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Farewell To Former NFL Linebacker Tiaina Baul Seau, Jr. “Junior Seau”

Junior SeauFirst of all, sorry for not blogging as often as usual. Let’s say sinus infections are the pits. However, I am back, so here we go.

Yesterday was a very,VERY busy news day in the sports world. Here in the state of Kentucky where I live, in the city of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby organizers had the Derby Post Position Draw where the connections of all the horses find out which post position their horse will break from in Saturday’s Run for the Roses. In New York City, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down four huge suspensions related to the Saints’ “Bountygate.”

Four players were suspended: Saints LB Jonathan Vilma was gone for the entire season, Packers DE Anthony Hardgrove is gone for eight games, Browns LB Scott Fujita is gone for three games, and Will Smith, DE for the Saints, is gone for four games. However, those stories are separate blogs for now, even though one can tie the suspensions to the subject of my blog: The huge news that was the most shocking and saddest of all that happened today was the suspected suicide of 20 year LB veteran Junior Seau, most famous for his years with the San Diego Chargers.

It was rather startling to hear that a man, described by his former teammates as “full of life” would take his life. Junior Seau was born on January 19, 1969 in San Diego. He was born Tiania Baul Seau, Jr. His family were American Samoan and they moved there for a time, but eventually moved back to San Diego, and Junior would speak English only from age seven. He would letter at football, track and field, and basketball at Oceanside High School. At the University of Southern California, he had to sit out his freshman year of eligibility because his score of 690 was ten points lower than the school’s requirements. In his sophomore and junior seasons, Seau, wearing the famed number 55 (other USC alumni who would wear the number 55 as LBs were such names as Jack Del Rio, Willie McGuinest, and Keith Rivers) , he would letter, and in 1989, his final year of eligibility, he would post 19 sacks, and would be voted to a first team All American.

As a professional, after being drafted in 1990 by the San Diego Chargers in the First Rounds, fifth overall, Seau would go on to have what many feel would be a Hall of Fame Career. He and sure fire Hall of Famer, Ray Lewis (LB for the Baltimore Ravens) are tied with the most Pro Bowls with twelve. Seau is a ten time All Pro. Seau is a two time AFC Champion, one in 1994 with the San Diego Chargers, and the other in 2007 with the New England Patriots. Seau played 12 years with the Chargers, 4 with the New England Patriots, and 3 with the Miami Dolphins. On the field, he was known for his ferocious play. He was a better man off the field. Teammates talked about his charity work, and how he always would give back to the community.

One thing I picked up right away from reading tweets, and listening to , and watching the coverage was that, and this is just my opinion, but it appeared to me that Junior Seau did not seem to be prepared for life after football, or if he was, he couldn’t. I don’t pretend to know what was going on. I have had the pleasure of seeing Seau play when he was with the Patriots in 2007, during that dramatic season. He was an awesome player on the field. No doubt. God, had things been different that February day in 2008. IF only Tom Brady not been suffering from a high ankle sprain that day. IF only then Patriots CB Asante Samuel held on to that sure fire interception in the last 2:30 in the fourth quarter. If only that referee had blown Eli Manning “in the grasp” sooner.

If only Rodney Harrison had help by Asante Samuel (a couple of yards away), perhaps David Tyree would not have made that catch. God, if ONLY ANY of these scenarios had come true, I could erase that image of Junior Seau’s look of horror out of my mind. I want to emphasize that I am NOT blaming the SB loss for his death now, but, I am just just saying…..Seau was 2:35 minutes away from FINALLY being a champion, only to see it vanish before his very eyes had to have been a horrible feeling. As a FAN, I did not feel so badly for several of the team as many of them had rings, but I felt HORRIBLE for Seau. Of anyone on that team, that man deserved it.

I am sure in the coming weeks and months as Seau reportedly shot himself in the chest to preserve the brain, we will find out the details behind the reported suicide. However, I think fans should just pray, and /or send good thoughts to the Seau family. Judging and such is not going to help. Seau evidently , from the looks of things, was in some sort of deep depression. Why he took his life, I have no idea. I just am so heartsick every time I see the video of his mom crying out. I can’t imagine the pain that family is going through. As a fan, I am just very sad. Maybe if Seau’s brain is used for research, some good can come out of this, but I am grieving for a man who left us too soon.

I don’t usually get personal, but as someone who suffers from severe depression, and is fortunate to be able to have access to help: If you feel down, and hopeless, and depressed. Please get help. Talk to someone, anyone. Talk to your friend, neighbor, and let THEM help you get the help you need. Don’t suffer in silence.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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