Talking sports while everyone else talks s#*%. Don't be haters, be Debaters!

NFL Legend Found Dead

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Very unfortunate news from the NFL world today as it was announced that Junior Seau was found dead at his apartment in Oceanside, California.  His girlfriend found him dead with a gun wound to his chest.  The incident is being investigated, and authorities believe that Seau’s death may have been suicide.

Seau had a long career, mostly as a member of the San Diego Chargers,  He began playing in the NFL and helped lead San Diego to the Super Bowl in his first season.  His last years were as a New England Patriot, in which he was a member of the undefeated team which eventually lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl.  Seau is definitely a hall-of-famer, was an icon in San Diego as a all-time great Charger, and was known for his tenacity and great work ethic.

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Unfortunately, this was not the first post-retirement controversy surrounding Seau.   In October 2010, Seaudrove his SUV off a 100-foot cliff.  The accident happened hours after Junior was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend.  Thankfully, Seau survived the accident.  There were no signs of alcohol or drug usage, and in retrospect, it appears that this may have been Junior’s first attempt at what occurred today.

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Coincidentally, this tragedy has occurred on the same day that Roger Goodell announced that four players linked to the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal have been suspended, including Johnathan Vilma for a year.  Goodell has come down hard on these players, and it can be linked to Seau and other related tragedies in recent years.  Many players and families of NFL players are taking legal action against the NFL.  The claim is that the many hits sustained and delivered through playing careers have had extremely negative long-term effects on players bodies and minds.  Goodell came out today and denounced the practice of intentional injuring players, and it just so happens that the possible side effects of these injuries may have been exemplified by Seau today.

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Junior Seau is now on a list of NFL players who have ended their lives.  Jeff Alm, the former Houston Oilers defensive end killed himself with a shotgun in 1993. Alm took his own life minutes after crashing his car.  Ray Esterling was a former Falcons who committed suicide in April at 62 years old. Esterling suffered brain damage from his playing days in the 1970s and sued the NFL for their mishandling of his head injuries.  Dave Duerson killed himself on Feb. 17, 2011.  He shot himself in the chest so that his brain could be examined after his death. Duerson’s family filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL for failing to properly treat or prevent concussions that led to his brain damage.  Kenny McKinley was found dead in his apartment after an apparent suicide in September of 2010. The 23-year-old Broncos wide receiver shot himself after reportedly being depressed over undergoing two knee surgeries in eight months.

No matter what the cause of Seau’s death, the magnitude of this tragedy is undeniable.  If it is linked towards the many hits he delivered as a NFL player, Goodell will have more suits on his table.  Please share your thoughts on the life of Junior Seau.  Also, do you think the long-term effects that the players suffer from as a result of playing in the NFL make their career choices worth it?  Is there anything that Goodell and the NFL can do to avoid these incidences from occurring again in the future?

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2 responses

  1. mr. know-it-all

    good piece, bobby, though the topic wasn’t. it’s time to face the fact that we, as a society, have not evolved since roman times, and likely, since way before that. we treat out athletes, most notably football players, like modern day gladiators. they are thrown into the ring to battle it out for the prupose of entertaining the masses. while boxing, mma and other one-on-one blood sports may be more blatantly brutal, make no mistake that american football is the ultimate pugilistic sporting spectacle. football is team fighting. the object of every play is to engage in a human collision, to be ended only upon the temporary (sometimes, long-term, or permanent) physical incapacitation of one of its participants. this said, those who choose to enter in to the arena do so willingly, and are well compensated.

    however, when the fanfare ends, and the heroics fade, the physical and emotional damage lingers. while the fans cheer on each suceeding influx of gladiators, the previous participants falll into the shadows, trying to fit into a world were the place they held has been lost to someone who they once were. the new generation of strongest, fastest, most elite specimens money can buy.

    no one can know the specific demons that drove Junior Seau to the act he seemingly committed. but it does seem to be an act that must be added to the list of premature causes of death that plague former nfl players, whose average life expectancy is well below the general population average.

    in moments like these, we now suddenly care about, and feel sympathy toward, one of our former gladiators, for whom, if not treated as a gladiator to begin with, this moment likey would not exist.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. When you look at it through the lens you just presented, its scary how barbaric the sport of football actually is. These men, though they are being compensated as you stated, are literally putting their life on the line during these contests. We as spectators casually eat popcorn, drink beer and gamble on the outcome. Though they aren’t literally fighting to the death, as we see through Seau, unfortunately death may be an end result.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM

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