Wed, Jan 17, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Tomlinson remains upset by Patriots' victory celebration

AFP , SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

National Football League rushing champion LaDainian Tomlinson remained upset on Monday by the New England Patriot's post-game victory celebration after ousting the San Diego Chargers from the playoffs here on Sunday.

The Patriots, looking for their fourth Super Bowl title in the past six years, squeaked by the Chargers 24-21 with the help of four San Diego turnovers and a missed 54-yard field goal on the final play of an emotional game.

Several New England players hurled their helmets into the air and danced on the middle of the field in celebration, incurring the wrath of San Diego star rusher Tomlinson.

"I would never, ever react in that way," Tomlinson said. "I'm a very classy person and I would not have reacted like that. I was very upset."

Tomlinson refused to shake hands with several of the Patriots after the game and was restrained when rushing toward several New England players after the game after a mocking imitation of Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman's victory dance.

"When you go to the middle of our field and you start doing the dance that Shawne Merriman is known for, that's disrespectful. It showed no class at all and maybe that comes from their coach," Tomlinson said.

"I wasn't going to go do anything, just tell the guys not to disrespect us on our own field. When you start to further disrespect us, that's just not how you react."

"Just disappointment, that's the initial thought," Tomlinson said. "When you are a three-time Super Bowl champion I wouldn't think you would need to act that way."

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