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?Josh Levin, Slate:
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.
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.