As you can imagine the past two days have been hell since I learned about the passing of former San Diego Chargers legend Junior Seau. I still feel numb over the fact that someone who had a million megawatt smile for his fans and meant so much to so many people here in America’s Finest City™ took their own life – and that no one, not even me, could help him when he needed it the most.
This post will likely sound like I’m rambling but as a former Chargers fan I’ve got a few thoughts I want to share with y’all:
MY FAVORITE JUNIOR SEAU MOMENT: During his rookie season, Junior played against the then-Los Angeles Raiders for the first time and he never finished the game. During the third quarter he got into a fist fight against one of the Raiders linemen and both of them were ejected. I fondly remember that as the day the Chargers developed a backbone and wouldn’t take sh*t from anyone as long as Junior was with the team.
SEAU’S RESTAURANT: Thanks to the economy I haven’t been to the restaurant in a few years but it was one of my favorite places to eat after work. It had a very friendly atmosphere, there was a sports game on the television at all times and the food was great. What more could you ask for? For one, I’d love to see the restaurant remain open for business. It would be a sad day in San Diego if it closed because of Junior’s death – especially since it’s a favorite hangout during Chargers games.
WHY I JOINED RAIDER NATION: Back in 2002 there were rumblings the Chargers wanted a new stadium and would move to Los Angeles if they didn’t get one. That’s not the only reason why I hate the Chargers. I hate the Chargers for getting rid of Junior the way they did. The early rumors were they were going to outright release him.
Why? He was coming off his twelfth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and was far and away the athlete who gave the most back to the community. The Chargers eventually allowed him to seek a trade so they could save face but we all knew they wanted to get rid of him before his performance fell off.
Tony Gwynn got to stay with the Padres until he retired, despite the fact he couldn’t play right field anymore in his final years. Junior deserved the same and never got that chance. This is why I hate the Chargers.
WHAT I’LL REMEMBER ABOUT JUNIOR: Junior was one of those rare athletes who not only was born and raised in the same place he had his greatest success, but he remained humble, friendly and fun loving up until the very end. He gave back to the community generously through his foundation and never forgot his roots. That’s why his loss is so devastating to San Diegans.