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Tomlinson Acts Out As Chargers Choke

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Shawne Merriman, on making a play, brazenly breaks into a steroid infused dance. For the opposing team it’s embarrassing, but there’s little to be done. Try to interrupt him and a flag flies. What’s a team to do? Here’s an answer; beat them at home and then mock the dance in celebration.

The Chargers went Bill Buckner and the New England Patriots assured Merriman has plenty of time to dance. The Patriots flew out of San Diego headed to yet another AFC Championship game. For the Critic it wasn’t unexpected. The Chargers were yearlong pretenders and during the play-offs it’s not about dancing; winning matters.

In the lead-up to the game ESPN’s Michael Irvin sat down with LaDainian Tomlinson to discuss Jim Brown. It’s part of the hype fest surrounding the Chargers back. The discussion centered on Jim Brown and how LT respects and admires him and tries to emulate the legendary running back. After the game it’s easy to point out the obvious: LT is no Jim Brown either in ability or character.

The Patriots were celebrating their win by mocking the Merriman dance. Who can blame them? When a player dances and mocks opposing teams during an entire season it’s certain that someone will get him back at some point. This didn’t sit well with Tomlinson.

Unlike Brown, his idol, Tomlinson let childish emotion trump reason. He pulled away from Patriots players who were trying to congratulate him on a game well played and then, postgame, ripped into the Patriots for being classless. One wonders if he went to Merriman’s locker and said, “See what happens.”

It’s doubtful. Tomlinson is the league MVP and poster boy for pundits. Constantly announcers state how mature he is and what a good man he’s become since entering the league. All of which is true. However, in a 30-minute span of time, he showed another side many of us were waiting to see. The hype is done and his free pass is over.

Oh, and LT: don’t forget to check out the AFC Championship game next week. You have time on your hands.

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About The Critic

  • dewi

    You are so right on Tomlinson! Shawne Merriman makes a lot of noise all season and The Pats would not have done the taunt if Merriman hadn’t done his taunt all season! And how about Tomlinson pass up the handshakes from the Pats? Like Dion S.said, you don’t tell that you have class , cause if tell people that you don’t

  • Michael Murdock

    That’s funny when the Chargers, who can’t ever win a playoff game, talk about the Patriots being classless. The Chargers can’t blame anyone except for themselves for yesterdays loss. They couldn’t keep their emotions in check and it just showed who the more experienced, mature team was on the field. You should be allowed to celebrate AFTER the game. LT will always be one of the greatest backs to play the game but control your emotions kid. You embarrassed yourself by taking a jab at a future hall of fame coach. Merriman needs to act like he’s made a sack before they can call anyone classless. Also they want to mark their calendars next year for their next game vs. the Patriots because their a rival now? Haha take a number every team in the NFL wants a piece of them, but I think Indy has more of a history against them considering they’ve consistently been better than San Diego.

  • ks

    Absolutely right on. If you have class you NEVER have to tell anybody. LT is great…but he’s a sore loser….I’ll chalk it up to rookie attitude.
    Everybody CELEBRATES in this league…sometimes even when they shouldn’t ….Shawn Merriman is in everyone’s face when SD wins….you lost, it’s over …learn from it!

  • kanadianhoser

    I have seen some idiots espouse their beliefs but this column is ridiculous….

    It must be in the water in America that they cannot see the forest for the trees….or maybe it is the lack of trees and water in America that affects the thinking there?…..

    The point LT was making was the no class move AFTER the game on the Chargers’ logo at midfield…..can you guys not see that?…

    I predict then that all visiting teams that win in the NFL will come up with a mocking taunting dance at midfield that will incite someone to do something stupid….until they outlaw it…

    Anyone willing to wager?….I bet that next year when they are in Foxboro for a regular season game they will make a point of dancing on the logo there…remember T.O. and dance on the star?…

    Let us see what the league and the Patriots say then…..It is not about the victory it is about the disrespect from a supposedly classy organization…..

    Merriman’s sack bit happens every sunday in the NFL…What does not happen every week is the dance of the visitors on the home teams logo….

    Dumb Americans maybe cannot see the difference….mebbe that is why they are embroiled in that ‘classy’ mess in Iraq?

  • Ryan

    The Pats are classless. They’ve been there before – 3 Super Bowls. They shouldn’t be acting like that. Act like you’ve been there before – because they have. LT has a right to be upset. He wouldn’t do that.

  • Ryan:

    I disagree. When a player comes out talking about how much character he posesses, he must first do the right thing; call down his own teammate. LT-No class, no superbowl, no cookie.

  • nate

    Oh, please. You’re all talking about how LT is a sore loser, then blaming him for Merriman’s celebrations. Are you kidding me? The man just broke every scoring record in the NFL, and how many times have you seen him even do anything other than hand the ball to the ref after waltzing into the end zone?

    The Patriots were celebrating a victory that wasn’t; they didn’t win the game, the Chargers and Drayton Florence and a handfull of dropped passes handed it to them.

    I love how you’re all defending the Patriots here. You call it classy to win a playoff game, and then taunt the opposing side in the middle of their home field? And you’re telling LT he needs to control his emotions?

    And hey, Michael, you said it yourself: the Chargers beat themselves. So what right did the Patriots have to celebrate? If you’re running a race and your opponent trips over his own shoelaces, is it classy to dance over him after you cross the finish line? You call the Patriots the more “mature” team. I forgot, this is America, and as long as you win it doesn’t really matter how rude or crude you are, you’re still vindicated.

    Some idiot headbutted an opponent, a slew of morons dropped some passes and interceptions, and the Patriots thought they had the right to disrespect an entire team, stadium, and city.

    Somehow, his blog and every response just placed all of the Chargers’ shortcomings on LT’s shoulders simply because for the FIRST TIME in his career, he did something unsportsmanlike. Anybody jealous of his talent finally has some tiny thing to latch on to, and you little children are clearly enjoying your chance.

    So why stop at “classless?” I say we go all out. I think his winning the MVP, Offensive player of the Year, and setting the scoring and touchdown records was just a fluke. His classlessness probably blinded all of his opponents, allowing him to put up better numbers than anybody else in the history of the league. All of those times he handed the ball to the ref after scoring? That’s just because he was saving his classlessness up for yesterday. All of the times he deflected praise to his teammates and coaches? Again, just classlessness pent up, waiting to unleash itself.

    I think LT ought to pay more attention to TO, then perhaps he’ll learn some class and maturity. Maybe he can start dancing on opponent’s 50-yard lines, if he tries hard enough.

  • Nate:

    Thanks for the comment. Tomlinson talks about character-he brings it up. Thus, when he fails to act accordingly people point it out. In addition he can win MVP’s, set scoring records, and otherwise have a splendid career. What he can’t do is win the Super Bowl this year. Further, being upset at a celebration on the 50 yard line – if the Chargers win the game there is no celebration. THEY didn’t take care of business. They lost.

  • nate

    Ahhh, of course. They didn’t take care of business, so its ok for the Patriots to disrespect an entire city. I see. It’s really all coming together.

    It makes sense! Really, because when Owens did the exact same thing, he was villified. But the Patriots–no, the Patriots have Tom Brady, the only man whose penis the press is quicker to pucker up to than Tomlinson’s. Clearly, they must have class! They’ve won super bowls! They have a right to be as crude as they like!

    It all makes sense now! It doesn’t matter if you’re behaving like a two-year old, if you’ve got the rings, its allowed! After all the disrespect the Patriots have suffered through over the last five or six years, I can see how they can get a free pass here.

    I can understand why they would feel it necessary to taunt an entire team for one player’s actions, because I can remember all season, when Merriman would dance, LT would sprint out and stand next to him, and shout loudly “I endorse this! I think this dancing is great for my team and my city!” In fact, I remember many times, after Merriman sacks, watching the entire team sprint onto the field and do that ridiculous dance!

    And by the way, Mr. Critic, I’d appreciate your finding me any examples of LT himself bringing “character” up. If you look closely, you’ll find that your precious pundits discuss his character a great deal, and that he is asked about it from time to time. But LT himself is loathe to talk about himself in any regard, so I would be shocked to find an instance where he simply walked up to a reporter and said, “hey, you know what? I’ve got me some class, that’s what I’ve got.”

  • Paul

    The Pats had a right to mock Merriman. No, they didn’t have to, but they had the right. If he hadn’t been doing that every chance the camera was on him, no one would be planning on giving it back to him. He did, which shows lack of class. The pats mocked him – maybe he’ll learn. If you don’t want opposing teams to mock you either 1. Keep your mouth shut, or 2. Win. The Chargers did neither.

    I didn’t see the actual event, but if the Pats purposely did it on the Chargers helmet, that’s one thing (and if so, the Pats should be called out on it). If they did not, and LT threw a little temper-tantrum, then instead of taking it out on the Pats, he should tell Merriman to can the antics. That would show real class!

  • Nate:

    Have you seen interviews with Tomlinson???

    Also you jumped the tracks when you talk about disrespecting a city. It’s a football game. Once you make that statement you really land deep in the sagebrush.

    It was nice chatting with you. Feel free to leave more comments but try to use reason instead of emotion.

  • Paul: Good points but if the Chargers live up to the hype it’s not an issue.

  • Jim

    Merriman’s artistic emotional expressions mimic our same reactions when we jump off the couch whooping and hollering for our team. How many times have we done that. Imagine the agression and adrenaline actually being in the NFL and turning the tide of a game by physically “downing” someone. Man’s primal instict; Which is why football invokes so much more passion than other sports; Well at least a different kind of passion.
    Now imagine someone mimicing your celebration not after a specific play that they did, or anything extraordinary, but after a missed fieldgoal by the opposition. Imagine being the underdog (by 5 points) in enemy territory, going to center stage (50 yard line) and taunting the opposition by executing the same ritual of arguably one of the best defenders this year. That’s not aggresive, that’s PASSIVE agressive.
    That invokes the same rage as someone cutting you off and then flipping you off, but without any recourse on the field, unless the Charger’s go off into a brawl; being human, that’s my first reaction, but I’m not a 2 year old, so what do I do, i get off the field fast before I do some damage. But I’m still ticked, emotions racing, we just gave away what we should have won. This is no freeway rat race, this is the playoffs.


  • Coolworx

    I used to have a lot of respect for the SD chargers and their fans, but now I’ve come to believe that “America’s Finest City” is populated with whiney little bytches.

  • pats suck

    The Pats have no class. Everyone knows this. They talk trash all game and punch players already on the ground. They came into San Diego and disrespected the Chargers all day. The YOUNG Charger team let it get in their heads and choked. The Patriots walked away with a “gimme” win and took a dump on the 50 yard line. LT was right. The Pats have no class. They are horrible examples of what athletes should strive to be. I hope Indy ignores the taunting and beats them down next week.

  • Greg

    Check out this video of Merriman at the rally leading a Brady Sucks chant. Now that is classless
    Whatever the Pats did after the game, included yelling “Lights Out” into the locker room, was completely understandable for the way the Chargers acted before and during the contest. I think Merriman’s actions at the rally coupled with him dissing Jason Taylor with the popcorn and the shirt shows what kind of person he is, and at the end of the day the bully must take his medicine. Tomlinson can’t just ignore his own teammates actions.

  • Jim

    “I used to have a lot of respect for the SD chargers and their fans, but now I’ve come to believe that “America’s Finest City” is populated with whiney little bytches”

    I find it hard to believe that so much respect was bestowed upon our city and team and so little took it away. Well maybe it’s not that hard to believe.

  • nate

    Holy hell. I cross the tracks when I talk about a city being disrespected, but when you blame a single player for the actions of an entire team, that’s legit.

    My sincere apologies for inserting emotion into this thread, as it is clear to me now in re-reading all of your posts that you have nothing but an objective take on the events.

    Feel free to do a little dance on top of this post, since you have clearly bested me, and have a right to celebrate.


  • Pats Rock

    I love how everyone is calling the Pats Class-less

    Underdogs in almost every aspect
    San Diego hyping the win all week
    2 unsportsmen like conduct call against the Chargers
    No Tix for pats fans by order of San Diego
    San Diego Plans for Super Bowl / Parades Forthcoming

    Doesn’t sound very classy to me, I could go on and on

  • DJ

    SOME Pats were celebrating.

    There were some 40 or 50 players in that game for the Pats. A couple of them celebrate in an obnoxious way, and LT feels he can call out the whole Pats team, refuse their handshakes, AND say that the “no class” comes from the head coach???

    Tom Brady, the posterboy for class and success in this league, is a Pat. LT has no business calling out all the Pats for the actions of a couple, when his own teammates showed poor class, jawing all game while they were ahead, and committing personal fouls left & right.

    LT is accountable for his own comments only (not the actions of his teammates), and in calling out BELLICHICK he showed poor sportsmanship. He’s a sore loser.

    The coach he should be mad at isn’t Bill, it’s Marty.

  • Greg

    LDT should look at his own house befor casting stones. Tom Brady, Troy Brown, Mike Vrabel, and Tedy Bruschi are the class in the NFL. And here is what how his teammates conduct themselves. They are the Bengals of the west coast
    1.LB Shaun Phillips-Obstructing a police officer in April
    2. LB Steve Foley-A&B on a police officer, April
    3. Foley again, traffic stop in Sept
    4. S Terrence Kiel-Shipping codeine-based cough syrup to Texas, in Sept.
    5. CB Markus Curry-Domestic violence, Oct.
    6. CB Cletis Gordon-DUI in Nov.
    7. Krause DUI in Dec

  • Paul

    Look…one doesn’t lose class based on a team they play for. Evey team has people with high class (the Tom Brady type) and low class (The T.O. type). Good coaches though, as well as good team leaders, have the opportunity to control those lacking class. Until LT tells Merriman to sit down and shut up and act like a professional, he has no room to criticize ANYBODY else. Now, that being said, the Chargers, as a team, do not have the class as New England does, as a team. That can be seen in posts 18 and 20. But that should have no reflection on the city, or the fans (minus the obvious idiots – post 14).

  • Brad Blake

    All I know is Merriman gets by on Steroids and related articial substances, so if LT wants to stand by that…perhaps he’s also partaking of the “clear and the creme”.

  • The Haze

    It’s unprofessional how “all” athletes act today.When I do my job good I don’t F**king pound my chest and do some primal dance.But you know what? It’s what the people want! Just read these posts.It’s okay for your boyz to get all jiggy with it but not the opponents! puleez! you people are actually defending these overpaid idiots!when was the last time you heard an athlete say he would do this for free? As I,ve stated in other comments on this site the fault lies directly with Y-O-U the fan. you deserve exactly what you get! The badasses,the arrests, the taunting,the jungle dances,the whole nine yards.Look no further than the mirror for you are the ultimate reason why they the entertainers(not athletes)act the way they do.careful what you wish for …..so sad the state of sports today.Where’s my curling broom,I gotta go…..

  • It seems like an overreaction to a team celebrating a victory by dancing on the field. I don’t understand why it bothers fans, and I certainly don’t understand why someone would try to say that it is OK for one team but not for the other.

    As far as “disrespecting an entire city,” again, it was a couple of guys jumping up and down after a football game.

  • Myers

    I’m loving this…
    OK, I’m neither a Chargers or a Pats fan. I AM an LT fan. I love the way he conducts himself. I am not a S. Merriman fan, simply because he was found out as a “cheater”, by rules he was fully aware of and tried to usurp.
    My only Advice for LT…
    When you decide to stand up for someone, try to pick someone a little more worthy, and when you do decide to call someone out… try to pick someone a little more worthy.
    LT is guilty of nothing more than poor judgement, and everyone has a day like that… just not usually on national television. The guys a kid, and he made a “public relations” mistake, not a character mistake or a malicious attack. You CAN’T lose, and stomp off, justified or unjustified and expect no one to notice. Not today.

    Fact: as for Merriman. When you single yourself out by doing the “same dance every time” not a couch excitement dance like we do at home, but a choriographed dance… it WILL be done back to you when you lose. period. It’s the chance you take when YOU single yourself out.


  • LT is usually a pretty classy individual. This time he wasn’t, because his emotions got the better of him in the midst of a shocking disappointment.

    The Pats perhaps shouldn’t have been mocking Merriman, but it should be pointed out that in doing so they were mocking MERRIMAN, not the entire team, much less the entire city.

  • “SOME Pats were celebrating.

    There were some 40 or 50 players in that game for the Pats. A couple of them celebrate in an obnoxious way, and LT feels he can call out the whole Pats team, refuse their handshakes, AND say that the “no class” comes from the head coach???

    Tom Brady, the posterboy for class and success in this league, is a Pat. LT has no business calling out all the Pats for the actions of a couple, when his own teammates showed poor class, jawing all game while they were ahead, and committing personal fouls left & right.

    LT is accountable for his own comments only (not the actions of his teammates), and in calling out BELLICHICK he showed poor sportsmanship. He’s a sore loser.

    The coach he should be mad at isn’t Bill, it’s Marty.”

    I agree with this ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. Great comment.

  • BOB


  • hardlymick`

    Taunting is wrong. It’s even against the rules. If Merriman’s dance is intended to taunt his opponents, then the Patriots’ actions are understandable. If his dance is intended to fire up himself, his team and Charger fans, then “some of the Patriots players” showed a real lack of class.

    Merriman hasn’t been penalized for dancing as far as I know, so the league doesn’t see it as taunting. I can’t recall seeing him dance in an opponents face, or while standing over them. Seau used to have a unique move/reaction to making big plays. It was a long strided fist pump he did all the time. I never heard anyone compaining about it, or calling it a show of disrespect. Many defensive players have had so called “dances” to celebrate sacks etc. Maybe his steroid use is coloring people’s opinion, maybe his talking or his overall persona. Whatever, I still don’t see his dance as something disrespectful.

    The Terrell Owens incident in Dallas (when he was still a 49er I believe) is IMO perfectly analagous of this situation. After scoring a TD, T.O. ran back to the 50 yard line and placed the ball on the Cowboy star. Cowboy players and fans were obviously upset, and when T.O. attempted to do the same thing on a second TD catch, Emmitt Smith darted in from who-knows-where and laid some serious wood on Owens. People (myself included) lauded Smith’s show of team pride. I’d wager that the rest of his team (specially the defense) probably felt a little bit ashamed that none of them were out there with him.

    There’s just something about doing it in the middle of the field that makes it so much worse. If the Patriots mocked the Merriman dance on the sidelines, or going into the locker I don’t think we’d be discussing it. But right at midfield? It’s hard to argue for something like that.

  • Mojave

    LT is the epitome of class. I would venture to say that most commenters here, unless they are from SD, haven’t seen many Chargers games, except for the nationally televised ones. For 6 years, LT has been pure class, he plays with passion and energy and celebrates with his teammates, but doesn’t dance, doesn’t whine or complain, he has nothing but respect for his opponents.

    LT got emotional on Sunday. He was looking out for his teammates. The choking signs and mocking by a few Patriots was classless and LT stood up to them. Maybe he made a mistake by taking it as far as he did. But you can’t condemn him or belittle his 6 years of spotless play in the NFL.

    For those of you dissing him, it might be good to check your hipocrisy at the door and look back a little over a year ago when SD went into Foxborough and annihilated the Pats at home, their first home loss in 21 games. After the game, the great Tom Brady, ran off the field straight to the lockers, not one handshake for a Charger, not one congratulations on a good game, he just sulked off in embarrassment over the beating his team took. Was that classless? Was that the mark of a sore loser?

    I say LT and Brady are two of the classiest players in the NFL and they have shown it their entire careers. Don’t let one emotional moment ruin your view of them. They deserve nothing but respect.

  • pats_fan

    Charger fans, move on You had the most talent in the NFL and you lost.

    You should worry about your own coach, not Bellichick. Your team fell apart because of a lack of leadershiship.

  • Arch Conservative

    “The Patriots were celebrating a victory that wasn’t they didn’t win the game, the Chargers and Drayton Florence and a handful of dropped passes handed it to them.”

    Nate you’re an idiot? If the chargers had won would you be saying “oh the chargers didn’t really win the Patriots gave it away on the Brady interceptions?

    Only morons say the other team didn’t because their team made more errors.

    And as far as LT calling the whole Patriot team and Bill Belechick classless…that was over the line and untrue. There might have been one or two, maybe even three Pats players being disrespectful and taunting on the field at the end of the game but the whole Pats team wasn’t. SO if LT had a problem he should have singled out the Pats guys taunting and not called the entire team and the coach classless. It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain that LT was pissed because he expected to win at home and they lost so he blew up. Also Merriman taunts all the time with his stupid little dance and I’m curious to know just how classless LT thinks this is. But considering how LT has always handled himself in the past respectfully I am willing to give him a pass on this one which was done in the heat of the moment after a huge loss.

    One last thing.

    Schottenheimer sucks!

  • BG


  • this is too funny

    Comment #26 and comment #30 might be the only intelligent comments I have seen on this.

    1-Tomlinson made a mistake in saying what he said, there’s no arguing with that. He had a bad day and I’m sure we will be hearing an apology on ESPN (Bellicheck will probably get a personal phone call as well). One bad day shouldn’t even scar the reputation LT has built, he is a classy guy without a doubt, he just had a bad day. So all of you who are directing your blows at LT being a complete “unclassy” person is honestly making you look like an absolute retard.

    2-Merriman’s dance has NEVER been done in the face of an opponent. The dance pumps himself up, it excites his team, and it gets the crowd into the game. NEVER has Merriman stood over someone he tackles to do his dance, and you can go ahead and quote me on that, retard.

    Oh and to “The Critic” LT surpasses Jim Brown in both ability and character, once again, just a bad day (see above). Why in the hell should this change your entire perspective of an athlete? I would hate to see what marriage would be like with you.

    – J

  • Khem

    wow! It’s a football game, they’re football players. It’s obvious LT got emotional, and it’s obvious Bellichek never was a classy guy, nor will he become one.

    To The Critic, you’re unneccessarily bitter towards LT, and the chargers as a whole. There is too much bias in your article! It’s like you were just waiting for LT to break…come on.

    I respect the Patriots team as a Chargers fan, for the most part at least. I don’t discriminate against the entire franchise because of the actions of a few players. I strongly dislike Bill Belicheck, but that doesn’t affect my view of the team as a whole. OPEN YOUR EYES! ITS A GAME!

    And to the guy bringing up criminal charges..this was a football game!! Why are you referring to events that occurred off the field!

    All of the people you referred to have never on the field done anything out of line, while I remember Mike Vrabel throwing footballs on numerous occassions in rage, and acting out while cameras were on.

  • Cheatriots


    Pats lose the SB.

    Pats get caught cheating.

    Pats are dirt without Brady.

    Classless Pats organization/fans get what they deserve