Earlier this week, we headlined LaDainian Tomlinson as a “Bear of a Man” for a blog item with him discussing his respect for Walter Payton, the Hall-of-Famer running back from the Chicago Bears.
Now, he’s the “60 Minutes Man.” The following is a release from CBS about a piece on Tomlinson scheduled to air on the venerable network TV magazine show Sunday night at 7 p.m. PST on Channel 8 locally.
It will no doubt be an interesting piece. One thing about Tomlinson, unlike many superstars in sports, is he always provides thoughtful answers whether it’s about him, the Chargers, teammates or football in general. A lot of the athletes go through the motions, providing clichés, or have bad days when they’re cooperative. You can tell on some days Tomlinson would prefer to be somewhere else, but I’ve never heard him speak without offering genuine answers.
The following is a release from CBS:
CHARGER RUNNING BACK LADAINIAN TOMLINSON SAYS HIS BEHAVIOR OFF THE FIELD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HIS PLAYON THE GRIDIRON — “60 MINUTES” SUNDAY ON CBS
LaDainian Tomlinson works wonders on the football field, but it’s the work he does off the field that really matters, he tells Bob Simon for a 60 MINUTES profile this Sunday, Dec. 9 (7:00-8:00 PM,
ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The San Diego Chargers superstar running back recently gave out Thanksgiving meals to 2,000 families and also provides college scholarships to seniors at his old high school, runs a charity golf tournament and hands out bikes and shoes to underprivileged children. “I think definitely what I do off the field [is more important],” Tomlinson says.
“People may remember something I did on the field for a couple of days, maybe a week, but the things that I do and we do in the community is something that people remember for the rest of their lives,” he says. He also buys 21 tickets (his jersey number) to all Charger home games to give to children who cannot afford them. The kids usually see him score touchdowns, maybe because he never thinks tackle — just TD. “You know, I don’t [think about being tackled]. Every time I touch the ball, I think I am going to go all the way. I think I am going to score a touchdown,” says the man who stands third on the all-time list for rushing touchdowns with 111. “I’m the runner that I am because I think that I am going to go all the way every single time I touch the ball,”
Running successfully also has to do with him seeing the defenders trying to tackle him so well that the action seems to be in slow motion, he says.
“It’s happening slow because I can see what every defender is doing .. they’re jumping at you. They’re trying to grab you and [I] can see it coming,” he tells Simon while they watch game films of his plays.
Tomlinson and his wife, Latorsha, have no children, but when they do, they will be dissuaded from following in their father’s giant footsteps.
Latorsha says she doesn’t want her kids to play football because “that’s going to be a lot of pressure on them to live up to the legend that their father is and will be,” she says.
Tomlinson has another
reason for them not to play. “Something I … want to protect my kids from is the physical part, getting hurt,” he says.
Simon also interviews Tomlinson’s mother, Loreane, whom Tomlinson says taught him to be altruistic and to “aim high and always reach for the stars.”
— TOM SHANAHAN