We are three weeks out from LaDainian Tomlinson being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ahead of that honor, the Chargers legend spoke with the national media about his thoughts on entering football immortality.
"It's a great feeling to be immortalized," Tomlinson admitted. "The thing that I can't really get over is that the bust will last (hundreds) of years. That is amazing to me that 200, 300 years from now, my bust will still be there. People will look and have an idea of the impact that I had on the game of football."
Since LT's candidacy was announced, many deemed him a shoe-in first-ballot Hall of Famer. But ever humble, Tomlinson didn't count his chickens before they hatched. In fact, an abnormally long wait gave LT second thoughts until he received that fortuitous knock on his hotel door.
"It was still so surreal. Even though you hear people talk about (me) being a shoe-in and having the (stats), you truly never know. I think the day of the announcement, the wait was so long that I started to question if I was going to get in. (In) the time that we were supposed to know, I hadn't found out yet if I was in. I was starting to (think) maybe I didn't make it. And then, sure enough when the knock on the door came, it was raw emotion and jubilation and all those kinds of things you could imagine when you're told you are going into the Hall of Fame and you are going to be forever enshrined in Canton, Ohio."
Since being announced as a member of the 2017 Class in February, LT has been on a whirlwind tour to get ready for the event. He likened the process to "planning a wedding." Although he admits he "feels like he's getting married again," this honor comes with a very special gift: a customized, commemorative bust. For LT, although he's seen most of it, his bust is still going to be a surprise come August.
"The bust looks great. I think (sculptor) Scott Myers is without question, one of the most talented sculptors who are making busts. Scott is as good as it gets. I was very happy with what I have seen. Obviously, I haven't seen the finished product because he had to tweak a couple things at the last moment, (but), I've seen about 90-percent of it so I'll tell you I approved it already."
From working at NFL Network to his newest role as special assistant to ownership with the Los Angeles Chargers, LT's life still revolves around football. Tomlinson hasn't settled down and attributes that drive to the game he played for more than two decades.
"Football is something I have been very passionate about for a long time. As long as I can remember, from five to six years old, I've watched football every year religiously. At the age of seven or eight, I started playing football and I retired at 32. That means I played football every single year for about 24 years of my life. Naturally for me when I left the game, I felt more comfortable doing something in the capacity of football. I've been fortunate to work NFL Network. In my role with the L.A. Chargers and being a special assistant to (Owner – Chairman of the Board) Dean Spanos, (I enjoy) just being around the game and pouring my knowledge out to players, executives and our owner. It's been the best thing in my retirement."