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LT: 2006 Sportsman Of The Year

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Trumpet_Man, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://www.sportingnews.com/features/sportsman/2006/index.html

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    Tomlinson’s record puts him heads and shoulders above the rest.

    One for the record books

    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.

    Paul Attner
    Sporting News

    LaDainian Tomlinson sometimes will walk into the room just to look at the memorabilia he has collected.
    He'll stare at the signatures -- Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Franco Harris -- and think about those men and what they've meant to the NFL, and to him.
    The room in his suburban San Diego house takes its name from the billiards table sitting in its middle. But in his mind, he sees it as something else: The Artists Room. That's what great running backs are to him -- artists, each with a distinct style. They all have been geniuses creating canvases full of memories filled with brush strokes flush with records and highlights. He can visualize all of them at work -- extraordinary players who left the game with a wonderful masterpiece of a career.

    The little kid within Tomlinson that makes him so refreshing also drives him to collect the autographs of every revered running back he encounters. He still gets wide-eyed in the presence of his heroes; he met Jim Brown for the first time earlier this season, and he struggled to speak. But his single-mindedness has a purpose. Those autographs, that room, serve to constantly nudge him about those who came before him and what they represent and how he wants his canvas to look when it's finished.

    We celebrate the accomplishments of this amazing player, the 2006 Sporting News Sportsman of the Year. We celebrate his season of history, how he is trampling records of note seemingly on every carry. We celebrate the artist in him, the portrait he now is painting, how every season it becomes more vivid. But more than anything, we celebrate his substance -- what he stands for and how he reminds us about what is so good and right about sports and its athletes.

    What is more important, that Tomlinson broke Shaun Alexander's single-season touchdown record two weeks ago or that he did it in front of a section at Qualcomm Stadium filled with kids from his LT 21Club, needy kids who otherwise never would see a game in person? That he shattered Paul Hornung's 46-year-old single-season scoring mark or that a 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? "The contact he has had with these guys and the way he conducts himself on the field, it's affected how this league has worked," says Michael Brunker, the Y's executive director.

    That's what makes Tomlinson so special. He understands his obligations not only to himself and his family but also to his team and his community in San Diego, where he lives, and in the Waco, Texas, area where he grew up. Six years into his career, his artistic work continues, and he's glad about it. He has much still to accomplish, as a player and a giver.

    It's almost as if America is playing catch-up with L.T. Within the league, it has been a given for the past few years that he ranks among its two or three best players. But despite an ever-growing resume of stats and achievements, he never has been the favorite this late in a season for the MVP award, much less won it. He never has been a part of so many ESPN highlights or given so many interviews or surpassed the volume of attention usually reserved for T.O. and Peyton and Brady and all the other high-visibility players who dominate magazine covers and radio talk shows.

    He has played in three Pro Bowls but has been first-team AP all-pro just once. In fantasy drafts, Larry Johnson, not L.T., was every league's first running back pick. Tomlinson's coach, Marty Schottenheimer, has been touting him forever as the best running back he has seen. Now, Schottenheimer has gone one step further; he says Tomlinson is the best running back ever to play.
    That label is not fair. L.T.'s resume is brilliant, but his body of work is too short to make that judgment. Tomlinson, ever the historian, agrees. Besides, he can't imagine his career being as majestic as Payton's.

    "I look at how he played and what he accomplished, and it still blows me away," Tomlinson says.

    Still, for Tomlinson this is all about Payton and Smith, his boyhood hero, and Brown and the rest, about making them proud, about tracing their paths as closely as possible. It's why, when he scores -- and scores and scores and scores -- he tosses the ball to the official and trots to the sideline. It's why, after he passed Alexander, he didn't want to give an interview over the stadium sound system unless he was surrounded by his offensive teammates. It's why, afterward, his friends and family were more excited at dinner than he was, why he told his wife later, "It's hard to celebrate when there is still so much left to do." It's why he spends a large chunk of his offseason working with a personal trainer and withstanding grueling exercises designed to elevate an incredibly gifted talent to levels of ability we haven't seen before. It's why you can't find anyone around the Chargers' complex -- or around the league -- who says one disparaging thing about him, why the first word his friends and teammates usually use to describe him is humble.

    "There's a right way to conduct yourself," he says. "I learned back home to do right by others and not call attention to yourself. The guys before me -- Emmitt, Barry, Jim, Walter -- they just played the game and gave it everything they had and went about their business without a lot of show. I always liked that."

    This season, we are watching a rare player in his prime, healthy, physically honed, impressively focused, the leader of a surprising Super Bowl contender.

    San Diego, typically a blase sports city, is bonkers over Tomlinson. Everywhere you go, you see No. 21 jerseys and L.T. signs and hear talk of his triumphs. Yet he is a reluctant celebrity; Chargers officials had to persuade him to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno recently. His hesitancy? He didn't feel the interest was warranted.

    "From a franchise standpoint, you couldn't ask for anything more than this," says Chargers president and CEO Dean Spanos. "To have a player like L.T. represent us like he does and be both the player he is and the person he is in our community is as good as it gets. This town is electric right now because of him. It is an amazing feeling. And what's funny is that we are all much more excited about what he is doing than he is."......click on link for more
     
  2. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Here is the list of the previous winners:

    1968 Denny McLain
    1969 Tom Seaver
    1970 John Wooden
    1971 Lee Trevino
    1972 Charles O. Finley
    1973 O.J. Simpson
    1974 Lou Brock
    1975 Archie Griffin
    1976 Larry O'Brien
    1977 Steve Cauthen
    1978 Ron Guidry
    1979 Willie Stargell
    1980 George Brett
    1981 Wayne Gretzky
    1982 Whitey Herzog
    1983 Bowie Kuhn
    1984 Peter Ueberroth
    1985 Pete Rose
    1986 Larry Bird
    1987 None
    1988 Jackie Joyner-Kersee
    1989 Joe Montana
    1990 Nolan Ryan
    1991 Michael Jordan
    1992 Mike Krzyzewski
    1993 Cito Gaston and Pat Gillick
    1994 Emmitt Smith
    1995 Cal Ripken Jr.
    1996 Joe Torre
    1997 Mark McGwire
    1998 Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa
    1999 New York Yankees
    2000 Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner
    2001 Curt Schilling
    2002 Tyrone Willingham
    2003 Dick Vermeil and Jack McKeon
    2004 Tom Brady
    2005 Matt Leinart
     
  3. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Wow!!! That is a big honor. And no one has ever been as deserving. He does exemplify the way sports is supposed to be played. Damn proud of our guy. :tup:
     
  4. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Congrats, LT!!!

    I'm sure he's honored to be amongst a bevvy of great people, including:
    McGwire
    Sosa
    Pete Rose
    and the infamous slasher OJ!!!
    :icon_eek:

    I'm kidding. He was an obvious choice over Floyd Landis. :icon_rofl:
     
  5. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    Very very cool! :thumbup:

    I think the NFL is just starting to realize exactly what a great PR commodity they have in LT, and that there's something to be said for pouring adulation onto a superstar who is actually deserving of it, and not only for his work on the field.

    We are very lucky to have LT in lightning bolts. Nationally, he's Michael Jordan without the self-promotion. Locally he's Junior Seau without the cockiness. He's one of the few athletes people will pay to watch even if he isn't on their favorite team. Gotta love LT.
     
  6. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    When Raiders fans now consider it disrespectful to throw **** at LT, you know the brother has arrived. :yes:
     
  7. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Thanks Trumpy!!!

    I'm headed out to get that issue NOW!!!!
     
  8. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    Good idea! That'll be a keepsake.
     
  9. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    No worries.

    I hope you have more killer home brew for the playoffs. That pale blond stuff was the **** !!!! :icon_toast:
     
  10. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Yes, they'll be ready for the playoffs!!!! :ABQ2: :ABQ2:

    Two new flavors...

    "Linebacker Bock"
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    "Classic American Light"
    This traditional American style light lager rivals the flavor of America’s largest breweries. This premium beer is pale gold in color, mild in flavor and has a dry finish. It is truly America’s favorite style of beer.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Looking at some of the previous winners only makes me appreciate LT more. :helm1:
     
  12. ntman68

    ntman68 Well-Known Member

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    What happened in '87?
     
  13. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    WORD!!! :ABQ1: :ABQ2:
     
  14. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Congratz LT! :ABQ2: :lt: :ABQ1:
     
  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Great Googly Moogly!

    Thanks god for LT!
     
  16. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Live LT interview coming up on NFL network. Not exactly sure when though. It's 3pm EST now, and Pro Bowl show is on in an hour.....so it will be between 3 and 4pm EST. :lt:
     
  17. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Here is the interview with a lead about LT and the Oline by B. Baldinger.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Giving this a kick back up. Missed this thread and didn't read about it until the mag hit my mail box. Keeping this one.

    You want a sports role model? We have one right here! :lt: :bolt2:
     
  19. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I have a subsctiption to Sporting News Magazine, this copy hasnt come yet. Im a little dissapointed.
     
  20. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    I would go out and buy a near-mint copy of this issue and seal it up. Use the one that comes in the mail for reading, and general use as they sometimes come a little ripped and nicked up during transport.
     
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