LaDainian's Landing in Philly
He has been called the best player in pro football, the most dangerous offensive player and a viable MVP candidate. Yet as LaDainian Tomlinson takes his weekend business trip to Philadelphia when his San Diego Chargers visit the Eagles, he will be called many other things by the rabid fans.
Eagles fans have a strong reputation of making life miserable for the opponent, looking only at a potential W, and not what an athletes brings to the field.
And in Tomlinson's case, these are Hall of Fame credentials, no doubt. For one weekend, Eagles fans should put behind their zeal to win and try to appreciate what they will be seeing when Tomlinson steps onto Lincoln Financial Field.
Birds fans will view one of the great players of this era in the NFL. Somebody who can run, catch, and even as he proved last week, pass with the best of them.
Last year, he had an off-season by his standards and still rushed for 1,335 yards (3.9 average) and 17 TDs, despite playing with a groin injury that tremendously limited his effectiveness.
This season he is healthy and he is running toward an MVP type season, even though the Chargers are 3-3 while having played a minefield of a schedule.
Tomlinson has rushed for 652 yards (4.9 average) and 10 TDs. He has caught 18 passes for 169 yards and one TD. And for good measure, he has thrown two TD passes. He also could make history against the Eagles. Tomlinson has scored at least one TD in 18 consecutive games, tying the mark set by Lenny Moore four decades ago
He has the type of stutter step that makes defenses trip over their own feet. At 5-foot-10 and 221-pounds he is both strong, and shifty, powerful and speedy.
Now in his fifth season, he has already rushed for 6,551 career yards, whichwould be a record on the Eagles. Wilbert Montgomery holds the Eagles career rushing mark with 6,538 yards.
Tomlinson has remained grounded despite all the attention. He has accomplished so much already in his career, but he claims that it comes with the territory of being the No. 5 pick in the 2001 NFL draft.
"This is the time of my career when you step into your prime and become what you are supposed to become when you were drafted," he said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. For me, I feel so much better and knowing exactly what is going on, feeling like the game hqs slowed down."
It certainly hasn't slowed down for those trying to catch him.
Eagles fans will be so wrapped up in attempting to secure that fourth win that the probably won't be able to sit back and just enjoy the talents of a player destined to be among the all-time NFL greats.
So between boos, maybe the fans can just take a moment to appreciate greatnes, even if the person performing will be doing his best to bury the home team.