The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
The first day of the Chargers mini-camp at Chargers Park, reporters lined up to talk to NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson as he sat before his locker.
The second day, Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer and his fellow defensive backs that share of a corner of the locker room with LT put out a velvet rope to screen access to their VIP’s corner.
Then Jammer taped up a sign that read: “$100 toll to see LT. ”
In some NFL locker rooms, this would have been uncomfortable sign of tension. Maybe the superstar has grown a superstar ego or maybe teammates resent the superstar’s superstar treatment
My first experience with such a scene was as a young reporter in the San Diego Clippers locker room at the Sports Arena.
Tom Chambers, then an all-star for the Clippers, was surrounded by reporters after he had a big game. Lionel Hollins, an aging star who dressed next to Chambers, returned from the shower and barked at reporters with the petulance of a 12-year-old (and this was after a win), “This is my space! This is my space!”
But in this example, we’re talking about the Chargers and LaDainian Tomlinson. When the league’s humble superstar entered the locker room and the sign was pointed out to him, he laughed. Then he bowed his head and walked to his locker.
“That’s what about what I expected from him,” Jammer said. “He laughed. He’s just LT; that’s all you can say.”
Something else this tells us, though, is there is no hangover from the Chargers’ playoff loss to the New England Patriots last season. It’s the same tight group of players focused on winning a Super Bowl.
By the way, LT granted all of his many interview requests. When the season starts, he’ll go back to the routine of meeting with the media in a press conference setting outside the locker room. And Jammer can take down the velvet ropes and his sign. But don’t tell him I owe him a $100.
— TOM SHANAHAN