Wednesday, May 2, 2012

JUNIOR SEAU (1969-2012):  Chris Jones, Esquire:
Why do football players kill themselves? On the surface, at least, they do it for the same reason hockey players like Rick Rypien and Wade Belak do. And for the same reason taxi drivers and ballet dancers and poets and construction workers and janitors and teachers and doctors do: They do it because they are depressed, because they are in such a dark place that they choose death. It's a hard thing to think about, but if you do anything in the memory of Junior Seau today, please think about this for a moment: How bad would your life have to be for you to put a gun to your chest and put a bullet into your heart? How deep would be that despair?

Now, why are they depressed? That's where everything divides, and the equations become much more complicated. But one of the root problems among the many is that happy people have short memories and sad people have long ones. We forget or we ignore or we get busy doing something else, and all this time, someone is sitting at home with a gun in his hand and trying so hard not to remember, trying like hell to believe that the future will not be like the past.

In that moment, those who fail, those who can't get beyond their own mistakes or the sins that have been committed against them, they will join the ranks of the self-inflicted dead. Your guilt won't have saved them. Those who find something, anything, to hang on to, some cause for hope or optimism or even an outstretched hand, survive. Your love will save them.
Josh Levin, Slate:
Ignore the NFL Draft. Ignore offseason mini-camps. Ignore the latest free agent signings. There’s only one thing worth talking about in pro football right now, and Junior Seau just reminded us what that is.


  1. Renee8:27 PM

    I am inexplicably sad about this.  I'm not a football person, but for some reason, Seau's suicide has hit me hard.

  2. ChinMusic8:56 PM

    This is really sad.  But Levin is right and Jones looks kind of foolish for trying to run away from it.  While it is true that football players commit suicide for the same reason as anyone else, it is insane to ignore the possibility that the sport itself could be a direct cause of their deadly depression.

  3. Meghan9:09 PM

    Bad things happening to members of that team.  

  4. The sport itself coupled with the very real fact that many of the players have few useful skills other than football, that the average pro football career is quite short, and that they often don't manage their money terribly well.  Seems to me that in addition to increased awareness of the concussions issue, all pro sports leagues should make increased efforts to get their players to develop a post-playing career plan/goal/idea and to make efforts to see that they have some degree of prudence in financial management.

  5. ChinMusic10:19 PM

    That is probably right in most cases, but not this one.  Seau played 20 years in the NFL, made a lot of money, started a successful business venture of chain restaurants and a clothing line, and became very close to the San Diego community (even taking up surfing).  If leagues made the type of efforts you suggest, Seau would probably be the poster boy for the program.

  6. Matt B9:49 AM

    Wow, that Esquire article is powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  7. katiya6:00 PM

    Junior Seau is a first ballot Hall of Famer and was a stand up player, he'll be missed! ChinMusic is right about Mr. Seau though he was on top of his game in terms of life after football, he must of been in a very dark place to do this!