The news that Junior Seau was found dead May 2 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound shocked football fans around the country, no matter what team they supported. The longtime linebacker for the San Diego Chargers was often a thorn in the side of opposition game plans, but was almost universally respected.
Seau was a rarity in professional sports, getting to stay close to home for most of his career. He went to high school just up the coast from where the Chargers play, in Oceanside, California. For college, he went just a little farther up I-5, attending USC. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Trojans in 2009.
The Junior Seau Foundation helps young people by fighting child abuse, working for drug and alcohol awareness, and other assistance opportunities. I have relatives in the San Diego area, and they have always spoke highly of Seau not just as a player, but as a member of the greater community.
As a fan of the Seattle Seahawks when they were in the same division as the Chargers, I saw time after time Seau frustrate the plans of the Seahawks' offense. Clare Farnsworth's blog on the Seahawks' website offers an appropriate and heartfelt ode to Seau, and reflects the high regard players held him in, even when lining up on the other side.
Farnsworth points to the stats, noting that in the 23 games when played between the Seahawks and Chargers when Seau was with San Diego and both teams were in the same division, Seau averaged seven tackles, earned 6 1/2 sacks, and knocked down six passes. Not to mention being hell on wheels for the Chargers' defense from the start of the game to the finish.
He also takes note of the respect other players had for him. That's a feeling which extends to the fans. More than once, I remember watching the Seahawks vs. Chargers and saying "son of a..." or something similar after a "Say Ow" play.
His was a sad passing for football fans. Junior Seau was 43.
Jeff Musall has been a fan of the Seattle Seahawks for decades. He remembers the great play of Junior Seau, and joins football fans from around the world in sending condolences to the family.
- Sports & Recreation
- Junior Seau
- San Diego Chargers
- Seattle Seahawks