For five solitary seconds, San Diego citizens got a sneak peek at a sculpture they'd been waiting for since 2001.
"I'll let you look for five seconds," the soon-to-be Hall of Famer said.
And as the countdown began, his phone flashed the Hall of Fame bust he ran 13,684 yards to earn.
"3...2...1," Tomlinson concluded.
His love affair with San Diego hasn't.
That's why he's returned to familiar soil this second week of June - first, his annual golf tournament, made for fund-raising to help Wounded Warriors find homes, as well as research to fight Angelman Syndrome.
"[We] support the Boys and Girls Club...where we're building new education rooms," Tomlinson said. "Our wounded warriors get forgotten about. They're hurting and need a lot of help. My foundation will support that."
Later in the week, he'll hold a happy hour for military personnel, followed by the family friendly 5K at NTC.
"We want to give back to the organizations that deserve it," Tomlinson said.
The problem is that plenty of folks in this town see Tomlinson supporting an organization that, in their minds, doesn't deserve anything expect licking the soles of their shoe. The San Diego Chargers all time leading rusher is now a paid member of the Los Angeles Chargers front office.
"People want me to choose a side," Tomlinson said. "That's not who I am at the core of my soul. I can't choose either side. I want to be on both sides."
There is a difference between how two retired Bolts turned company men made their decisions. Nick Hardwick publicly swore the team off and quit the radio crew in January...before returning to the booth in early June.
Tomlinson never made that jump before reaffirming his commitment to the Los Angeles project, but became an early public face of the Measure C effort.
That's what made his transition to the Spanos clan so difficult, but in reality it is Dean Spanos' presence that predicted his choice. Tomlinson is still loyal to TCU. He's still loyal to San Diego. And he's loyal to the man that gave him $52 million dollars over a nine year period.
"The Chargers were here for 56 years," Tomlinson said. "It's hard to just get over that.
'My hope is that one day...they can start to forgive."