Junior Seau - - Was it "concussion" related?

I'm wondering how long it's going to take until people start blaming Junior Seau's suicide on "head injuries" and "concussions".

Are these suicides caused by depression because of "head injuries" or is it depression because the players are no longer in the spotlight and have no clue of how to live outside of playing football? There's no question Seau had a hard time leaving the game behind. His first retirement lasted four days. He was still hanging on to his career at age 41. Seau could never bring himself to officially announce his retirement, conceeding only that he'd "probably" played his last game.

Let's put the "concussion" bullshit aside and focus on the real problem - - coping without the spotlight...not being "the man" anymore...no more game day to get ready for...no more media glorifying you as a superstar....no more fans deifying you as a football god.

Apparently at some point in the past, there was a suicide call to police from a residence in which Seau was present.

There's more history, let alone possible medical ties as cannot be ruled out given the privacy of health information, to be explored here before jumping to any conclusions.

Did you know that Seau was in the same pro football class leaving college as The Rocket in 1991?

My understanding, via also a friend and USC alumnus, is that a good man, and not only a great football player and future Hall of Famer, is dead so RIP Junior Seau.

…can we see some sort of credentials that makes you the Grand Poobaa of all medical research around depression?..wtf does it matter what caused his depression and made him take such a serious course of action? pretty damn callous post if you ask me…

TMZ broke the story about Seau’s death and they now have this on their website:

Junior Seau's family does NOT believe the NFL legend shot himself in the chest to spare his brain ... TMZ has learned.

Seau family sources tell us … Junior never complained about concussion-related medical problems and didn’t appear to be suffering from depression.

We’re told Seau never really spoke about the ongoing legal battle between the NFL and retired players who claim the league concealed critical information about the long-term effects of concussions.

One family source was adamant … if Junior was passionate about preserving his brain, he would’ve mentioned something to his family. The family is still unsure why Junior would want to end his own life.

I can only assume that there's some piece of evidence to show that it was NOT an accident? I have seen very little mention of that as even a possibility.

Reports I've seen have said suicide, not an accident.

Was he not in a car accident a year ago that some thought he was trying to kill himslef?

It’s just such a sad case, no matter what the cause. But if was truly suffering from within for as long as it is assumed, it makes it that much worse of a pill to swallow. We lost a good one, for certain.

Before you can have a soloution you have to know the problem.

Trying to explain away a bunch of suicides as the result of “concussions” is naive and irresponsible. Why are we not seeing former CFL players killing themselves? Are there no concussions in the CFL?

So by trying to implement new rules to “reduce concussions” and save the players from concussion related suicides, the only thing that happens is that the game gets changed around.

How many times have you heard about the guy who worked in a factory for 30yrs and is dead within a couple years of retiring? Those aren’t suicides, they’re usually heart attacks or stroke. Believe it or not, this happens more often than you’d think. There’s a struggle adapting to a new life after being accustomed to a certain pattern and lifestyle.

[url=http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2012/05/junior_seau_dead_will_the_latest_football_suicide_finally_change_how_we_think_about_the_nfl_.html]http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sp ... _nfl_.html[/url]

Well at the very least, now more than ever, the cloud of public suspicion about the remnant nature of the sport, given all these suicides by former players, is darkening and growing.

Seau did indeed try to drive a car off a cliff two years ago mind you.

The rest of the facts are not in to draw any more conclusions about Seau personally as have been drawn for others, but all the same most everyone is questioning the recent frequency as unlikely to be a mere coincidence as the number of plaintiffs amongst former players in the class action lawsuit against the NFL grows.

If NFL Commissioner Goodell continues to be as smart and effective as he's been, he lets the legal, public relations, and emotional dust clear for a few more years before bringing up any talk again about an 18-game season.

Chad OchoCinco tells it like it is and for once I agree with him:

[url=http://tracking.si.com/2012/05/12/patriots-chad-ochocinco-defends-roger-goodell-against-criticism/]http://tracking.si.com/2012/05/12/patri ... criticism/[/url]

Fantastic article as told by former NFL LB George Koonce:

I had a wonderful wife, beautiful children, money in the bank and a Super Bowl ring back on that day in 2003 when my post-NFL transition took my Chevy Suburban around a 25-mph corner at three times the posted speed.

Whatever happened that day was going to happen. I didn't really care.

By the grace of God, I survived what was, in retrospect, a suicide attempt. But paramedics weren't going to cart me off. No chance. The football tough guy in me refused to get into that ambulance. My wife, Tunisia, drove me to the hospital and saved my life with words, not medicine.

"George," she said, "I don't understand what you are going through, but I sympathize. We cannot reinvent who you are, but we can redefine who you are."

Thanks to Tunisia, that car crash in North Carolina was a turning point. I would seek counseling, join a church and continue my education with the goal of becoming an athletic director. Tunisia even insisted I continue my education while she bravely fought the breast cancer that would ultimately claim her life in 2009.

The day Junior Seau committed suicide was also the day I submitted to Marquette University my doctoral dissertation on the difficulties NFL players face in transitioning away from the game. While it's fashionable to blame concussions for Junior's early demise, and it's certainly possible brain trauma played a role, the adjustment to life after football came to my mind immediately.

Eight years as a linebacker with the Green Bay Packers and one with the Seattle Seahawks should have set me up for life. Instead, the tunnel vision and unwavering devotion a football career demanded left me utterly unprepared for anything else.

Football is different from other major sports in that way. Hard work and dedication cannot make you a 7-foot-1 center in the NBA, but it can help a 6-foot-2 linebacker go from 205 to 245 pounds while gaining speed and athleticism. That was the path I followed from undrafted prospect at East Carolina to NFL starting lineups from 1992 to 2000.

I played nine years in the NFL and one in NFL Europe and didn't have any concussions on record. But I did have suicidal thoughts in my first year away from the game. Not all of us suffered concussions, but all of us are going to go through the transition. And if you're like most players, you've spent most of your life focusing on the next play, the next quarter, the next half, the next game, the next offseason.

Look at Dave Duerson. There are more than 200,000 living alums from Notre Dame. Some run major corporations around the world. Becoming a Notre Dame trustee would be a dream for them. Duerson was a trustee at Notre Dame, not only because he was a good football player at one time but because of his business acumen and his dedication to being one of the best safeties in the league. And when that went away, and with the culmination of the concussions he had suffered, he ended his life.

Notice that we're not reading about NBA greats killing themselves. But we have someone like Seau, who might have been the best inside linebacker to ever put on a uniform, and that is what he did on May 2.

I'm not downplaying basketball careers or the work NBA players put in, but in the NFL you have to be obsessed with the role to make it. ("Role engulfment" is the academic term for it.) There are no prodigies in the NFL. There are no Hakeem Olajuwons who show up at the University of Houston from Nigeria and suddenly become the first pick in the draft. In football, you can have someone like my former teammate Desmond Howard win the Heisman Trophy and become Super Bowl MVP after everyone told him he was too small, too short and too slow. He has a heart the size of Wisconsin and simply will not quit.

You say, "You know what, I'm going to prove Peter King wrong or Chris Berman wrong or my childhood friend who said I couldn't make it." So you get even more consumed, more isolated in football, and then you have no skill set once the game is finished with you.

In college, my day was sketched out for me, from 6:30 a.m. until 9 o’clock at night. There was no difference when I transitioned to the NFL. It was all about trying to win a championship, trying to get prepared. The role engulfs you even more. They pay those NFL assistant coaches well to show George how to drop back into the flat or cover a running back. I didn't have those life coaches when I left the game. That support system disappeared, and I was lost.

When that day comes and they say your services are no longer needed, you are in a very lonely and dark place. That first year out of football, I drank. I can distinctly remember going into Wal-Mart and buying the first season of "Law & Order" and watching it alone at our beach place from Thursday through Sunday night. It was such a lonely time. And it was on the drive back home that I took that turn at 75 mph just to see what would happen.

One month, I was returning an interception for a touchdown during a Seahawks victory over Atlanta. The next month, I was finished. Even my agent stopped calling. I’d spoken to him on the phone three or four times a day since signing with him out of college, and now he wouldn’t take my calls. I’d had a decent 2000 season, finishing second on the Seahawks in tackles, but I was 32 years old, had a bad knee and was suddenly expendable.

In the locker room, we want to talk about how we're going to get past the Cowboys or 49ers. We’re not talking about weaknesses. We’re not talking about being scared. When guys start feeling that way in retirement, they go off by themselves and they start self-medicating: drinking, taking pain pills, taking narcotics, trying to fill that void.

Football becomes your identity. Your family buys into it, your friends buy into it, the alums from your college buy into it. And then it is gone. You are gone.

What can we do to help?

The NFL and NFL Players Association just hammered out a 10-year agreement. How much money is allocated toward players' transition away from the game? What about deferring some of the players' salaries until they reach a certain age and have matured enough to use it more wisely?

We hear about mentors when the focus should be on sponsors -- someone who goes beyond pointing athletes in the right direction, helping to personally make the introductions that make all the difference.

At the college level, Title IX forced the NCAA to account for women's athletics. Why can't the NCAA implement a senior level position for player and community development?

The average NFL career lasts only a few years. The game requires a player's unconditional investment while promising a very conditional and one-dimensional return. It produces too many athletes unprepared for anything else. More of them than we know will have thoughts like the ones I had coming around that curve in Kinston, N.C.

It's time to do more about it.


That was an excellent article Area51 and thanks for posting.

Right now otherwise, as more line up with attorneys against the NFL in court, the owners are considering the rule change to mandate the use of pads on the legs and the players' union is getting ready to mount a challenge even before such a rule is passed.

Though the NFL Lockout is long over, it just plain looks like now that former players, the union, and the owners all will be fighting in court every offseason for several years about pads, HGH testing, rule changes, health benefits, NFL discipline, et cetera. :?

I guess that's the inevitable human and historic outcome at some point whenever there is so much money on the table.

Interestingly we would not have part of this problem if we had a national health care system in place to some degree as does most every other western and/or developed country!