LaDainian Tomlinson ended his illustrious career Monday having accomplished everything an NFL player can ever dream of.
"Those were championship days, for not only myself and my teammates, but my family as well," Tomlinson said Monday, referring to a prime in San Diego that included record-breaking production but no titles. "So I'm OK with never winning a Super Bowl championship. I know we've got many memories that we can call championship days."
Yeah, yeah, we know. It sounds like LT's trying to convince himself. But Tomlinson -- like so many other stars who never reach football nirvana -- needs some way to fill that hole in the center.
With Tomlinson joining the ranks of the inactive, let's rank the Super Bowl odds of six veterans who have yet to win the big one.
6. Tony Gonzalez: The greatest tight end who ever lived deserves the stage the Super Bowl provides. A 12-time Pro Bowl selection, Gonzalez has played on some strong teams with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, but he's still knocking on the door. The upshot: Gonzalez will be playing at a high level until the end of time. Plenty of opportunities remain.
5. Ed Reed: Reed was drafted a year after the Baltimore Ravens toppled the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV and has spent 10 brilliant seasons trying to get Baltimore back to the big game. He's running out of time, and the loss of teammate and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs to an Achilles injury doesn't help matters.
4. Champ Bailey: Nobody was happier about Peyton Manning joining the Denver Broncos than Bailey, an 11-time Pro Bowl selection and one of the great cover cornerbacks in NFL history. Seriously, Bailey might be massaging Manning's neck right now. No. 18 takes the form of a golden ticket.
3. Brian Urlacher: Urlacher has been the face of the Chicago Bears' defense since 2000. He made one Super Bowl in the 2006 season, but fell short against Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. At 34 and entering the final year of his contract, this could be his last shot with the Bears.
2. Randy Moss: Moss was a star rookie on the greatest NFL team to miss the Super Bowl (the 1998 Minnesota Vikings). He was a star veteran on the greatest NFL team to lose the Super Bowl (the 2007 New England Patriots). He's either really due, or the 49ers signed themselves a living voodoo doll.
1. Michael Vick: The former No. 1 overall pick played six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons without advancing to the Super Bowl. He's about to take his fourth try at the same goal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick's only once advanced further than the divisional playoffs, but he believes the 2012 Eagles are the best team he's ever been on. A look at the roster makes us think Vick has a real chance.