I’m hardly to the first person bring this up or have these feelings but I’m really starting to worry about the recently retired generation of NFL football players. I am saying this in the wake of yet another head scratching death to a hard hitting former star. Junior Seau apparently took his own life Wednesday by shooting himself in the chest. The most appalling stat that jumped off the page to me is that Seau becomes the eighth member of the ’94 Chargers, who lost Super Bowl XXIX to the 49ers, to die at a young age.
We still don’t know if Seau’s behavior has anything to do with concussions suffered during his 20 year career but the recent trend of guys being, at the very least, a bit unsteady after they hang up the helmet is rising at an alarming rate. Were the 80’s and 90’s simply the un-perfect storm of super freak athletes like Seau playing with inferior equipment? Was that generation simply taught the wrong technique? Did guys have less concern about their own wellbeing? All of these questions will once again go under the microscope as the NFL looks for answers in hopes of avoiding another tragic loss of a former player.
I have to admit I have never met or interviewed Seau. In fact I can’t remember actually seeing him play in person. I remember when I was a kid that he was in my NFL All-Stars magazine that I read about 100 times. I guess the one Seau memory that continues to come to mind is him holding back Ryan Leaf during the QB’s infamous blow up at a reporter. More proof that Seau was just as impressive out of his uniform, than he was wearing his helmet and pads.