L.T.: “You’re Better Than That”

 

Quite frankly, the headline on this post isn’t totally fair. Like many folks, I thought Ladainian Tomlinson – the so-called “best ever” – should’ve gone out better than he did. I didn’t know what was going on as I watched it live – seconds after the Patriots not-so-surprising 24-21 victory over the favored Chargers – it looked like the talented San Diego running back was letting his anger and disappointment overwhelm his sense of class and sportsmanship. After rushing 23 times for 123 yards and two TDs (but clearly not getting the ball enough), L.T. stomped angrily into a scrum of boisterous Patriots, yelled some not-so-congratulatory words to the gathered, then stomped angrily away. He refused to shake almost anyone’s hand, including another innocent Patriot who passed moments later.

Hey, I get you’re mad, L.T.. I get you’re disappointed, knowing your team blew its dream season by caving to the best team of this era. But L.T, you shouldn’t have gone out like that. He later explained he was incensed that several Patriots were mockingly performing Charger teammate Shawne Merriman’s “Light’s Out” sack dance on or near or around a Chargers logo. I would never, never react in that way,” Tomlinson said afterwards. “You guys know me. I’m a very classy person. … So yes, I was upset. Very upset. When you go to the middle of our field and start doing the dance Shawne Merriman is known for, to me that is disrespectful. They showed no class, absolutely no class, and maybe that comes from the head coach.”

Ouch.

A former teammate told L.T.: “You’re Better than that.” True. But this is why the headline isn’t fair: There was enough immature hystrionics by both teams for this to be perhaps the most classless playoff game in some time. The Patriots are very much a reflection of their coach, Bill Belichick: arrogant and unyielding. And Tom Brady has grown up. He’s no longer a boyish idol. Now, he’s the neighborhood bully who clearly doesn’t card what neighborhood he’s in. A rash of penalties and head-butting and pushin’ and shovin’ and slappin’ and pimpin’ made the fourth quarter PG-13 in the sportsmanship realm.

L.T. is taking the brunt of the headline because he stood out in the postgame madness. But there’s more than enough shame for both these teams to share.

The source of L.T.’s angst – The Merriman Sack Dance:

Gamer: Tom Brady, with issues.

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7 thoughts on “L.T.: “You’re Better Than That”

  1. Juan says:

    Doesn’t the league say every year that they are going to concentrate on cracking down on celebrations? Every year there is some NEW anti-celebration rule. I’ve been hearing this “league crackdown” since Gastineau was dancing back in Shea in the early 80s.

    LT ‘s just mad that they lost when they had the league’s best record, had home field advantage throughout and had the 1st round BYE.

    He should just say the truth. He’s worried he might never get another shot at the ring. This was a good as chance as he may ever get because it does not get much better than that.

  2. Eddie says:

    LT may have over reacted, but the patriots did show a lack of respect. And no, this is not LT’s last chance at a Superbowl. He still has several good years left. Phillip Rivers is young and so is the rest of the team. Maybe Schottenheimer can’t lead a great team to a win. The Chargers should of put the game away early, but didn’t. Any they should have used LT a lot more than 9 times in the second half. What was Marty thinking? The NFL’s MVP and he’s a decoy. They should have used him on screens or as a receiver more. I mean he caught the ball twice and had 64 years on two catches. That’s 32 yards per catch average. What was he thinking? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is working… Maybe Marty was trying to outsmart Belichick. That won’t happen too often. If you got the horses use them. I mean, you don’t use Secretariat as a plow horse, come on. What was Marty thinking? San Diego should of won, but didn’t. They in essence gift wrapped the game and gave it to the Patriots. That’s exactly what caused the frustration on LT’s face. A game they should have won, but gave away.

    Anyway, the Colts got what they wanted, the Patriots at home. This will be Manning’s opportunity to show what he’s made of. The Patriots are over rated. Who have they beaten? The average Jets and then a gift from the Bolts. They will be exposed this week. I say the Colts win over the Patriots in a blow out. Go Colts!

  3. Dirk de Young says:

    This is why pro sports just gets less and less interesting.

    For example, why should an athlete be so well known for a “sack dance” that it is recognizable as their trademark?

    It seems like the better they get, the more well paid they get, the less interesting they become.

    Go home boys, come back when you decide to be “sportsmen” again.

  4. Juan Lozano says:

    Sportsmen again assumes that they were sportsmen to begin with.
    Because Ty Cobb and Pete Rose were real sportsmen going in with spikes high and with the intent to inflict injury on others. Same with guys making a run at Jackie Robinson’s legs.

    There are gentlemen in every era and scoundrels in every era. That is just the nature of the game.

    In fact, I would say players today are more chummy with each other and close and don’t want to embarass others more because they often train together, etc.

    This is what LT sounds: “That’s his dance, don’t do HIS dance… waa waa waaa”

    He’s a helluva player. But he was a major crybaby last night.

    Decoy?
    LT had 23 carries!
    Gates had 6 catches!
    So much was open downfield! did you not see the Chargers try and post up Ellis Hobbs every chance they could?

    The Pats sniffed out a lot of the Chargers screens, that is why there was a lot open downfield during the game.

    And if you recall, Rosie Colvin jumped a screen to LT, and LT tackled him by his facemask, held on to the mask, and that was not called as a penalty. (Good sportsmanship there)

    I don’t know if LT will ever get a good a crack at the ring as was this one. 14-2, best record in the league, home field throughout. It does not get much better than that. I bet he’s frustrated. Have some class though.

    Backs have a short shelf line, and LT hardly got dinged up this year because he took off the pre-season (he does not play in Pre-Season games) and he lets Neal and Turner take the HARD yards. (3rd and 4th and short, see yesterday for confirmation of that). So he’ll have a few more years I would think.

    But on the other hand, he’s a back at the pinnacle of his career. He’s been a running back for about 14-15 years of his life (high school, college , pros) now. Don’t know how much more that body can take. He was used a lot at TCU.

    Good thing is that he takes hits well for the most part and gets out of bounds often before he gets touched.

    But he’s been in the league for a bit now… just saying…

    However, in the NFL, people’s deals come up and key components of teams leave. Those O-linemen on the Chargers save for McNeill never got paid becuase they were late picks or rookie free agents. So they’ll get offers from other teams and cut and then LT has to mesh with a new group.

    Not saying he’ll never get back, but this is as good as it gets.

    Marino never got a real crack at the Super Bowl after his second year in the league. Banks never got a real shot at the World Series. Both were really talented individuals. Marcus Allen never got another one after 1983. And he was younger than LT was now and really talented too. Lots of guys thought they would get back, but never did.

    I bet Barkley when he joined a vet Sixers team thought he’d get a crack early one as he probably did when the Suns lost to the Bulls in 1994 , just like he thought he was going to finally get his ring when he joined the Rockets. Lots of things happen and LT may never get a shot again like this again.

  5. Rush Propst says:

    Isn’t the Merriman “Light’s Out” sack dance a taunt? It is a legitimate question

  6. It is a legit question. Players say, No. Not in and of itself, especially since, under the NFL’s anti-taunting rules, a player would get flagged if the action was perceived by officials as a taunt.

    That said, the Pats are no Boy Scouts here. That much is clear. There’s enough trash for a two-day pickup here, and both teams have to live with it. The fact that this is still be discussed two days later is amazing to ma. but it is sparking some interesting insights into the typically undiscussed underbelly of a game-within-the-game thast is probably a fundamental part of the NFL.

  7. Juan Garcia Abrego says:

    Roy

    Did I hear LT call Belichec (sp) classless too?

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