In San Diego Chargers history there are three distinct eras: the Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, and Don “Air” Coryell Era; the Junior Seau, Stan Humphries, and Bobby Ross Era; and the LaDainian Tomlinson Era. Now I wasn’t alive for the Fouts/Coryell Era but I’ve seen the games/highlights from that time. I have been very lucky to witness live history in the making with the 90s era/Super Bowl appearance, and of course the greatness and legacy that is LaDainian Tomlinson and how he turned around the organization, making it into a winning team a couple years after that 90s Super Bowl era. He is the reason we have all those great players on the team today. LT had the chance to learn from some of the players from that Super Bowl team as a rookie, specifically gaining knowledge from Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison. He learned from greatness right from the start on how to carry oneself on and off the field, and how to give back to the city of San Diego through charity work and events to raise money for charitable organizations. He also learned how to be a great role model for many young Chargers fans, including myself, and of course for older Bolts fans as well.
Players like LaDainian Tomlinson, along with Junior Seau, don’t come around that often. That is why if your team is lucky enough to get players like them you do all you can to keep them on your team for as many years as possible. Along with that comes the millions of fans from the city and worldwide who will never forget them once they retire. They have left a very big mark on the team and organization that will last forever. Not only by what they did on the field for years, week in and week out, but also for what they did during the week before the Sunday games, being out in the city talking to fans, doing charity events, and helping out the less fortunate in the city to help brighten their day or year, and even helping them get their lives back on track. That is why so many of us have their jerseys and still wear them all the time today. Those jerseys and numbers stand for something more than just what they do on the field. Those lightning bolts on those jerseys stand for the greatness they are as people. Even if we have never met them in person their message struck a chord with us and shows what a lightning bolt of positivity can do in this world by doing things the right way in life.
Even today at LaDainian’s retirement press conference he stood there shining as bright as the lightning bolts on his jersey. He expressed his gratitude and thanks to the organization, and his family and mother, for giving him and us fans some of the greatest memories we will carry with us forever. His smile says it all. That is what a true success is supposed to look and sound like. Be grateful for all the positive things that have happened in your life, always smile, and be happy you have been able to have those experiences. As you carry those things with you, along the way you will gain respect and admiration, and be an inspiring figure to those around you, giving them a feeling that will stay with them and make them want to be better people in their own lives and pass that positivity on to others. So in a way LaDainian is still scoring touchdowns to this day. We are still chanting LT! LT! He is now handing the ball off to all of us so we can all run down our own field to score touchdowns and make our own greatness in our daily lives; to remember why we are here in the first place – Do what we love, have fun, always smile, family is what is important in life, and be a positive influence to those around us. That is the greatest touchdown we will ever score in our lives. Thank you LT for all the great memories on and off the field. We will carry them, and the positive life lessons you have given to everyone, with us forever.