robinson Family YMCA, which includes 50 gang members from three schools, is thriving because of L.T.'s influence? He later vowed that if he ever made the NFL, he would fund a free camp for kids back home near Waco. As a rookie, he did just that. Now he has three camps -- two overnight ones in Texas (Waco and Fort Worth) and another in San Diego. He also gives out 25 $1,000 college scholarships and laptop computers annually to needy kids from Waco and San Diego selected by him and his wife. He just fed 8,000-plus folks at Thanksgiving and helped hand out the food himself. And on Tuesday, he gave away 1,500 toys to sick kids at a children's hospital and in a Ronald McDonald House. In February, he will take a seriously ill child and family to the Pro Bowl for an extended holiday, the start of a new program, the goal of which will be to send groups of needy kids to places around the world.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:34 AM on December 24

Um, Tiki Barber's no slouch, either. Not quite in the same league as LT- but hell, who is? Of course the obvious difference at this point is LT's going to be around helping his QB for several more years. Tiki's probably heading for the TV booth. I do agree, however, that Tiki hasn't been a slouch. But just because Eli has the same last name as Peyton, don't necessarily expect there will ever be any other similarities. Like YYM said, I'm sure Eli has to have occasional thoughts he could be playing on a playoff team, in the beautiful sun, with a great defense (minus big-mouth Michael Strahan) and, of course, a dominating running back.

posted by dyams at 07:19 AM on December 24

Very proud of LT, he gave my hometown so many thrills on the colledge grid and has been one of the most upstanding and outstanding pro around. But with past winners of this award like McLain, Simpson, McGwire and Sosa this award seems tainted, maybe he can put a shine on it once again.

posted by jackdaniels1963 at 09:03 AM on December 24

I really hate to buy into awards magazines hand out to athletes, especially one that gave the same award to McGwire and Sosa not too long ago But with past winners of this award like McLain, Simpson, McGwire and Sosa this award seems tainted Yeah! And lets not ferget them cheatin' barstids Rose and Brett! Hell, I bet they even voted for Nixon and Clinton! It appears as if you all's hindsight is workin pretty good!

posted by mjkredliner at 11:25 AM on December 24

It sure is mjk! And by the way, thanks for questioning my integrity! Great stocking stuffer!

posted by forrestv at 12:02 PM on December 24

That's the easy way to score e-points, though. Sometime I should create another name and question my own integrity.

posted by igottheblues at 06:02 PM on December 24

Ying, thanks for the input on LT's community envolvement. It's always heartening to see one giving back and not acting the shelfish prick that so many of the "professional" atheletes seem to turn into.

posted by FonGu at 06:35 AM on December 25

forrestv, I did not "question your integrity", I generally agree with much of what you say, actually. I was only pointing out that, in the years that the people you mentioned won the award, they had great years, and the fact that the athletes were later found to be somewhat lacking is not at all the fault of the writers at The Sporting News, and that to point it out that they may not have deserved the award now is only exercising perfect 20-20 hindsight.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:51 PM on December 25

Not 20-20, though I understand what you are saying mjk. I had my doubts even back then about McGwire and Sosa -- and that's saying a lot for me as I was a big "Bash Brothers" fan when I was a kid. So I wouldn't have given McGwire an award as the sportsman of the year (though I have to admit I really don't respect Paul Attner, the author of the piece, as a journalist and always hated working with tools like him, so that may have influenced my opinion.) The point is, I really hate awards not awarded by or players/coaches. To me, they're on the same level as the Grammys and the Oscars. Worthless.

posted by forrestv at 07:33 PM on December 25

Just please, whatever you do, do NOT put him on the cover of Madden '08! Hate to be the bearer of bad news but if/when L.T. wins the league's MVP award, that's the player that goes on the cover of Madden. Damn Madden curse!

posted by BornIcon at 10:02 AM on December 26

Actually the player has to agree to be on the cover of Madden. It has nothing to do with previous MVP. Daunte Culpepper was never the MVP of the league, nor was Ron Mexico or many of the others that graced the box.

posted by johnnylaw at 07:26 PM on December 26

Wait for the playoffs before you kiss LT's ass. A huge problem with sports today is people's willingness to fall in love with numbers. If LT steps up in January, he should get consideration...but unil then he's just another regular season record breaker, hardly worthy of sportman of the year. Right now, the only award I'll give him is the "Arod award" for the nicest numbers when they don't matter.

posted by antwan at 08:51 AM on December 30

Except that the playoffs will start next year. LT wins the Sportsman of the Year for 2006, the playoffs happen in 2007. Plus, without LT's numbers, the Chargers probably don't do nearly as well. If you say those numbers don't matter then you're crazy.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:01 AM on December 30

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