Not the most upbeat way to close out a day, but respects must be paid. Junior Seau was found dead at his home in Oceanside, CA. There are reports that he died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, not dissimilar to how Dave Duerson ended his life. That hasn’t been confirmed as I write this, but we do know that police were there to investigate gunshots, so take from that what you will. If it does turn out to have been suicide, the timing couldn’t have been more pregnant with meaning to the NFL, having just hours earlier levied harsh penalties against the Saints as a means to counter the beating the league is taking on the concussion issue in the public sphere.
One of the defensive stalwarts of his era, Seau was also the biggest star of the ’94 AFC Champion Chargers team, one that has experienced more than its share of tragedy in the years since.
Seau is the eighth member of the Chargers ’94 Super Bowl team to pass
— Lee Jenkins (@SI_LeeJenkins) May 2, 2012
Even if this didn’t turn out to have been a suicide, it was clear that Seau struggled with post-football life, as evidenced when he drove his SUV off a cliff following an incident with his girlfriend two years back. Obviously we’ll remember mostly the on-field achievements and there were plenty of them.
Tiaina Baul Seau Jr. was a 12-time Pro Bowler and a six-time All Pro. He appeared in Super Bowl XXIX as a member of the San Diego Chargers and Super Bowl XLII as a member of the New England Patriots. He was 43 years old.