The stunning suicide of Junior Seau hit the world of football, Southern California, and Seau’s hometown San Diego community in devastating fashion this week. As a kid growing up a UCLA fan, Seau was the first USC player I didn’t utterly despise. Even worse, I absolutely loved him. Watching #55 fly around and make plays that no human being should make, you could feel his joy and passion for both the game, and for life.
To think that both of those things might have been taken from him in part by the very game he so loved is difficult and tragic, and a thought we will deal with in due time. There are, to be sure, serious questions to answer.
For now, however, I choose to remember the man of whom I heard so many second-hand tales of off-the-field goodness as he grew from collegiate superstar to NFL hall of famer on it.
Junior Seau. Number Fifty-Five.