Obviously the death of former All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau, which is being investigated as a suicide, sent shockwaves and sadness throughout the NFL. Seau was such a prominent figure in the sport, died so young (he was 43 years old), and is one of a disturbing number of former NFL players to commit suicide in recent years – his death impacts everyone who has anything to do with the league.
But Seau’s loss was felt most acutely, of course, by those who knew him best, and we’ve heard from a couple such people since the tragic news broke earlier today. Seau’s mother spoke to reporters in a devastating scene, and on NFL Live, ESPN analyst/former Seau teammate Marcellus Wiley shared his thoughts on his friend. Wiley addressed the time he talked with Seau about his 2010 car crash as well as the last time he ever heard from Seau, and, well, it was brutal:
If there’s one common thread in what everyone who knew Seau has said about him in the aftermath of his death, it’s more or less what Wiley said: good guy with a good heart. NFL players have talked about small gestures he made that meant the world. Tedy Bruschi talked about how he had a good relationship with everyone. Steve Young talked about the positive energy he had, and with which he played the game.
Seau was a seriously well-liked guy by so many people who came in contact with him. To think of someone who by all accounts had such a zest for life battling the kinds of demons that lead to suicide, no matter what brought on those demons, and seeing those who knew him wrestle with the question of how he could have been overcome by those demons… it’s not easy stuff to watch.