Found May 04, 2012 on Fox Sports:
PLAYERS: Junior Seau
Ron Troxel had known him since 1983, when Junior Seau showed up as a freshman in Troxel's physical education class at Oceanside High School. There already was something freakish about Seau's desire to be a great football player. But his physical dimensions suggested something more modest. "A skinny kid," recalls the teacher. "Looked like a wide receiver." Still, the man Troxel recalls from their last encounter looked very much like the public conception of Junior Seau, which is to say, a Mr. America of Samoan descent. Junior had been surfing. He wore trunks, no wetsuit, and a big, broad grin as he came out of the water. This was the summer of 2010, not long after Junior Seau retired from football. "Hey," the teacher called out, "Why don't you get a real job?" Seau laughed. Troxel laughed. But looking back, he says, "I wish I had said something different." It occurs now, the day after Seau died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, that, contrary to an already formed opinion, it wasn't football that killed him. It was not playing football. Whatever is to be discovered about the state of his affairs or his nervous system, it's clear that Junior Seau had an easier time being in the game than away from it. He survived 20 NFL seasons, but less than 2 1/2 years of retirement. He was 43, most of his life spent within a few square miles in this hardscrabble beach town. Troxel once asked him why he worked so hard -- this was a kid, mind you, who'd be putting himself through drills before the coaches even got to practice. "I want this community to be proud of me," he said. The Community. Giving Back to the Community. Typically, these rank among the most offending cliches in sports. Most of the time, "the community" is an amorphous, unspecified idea, a target of opportunity for public-relations types. Not so with Junior Seau, though. Whatever is to be learned of him in the coming days and weeks, this much is sure: He knew exactly what, where and from whom he came. He played the ukulele on his deck, facing that California surfer's vision of paradise. Everyone knew his home was theirs for a barbecue on July 4. He'd get a fade at All American Deluxe on Coast Highway, where barbers charge service $6 for a haircut. Seau would leave a twenty. He'd get his breakfast burritos at Johnny Manana's on Mission. The only time he kept to himself was many years ago, when he used to come in with that hot blonde. "He was for his people," said Hortensia Manriquez, who left a candle (Sagrada Corazon de Maria, or Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Maria) at Seau's house, along with a homemade placard that read: "My prayers are with his family, specially his mom xoxo" Manriquez, 59, makes $8.70 an hour as a security guard, but she feels of herself as she felt about the millionaire who'll be immortalized as a bronze bust in Canton. She and Junior are of the same tribe, not necessarily Hispanic or Samoan, but of the neighborhood, of Oceanside. She wasn't alone, of course. A steady stream of pilgrims made their way to Seau's home on The Strand. The tokens of their respect included jerseys and candles and handwritten cards: I love you uncle JR. I pumped your latte. You gave all of us something to reach for Buddeee. Say*Ow You inspired me as a child! The flowers they left were still wrapped in supermarket cellophane, rubber bands tight around the thorned stems. Even with the television trucks, the tableau seemed a solemn one. You could hear the beat of the surf. The air smelled of salt and tar. "I had to come," said Manriquez. "I saw him on Sunday." Her pastor had suggested it. He was helping with a memorial service for a local mailman, Martel Miller. The mailman worked out at The Gym on Mission Street. So did his eulogist, Junior Seau. "He was talking about life," said Manriquez. "He said we could be sad, or we could be angry. But in the end, we got to be glad he's not in pain." Seau was referring to the mailman. But in retrospect, Manriquez believes he was also speaking of himself. It's as good a theory as any. But it falls short as a reason. Why did the smiling superman who came out of the ocean, a guy who ostensibly had everything, take his own life? And you wonder what the kids will say. Shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, just outside the athletic department office on the campus of Oceanside High School, a contingent of varsity football players celebrated Seau with an impromptu haka, a Samoan warriors' dance. "For you, Junior," said a thickly built kid, thrusting a finger at the sky. "For you!" It was an inspirational moment. But for teenagers -- varsity football players, in particular -- death remains an abstraction. "Everyone's trying to make sense of it, trying to come to grips with our own mortality," said Dave Barrett, the school's athletic director and baseball coach. "The logic behind it is ..." Barrett caught himself, a veteran teacher's concession that there was no logic here. Barrett was an Oceanside freshman in 1966, and the football team's defensive coordinator when Seau arrived 17 years later. He remembers the start of two-a-day workouts. He was the first coach on the field, about 7:15 a.m. But he wasn't alone. The skinny freshman had already worked up quite a sweat, Seau timing his own shuttle runs with a stopwatch. That was August 1983. Seau made good on that ferocious desire to be a football player. He made The Community proud. But now it only makes Barrett's job tougher. Truth is, he doesn't know what to say. But he gave the best he had. "We care for you," he told the kids. "We're here for you." It was another way of telling them, "You don't have to be Mr. America."

Examiner: Seau death ruled suicide

Junior Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the San Diego County Medical Examiner confirmed on Thursday. The medical examiner's office said in a news release it is awaiting a decision by Seau's family to release the deceased linebacker's brain for study. Boston University researchers reportedly have requested an opportunity to examine Seau's brain to further...

San Diego Chargers to Hold Ceremony Honoring Junior Seau at Qualcomm Stadium on Friday

The football world, still mourning the death of Junior Seau, will celebrate his life in the same arena in which he made his mark. The San Diego Chargers are hosting a celebration of life in honor of Seau on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium, according to a press release. The public is invited, and parking and admission will be free. Special guest speakers have been invited...

Junior Seau, goodbye “Buddy”

Today the world found out the tragic news that the beloved and respected man known as Junior Seau was found dead at the age of 43. Uncharacteristic for a linebacker in the NFL, it seems like everyone enjoyed Seau and the way he played. Not only his teammates and opponents, but the fans also seemed

Junior Seau was more than a football player.

Hearing the shocking news today about Junior Seau, many thoughts ran through my mind. Besides the obvious questions of how and why, I wondered how much this had to do with concussions and other crazy football related stuff. (Ed.Note Junior Seau was never listed on an injury report as having a concussion) To read the rest of this article and watch a news report on Junior Seau, please...

Junior Seau Commits Suicide

It is with heavy hearts that we have to report, former NFL linebacker Junior Seau is dead according to reports coming from TMZ and other sources. While initial details are still vague it is believed Seau committed suicide, in his home in California. Junior Seau was an All-Pro linebaker who made his name with the San Diego Chargers even taking them to a Super Bowl.  He ended his...

NFL take two: What happens when the cheering stops?

I am no longer an NFL player, now what do I do with my life? No more practices, no more sitting on the training table nursing this injury or that injury. No more sitting in the film room watching film of this week’s opponent. Running out of the tunnels to thousands of cheering fans is no

Reports: Junior Seau Dead; Possible Suicide

TMZ is reporting that Junior Seau was found dead and may have committed suicide.   Seau spent 20 years in the NFL (1990-2009), the first 13 with the San Diego Chargers. He was a member of San Diego’s 1994 AFC champion team and a member of the undefeated 16-0 New England Patriots of 2007, who lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. He also spent three seasons with the Miami Dolphins...

Broncos remember Junior Seau

Some stories transcend division rivalries… our heartfelt sympathies to Chargers nation and Junior Seau‘s family. Here are a collection of comments from Broncos players, current and former. John Elway – I had the pleasure of playing against Junior for many years. He played the game the way it was meant to be played… — John Elway (@johnelway) May 2, 2012 (continued) ...

Junior Seau found dead on same day Saints players get penalties

One of the greatest linebackers to ever play in the NFL, Junior Seau, was found dead in his home yesterday of an apparent suicide.  This news came the same day as NFL commissioner handed down the penalties for the players involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty program.  It is a sick coincidence in my [...]

Padres Issue Statement on Junior Seau

“Everyone in the Padres organization is deeply saddened by the news of Junior Seau’s passing,” said Padres President Tom Garfinkel.  “He was a great San Diegan and an inspiration, not only on the playing field, but in how he positively impacted people's lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Seau family, friends and the Chargers organization during this difficult time.”

Tiki Barber on Junior Seau tragedy (video)

Retired New York Giants player Tiki Barber on the emotional challenges that could have faced Junior Seau before his death. VIDEO LINK Barber says, “You’re shocked because of the sudden nature of the death but you’re not shocked that you see these things happen. There’s a lot of factors that contribute to depression. One is stress, money stress, family stress…. You’re...

Update On Batista’s Next Film + Goldberg/Junior Seau

– Vin Diesel recently spoke about the release date for Riddick, which co-stars Batista. Diesel posted some updates to his Facebook page suggesting that the film may see a release date as soon as January, and added that sequels may be under consideration by the studio. Diesel posted: The studio said the earliest they could release the new “Riddick” is in January… was hoping...

TSX: Around the League

Len Pasquarelli discusses the crushing loss of Junior Seau, the myriad problems revolving around the New Orleans Saints, the injury to Baltimore LB Terrell Suggs, free agent RB Ryan Grant and more.
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