On May 2nd, 2012, the NFL world was shocked and saddened to hear that longtime NFL great, and future hall of famer, Junior Seau died at the age of 43 from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. Seau was arguably one of the best linebackers to have ever played the game of football, and he was for sure going to be a member of the NFL Hall Of Fame in Canton, Ohio in the near future. Seau’s death is being ruled as an apparent suicide. Many of his family members, friends, former teammates, and fans are completely shocked and saddened by Seau’s sudden death. Many players throughout the NFL are still to this day in disbelief that Seau would take his own life. His death comes as a shock, because Seau did not show any symptoms, signs, or even clues of depression or any stress in his life. If there was something wrong with Seau, many people could not tell, because he kept it very secret. Seau had three children, two sons and a daughter.
Junior Seau was born on January 19th, 1969 in San Diego, California. Seau was of Somaon decent. He started playing football at a very young age and grew a strong passion for the sport. He attended Oceanside High School where he was an amazing athlete, excelling in track and field, basketball, and most importantly football. After graduating from Oceanside High School, Seau decided to pursue his football career, attending The University of Southern California (USC), where he had a succesfull college football career in 1988 and 1989, which led to his path to the NFL. He set the standard for the linebacking position at USC. In the 1989 season at USC, Seau had 19 sacks, which led him to a College All-American selection that year.
Junior Seau was drafted in the 1990 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round as the 5th overall selection. Seau was going to play for his hometown San Diego Chargers having his dream come true. Seau played for the Chargers for 13 NFL seasons from 1990-2002. He was one of the most influential, dedicated, and passionate players on the field for the Chargers during that time. He became a very popular fan favorite, and he was known as the “Tasmanian Devil” for his speed, and vicious tackles. His football IQ was very high, and he was a genius at the linebacker position. In 1994, Seau and the Chargers earned their first ever trip to the Superbowl. Unfortunately, the Chargers were blown away 49 to 26 by the San Francisco 49ers in Superbowl XXIX in Miami. In 2003, to everyone’s surprise in the San Diego area, Seau was traded to the Miami Dolphins in exchanged for a draft pick. Seau played for the Dolphins from 2003-2006. During his time in Miami, Seau made big plays for the Dolphins, and was again an influential player on the team. He was known as a leader in the locker room. Although Seau made some big plays for the Dolphins he had some setbacks as well, such as various injuries, his worn-down body, and his age. In 2006 Seau was released by the Dolphins.
In the Summer of 2006, Seau announced his retirement from football, signing a ceremonial contract with the San Diego Chargers, but four days later, Seau came back to the NFL, signing with the New England Patriots. Seau still believed he wasn’t done, and that he had some fuel left in the tank for football. Seau played with the Patriots from 2006-2010, where he made incredible tackles and made game changing plays for the Patriots. In 2007-2008 NFL season, Seau was a part of the incredible regular season, perfect 16-0 record that the Patriots had accomplished. The Patriots earned a trip to the Superbowl that year, where to everyone’s surprise, they were defeated by the New York Giants, 17-14 in Superbowl XLII in Phoenix, Arizona. Many of the Patriots front office, coaching staff, and players loved having Seau as a teammate for that four-year stint. Seau yet again was a major influence in the locker room, and was a well-experienced veteran, who was one of the main leaders for the Patriots. After the 2009-2010 season, Junior Seau announced his retirement on January 13, 2010.
Overall, Junior Seau played in the NFL for 20 NFL seasons, with the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots. Seau was a 12 time Pro Bowl Selection throughout his 20 year career. Throughout his career Seau had 1,849 total tackles, 56.6 sacks, 18 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. He was inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, and his number 55 Jersey is retired. Seau was known as a dedicated, hard-working, and passionate football player who loved his job. Seau was not only a talented football player, but he was very influential in the community in the San Diego area. Seau had done a lot of community and charity work. In 1992 Seau created the “Junior Seau Foundation,” which helps young kids stay away from drugs, crime, and violence. The foundation is meant to promote youth to stay on track in life, and to get a solid education. Seau also created the “Junior Seau Celebrity Golf Classic,” which gives awards to people who does good deeds, and helps their community. After football, Junior Seau had also become a solid businessman. He had a very successful establishment called, “Seau’s, The Restaurant” in Mission Valley, California. Not only was Seau in the restaurant industry but he also created a clothing line called “Say Ow Gear.” In 2010, Seau created his own T.V. show with the Versus Network, called “Sports Jobs With Junior Seau.” The show aired 10 total episodes. As a hobby, Seau loved to surf and golf.
Junior Seau is a future Hall Of Fame Linebacker in the near future, and we will be inducted into Canton, Ohio one day. Seau one of the best linebackers to ever play his position, and he transformed the position forever. He was an influential person who was loved by all who surrounded him from family, friends, teammates, and fans. He was a model human-being who helped people in his community through acts of kindness, and charity work. He was a successful entrepreneur who had a vast social network of people. Junior Seau was a great teammate to have, and he was a leader for every team that hey played for. To this day, and maybe we will never know what was really going on with Seau, but he left a life filled with great accomplishments on and off the football field. He was a major icon in the San Diego area, as well as in Southern California and he will be missed. It’s sad that Junior Seau has passed, but he will never be forgotten.
Rest In Peace Junior Seau 1969-2012