Retired NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson is opening up about his love for Kansas City. During his nine season with the San Diego Chargers (now the Los Angeles Chargers), the Texas native revealed why he ranks the City of Fountains as one of his favorite NFL playing spots, even if the Kansas City Chiefs were one of the Charges’ most bitter rivals.
“I just loved the hospitality the Chief fans gave us even being the opposing team,” he wrote in response to a fan’s question in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) forum. “Even the Chiefs themselves. I remember the late Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas’ mother would always cook us BBQ, she’d make us all entire plates of food after the game to take with us on the bus, it was just awesome man. Never saw anything like that in the NFL before.”
Thomas, who played linebacker for Kansas City, tragically passed away in a car accident on February 8, 2000 in Miami, Florida.
During his time with the AFC West powerhouse, Tomlinson recorded 13,684 yards and 145 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 4.3 yards per carry. He also notched the most rushing touchdowns in three seasons and led the NFL in rushing twice in one season. Though he never achieved Super Bowl glory during his playing days, it earned Tomlinson a well-deserved spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
The former TCU star played one more season with the New York Jets before calling it a career in 2011. The 41-year-old currently serves as a football analyst on NFL Network and just like Kansas City franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is using his platform to advocate for social justice initiatives and racial inequality.
Tomlinson Also Revealed His Top 5 Favorite Players
In a June 24 piece published to the NFL’s website, Tomlinson revealed who makes up his top five teammates he enjoyed playing alongside during his storied career. Former Chargers QB Philip Rivers made the cut (No. 4), but for his No. 1 choice, the 2006 league MVP named another former teammate: LB Junior Seau:
“Seau was physically gifted, but his knowledge of his opponents was off the charts. And he pushed our offense every day in practice. We couldn’t run the ball half of the time because Seau would blow up a play. I vividly remember our coaches getting on him, saying, “Junior, damnit, stop doing that.” It was frustrating, but we knew if we could run the ball against our Seau-led defense, we could run against anyone. And we did.”
Here’s are the rankings, in case you were curious:
- 5. Rodney Harrison/Lorenzo Neal, S/FB, retired
- 4. Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts
- 3. Antonio Gates, TE, retired
- 2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
- 1. Junior Seau, LB, Hall of Famer
Tomlinson and Seau played one year in California together, the 2001-2002 campaign.