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  #11  
Old 02-01-2017, 05:15 PM
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December 10, 2006. Week 13. To this day, the date lives on in football immortality. However, the team’s focus that day was solely on beating the Denver Broncos and capturing the AFC West crown. The Bolts of course knew LT was three touchdowns away from setting the record, but it was merely a thought in the back of their minds. When the ball kicked off, they had no idea they would soon make history.

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson: “Most of that game, breaking the record wasn’t any part of my thinking. It was all about clinching. Honestly, I didn’t think I would get it that day. It is hard to score multiple touchdowns in a game, especially against a division opponent.”

Quarterback Philip Rivers: “Obviously we all knew that week going into the Denver game where he was with it, but we were focused on getting that win.”

Center Nick Hardwick: “Actually, I had no idea. The first I knew of this record, this is how ignorant I was at the time, was when it flashed up on the board after his second touchdown. LT has tied the single season touchdown record. I was like, ‘Whoa! Cool!’

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson: “My mindset the whole game was not, ‘Oh I am going to break the record this game, and yeah, it is going to be awesome.’ I just tried to have the same routine and really think about what I needed to do to help my team win the game. Now, when I got close to it, and certainly when Shawne Merriman got that sack and we got the ball back in the red zone, what went through my mind was, ‘Ok, this is supposed to happen.’

It’s the defining moment in Chargers history. Shawne Merriman forcing a fumble. The offense getting the ball at the seven-yard line. Tomlinson crossing the goal line. The team running onto the field and into the huddle. Everyone rushing to LT after the touchdown, lifting him in the air and into immortality.

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson: “Up until that point I never thought anything was supposed to happen that day, but at that point I thought to myself, ‘This is supposed to happen. We are supposed to break the record right here.’ I didn’t say nothing. I walked in the huddle and Kris Dielman looked at me and said ‘Let’s get it.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Ok, let’s go.’”

Quarterback Philip Rivers: “That feeling, I’m sure some of the other guys described it in their own way differently, but there was a feel in the stadium of history is about to happen. It was different sounding. There was a vibrant kind of atmosphere.”

Center Nick Hardwick: “I remember being in the huddle and just feeling really consumed with this energy that we were about to do something great. We went down on that drive and I remember him in the huddle. He came in and basically said, “Guys, I’m going to break the record on this run.’ I started welling up in the huddle.”

President of Football Operations John Spanos: “I was standing right there in the end zone and can picture it perfectly. We got that turnover, and I think everyone in that stadium felt like he was going to score. For whatever reason, every one of us was standing there and all of us had the same feeling of ‘Hey, he is going to break the record right here.’”

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson: “As I got ready to take the ball, I’m looking inside because it was 50-power. So my eyes go inside. They go straight downhill into the A-gap, and so as I check the A-gap I see that it is clogged up. Then my next thing, my eyes go to the left and out because I am searching for a hole, and then out of the corner of my eye I see Lorenzo start to fall.”

Fullback Lorenzo Neal: “Well, we bounce it out and I trip. I’m falling and I’m thinking this is a bad dream. Are you kidding me? This can’t be happening! Oh my God, it was like slow motion. It was like the commercial, ‘I’ve fallen and can’t get up!’ I remember going down, and I’m like ‘Oh my God!’” If you watch the play, I am crawling on the ground like a damn dog. I was crawling, scratching. I am yelling at myself, ‘Please don’t fall down!’ And that is what is so good about LT. He didn’t just make one guy miss; he made two guys miss on that play. My guy and the other guy.”

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson: “So then I see a defender who he is supposed to block right there in front of him, and I think to myself that if I can get to the corner, that defender still won’t be able to tackle me. So I booked it. I went to the corner and end up getting in.”

Quarterback Philip Rivers: “I just remember when he bounced it, I knew he was scoring. That one, when he bounced it, it was like ‘Alright, it’s over, he’s getting in there.’”

Tight End Antonio Gates: “He raised his hand we all ran down there. Lifting him, when I see those pictures on the wall these days, it’s still such a special moment. It’s a time I look back on and cherish those memories.”

Fullback Lorenzo Neal: “I will tell you, I was so happy when I looked up. After the smoke cleared and the fireworks went off, and I looked up and LT had scored. I was like ‘Thank God! He saved me.’ If he wouldn’t have made that touchdown, I probably would have been cut the next day.”

Center Nick Hardwick: “I had a back block, so my back was turned to him, but I knew he scored by the sounds. The guys had already beaten me over there to celebrate, and everybody was lifting him up. My only concern was while he was up on people’s shoulders that I wanted to touch him. I just wanted to touch greatness; it was just such a magical moment.”

Tight End Antonio Gates: “Even though we didn’t win a Super Bowl or an AFC Championship, like he’s said, we had big moments like that. Those celebratory moments are what we will always have, and can talk about forever.”

Left Guard Kris Dielman: “The place was electric. I will never forget that. My family was all right there with him in that corner too, so that was special. They were able to be a part of that, too. That was a special year, man. A special moment.”

President of Football Operations John Spanos: “Once he broke the record, it started to set in. We just witnessed the greatest single-season touchdown scoring record in the history of the NFL.”

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson: “It’s indescribable. Man, to be able to do that, turn around and see your teammates running at you; it is such a phenomenal moment. I think I realize how special that moment is every day I get further and further away from when it happened.”

Radio Voice of the Chargers Josh Lewin: “I love hearing that call – ‘Chargers fans are witnesses to history’. It was mostly organic. I didn’t know exactly what it would sound like when it left my mouth. The one thing I knew I wanted to do, because the fans were just so into it that day. I wasn’t sure how to weave in the fans but I just felt like they were part of the story so I had to involve them. I was just so thrilled to watch it happen and the fans just exploded. I looked out the press box window and it was just sheer joy. It was such a tsunami of joy.”
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Last edited by chargertom; 02-01-2017 at 05:48 PM..
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2017, 05:15 PM
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LaDainian Tomlinson scored two more touchdowns the next week to bring his record breaking total to 31. While it was a magical season unlike any the NFL will likely see again, it is only a small piece of what defines LT’s legacy. He ranks fifth all-time in career rushing yards, twice led the NFL in rushing yards and was the NFL rushing touchdown king on three occasions. A five-time Pro Bowler, he was also a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection, three-time Second-Team All-Pro Selection. Overall, LT’s legacy is one that will always be remembered. However, his 31 touchdown season is one that will in all likelihood never be surpassed.

Fullback Lorenzo Neal: “I think it is going to take a near-act of God to break it. Records are meant to be broken, I get that, I just can’t see it happening… unless a team gets down to the goal line and gives it to one guy every time.”

Tight End Antonio Gates: “He is going to hold that record for a long, long time. It’s crazy to think anyone will ever be able to come close.”

Running Backs Coach Clarence Shelmon: “All records can be broken, but this one is not going to be easy. I can promise you that. What LT did, the guy was unbelievable. It was like watching a video game.”

President of Football Operations John Spanos: “31 touchdowns. Thirty One. If someone is ever going to break that, it would have to be a pretty spectacular year. I would image there is a good chance that’s going to stand for a long while. It’s pretty awesome, and speaks to how talented LT was as a player, and how special that year was.”

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson: “What we all did that year is hard to do. It is hard to go 14-2. It is hard to set a record like that touchdown record. Think about it. No one in the history of the game has scored over 30 touchdowns in a season except for me, and we did that together. We did it as a team. That is one thing that my teammates can say. That no one ever did what we did together. No one has. That is a pretty special feeling.

And we did it as a team.”
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Last edited by chargertom; 02-01-2017 at 05:50 PM..
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2017, 08:33 PM
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Great article Tom. Thanks for sharing.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2017, 08:42 PM
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Thank Ricky Henne. All I did was copy and paste.

He put a lot of work into that.

A lot of great info from behind the scenes.

Who knew that LT's famous "team meeting" was a poem?
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2017, 09:13 PM
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All of the above makes it even more mind boggling that in that forever-painful Pats loss, we went away from LT in the 2d half, handing the reins to Rivers, instead.

THAT'S the inside scoop I'd like to learn -- was that Marty's genius decision, or someone else's?
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2017, 10:39 PM
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Just awesome
Thanks CT and RH
Awesome
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2017, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDC-SBV-1D View Post
Just awesome
Thanks CT and RH
Awesome
The article on the Chargers.com website has a lot of neat graphics to go with the story.
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2017, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongTimeOCBolts View Post
All of the above makes it even more mind boggling that in that forever-painful Pats loss, we went away from LT in the 2d half, handing the reins to Rivers, instead.

THAT'S the inside scoop I'd like to learn -- was that Marty's genius decision, or someone else's?
God. That game. It's been ten years and it still bothers me. I have it recorded and once in a while to torture myself I watch it. I think I watch it because 1% of me believes that maybe Eric Parker won't muff that punt, that Marty will punt on that 4th and a mile from midfield and that Marlon McCree will just hit the deck after that pick. Damn it. What a heart breaking memory.
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:44 AM
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Center Nick Hardwick: “I had a back block, so my back was turned to him, but I knew he scored by the sounds. The guys had already beaten me over there to celebrate, and everybody was lifting him up. My only concern was while he was up on people’s shoulders that I wanted to touch him. I just wanted to touch greatness; it was just such a magical moment.”

Quite a statement by Nick.

That was our shot that decade.
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  #20  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgaryboltsfan View Post
God. That game. It's been ten years and it still bothers me. I have it recorded and once in a while to torture myself I watch it. I think I watch it because 1% of me believes that maybe Eric Parker won't muff that punt, that Marty will punt on that 4th and a mile from midfield and that Marlon McCree will just hit the deck after that pick. Damn it. What a heart breaking memory.
It was 4th and 11 but it wasnt from midfield. It was well within FG range, 47 or 48 yards which made the decision to go for it that much more mind boggling. Oh well.
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