I just found out about an hour ago on the radio. Incredibly shocking news to an outstanding athlete:
Junior Seau, a 43-year old 12-time NFL Pro Bowl linebacker, was found dead today in his home, the result of a gunshot wound, police confirmed.Being a KC Chiefs fan, it was always tough watching Seau blow up our offensive line and quarterback. But I admit I watched him in complete admiration and awe.
Police are currently investigating the shooting at the Oceanside, Calif., residence of the former New England Patriot and San Diego Charger's football star as a suicide. The police confirmed that Seau was found by his girlfriend at his beachfront home with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Seems to be some speculation already about the apparent rationale on his suicide death:
Seau's death, by gunshot wound to the chest, is similar to the way former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson committed suicide. Duerson shot himself in the chest on Feb. 17 -- a method used so that his brain could be examined for symptoms of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a trauma-induced disease common to NFL players and others who have received repeated blows to the head.It may be a bit early to speculate on this, but it's also very interesting to me in a strange and very sad way to see this as a possible rationale for his suicide. If this does indeed turn out to be the case, I think there's all sorts of implications that could effect how the game of football is being played and how the medical field may possibly help shape this outcome.
In any case, my heart goes out to his family and friends.
Update: A link from duckhunter's post below discusses how the average life expectancy of an NFL player is 55 years old. This is a career that lasts 4 years. For each year an NFL player spends playing, he decreases his average lifespan by 3 years.
That's just plain messed up. I like football, perhaps not as much as other sports (being in Lawrence, KS and all, college basketball tops my list pretty easily). But is this sport really worth it for us to watch and cheer on as it stands? Do college players really know what they're getting into? How about high school players? Grade school and junior high players? Or perhaps more to the point, how about the parents of those young kiddos aspiring to be NFL pros? Just some food for thought.