When Roman Oben was a teammate of LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego from 2004-07, Tomlinson often confided in Oben that he'd one day like to play in New York.
Oben, who played for the Giants from 1996-99, is therefore not surprised that Tomlinson chose the Jets over the Vikings to continue his career.
"He'd say, 'If I had a chance my last two or three years, I'd like to play in New York,'" Oben said. "To play in a city like New York would really put a big cap on his career. We've had those talks, and I think it was a good decision on his part. He goes to a team that's really committed to the run. They'll give him the ball every time they're inside the 5. He might even have a chance to break Emmitt's [rushing] touchdowns record if he plays for two years."
But it's the chance to play on the big stage of New York that really enticed Tomlinson, according to Oben.
"I think it's common of a lot of guys who never played in big markets, they'd always wonder what it was like to play in New York," Oben said. "You think of any player who has had a really substantial career in a second-tier market, and it's very similar. San Diego is a great market, but take the weather away, and it's different. You think of a Kansas City, a Cincinnati or a Seattle, those kinds of places. Guys don't want to go to a Denny's or a Houlihan's on a Friday night. They want to go to a restaurant and run into Bruce Willis or Yogi Berra. That's the difference."