Damnit this sucks. He was one of my favorite players of all time. One of the reasons why I became a Chargers fan. RIP55
landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
Damnit this sucks. He was one of my favorite players of all time. One of the reasons why I became a Chargers fan. RIP55
Likewise. I'll never forget that 94 team.
To have died from that Super Bowl team.
Apparently he shot himself in the head local news is suspecting. Very sad and breaks my heart, so many people I care and love are devestated by this news.
He actually shot himself in the chest, apparently in order to preserve his brain, similar to Duerson.
to his head.
Edit- nothing is confirmed either way.
Reports are saying he shot himself in the chest to preserve his brain for study.
Suicide suspected. Thoughts and prayers to his family.
So sad, another ex-pro lost to suicide.
Reported as self inflicted gunshot wound. Wow. So sad.
Wow. Sad. I hope that's not true.
Wow, that's sad. We'll see what this story eventually entails... But I really liked that guy, at least as a football player. He seemed like a quality human being, too, although you never can tell... If nothing else, he was a great, great football player.
This also could be another case where a former NFL player might have had deep depression and maybe brain damage.
Cases like this one keeps coming up.
Very, very sad.
Any non-TMZ link?
Very sad if true
Still breaking. I know they are a gossip website but TMZ seems to have the best sources of any organization in southern CA. I think they have half the cops, the entire coroner’s office and most of the hotel staff in southern CA on the payroll.
San Diego Union Trib now confimring Seau death, possibly suicide. awful.
it's about to break from san diego local websites. it's true. sad, shocking, and true.
Man that sucks
I liked that guy. Way too young to die. I'm interested to learn how he came to this point (if true).
I hope it's not true. But, I wonder if he shot himself in the chest...
According to reports, it was in the chest. Presumably for the same reason as you are hinting at; To leave his brain intact for examination on the effects of NFL players and head trauma.
It's impossible to say anything good can come from such a horrible, tragic event, but if nothing else, I hope his donation to the study helps prevent this type of thing from occuring in the future.
Was coming here to ask someone to post this. As of 15 minutes ago until now, people are all confirming that this is a true story. Very sad to hear. He seemed like a really good guy, and he was an excellent football player. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this tragic time.
The story is showing up as "breaking news" on the cbssports.com website.
This is sad, sad news. I suspect CTE here; Seau used to hit really hard, and nobody gets physical impunity.
Very sad. I grew up watching football in the early 2000's, he was a prominent linebacker for the Chargers and Patriots. Great player, sad to hear about this.
RIP Junior Seau
So terribly sad. My best friend growing up did the same a couple of years ago. He was a Dr and in the span of six months had his wife leave him (and take his kids) for another guy and then two DUI's in a short period of time which put his medical license in doubt. Next I heard he was missing and then a few months later was found out in the fields behind his home. I've always wondered if there was something i could've done or said (we had fallen out of touch the last couple of years) to help him. But i'll never know.
My cousin's son, who was 18, died of a drug overdose a couple of years ago. Could we as a family have done something different? Probably, but who knows? We could have somehow accidentally made things worse if we did something different, too. Ultimately you can't stop people from being self-destructive. Somebody who really wants to die is going to succeed, and somebody who really wants to use is going to succeed too.
It seems like a disproportionate amount of them come to bad and early ends after they retire...I really hope this isn't true.
Seems to be a relatively reputable source on these topics, especially in SoCal. CBS and SI writers are retweeting the reports which means they believe in their validity.
Sad day for the NFL, for the Chargers organization, and for San Diego's community. Junior was born and raised in the area.
I would guess that CTE had a strong impact on what happend to him today, just like Dave Duerson. I'm not saying that as the cause, but it has been a growing problem for football players. 20+ years of taking hits to the head will make life hell.
And unfortunately instances like this give Martin Gladwell a lot of credence when he says that football should be banned.
Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy football, I agree with Gladwell. I know I would never let my son play football. Unless some big strides are made in safety in football, I wouldn't be surprised if the sport dies off sometime in the next several decades.
Realistically, the only way to change the game itself enough to the point in which the risk of brain injury is virtually eliminated would be to play two-hand touch. Hopefully though, advances in stem cell treatments and gene therapy in the coming years will eventually provide the necessary treatment so the risk of neurodegenerative diseases won't be such a problem.
This is an excellent point. I don't mean to make light of the issue, nor of Mr. Seau's (or others' deaths). But if you love football, whether or not you play it, you might make an enormous difference in the field of neurobiology. The Leaders and Best.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Seau family. Very sad. I remember watching that guy in the league and I even remember the episode of the show "The Jersey" with him in it I believe.
He won't be around to see himself get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Shame.
It was an honor to watch him play during the last few years of his career with the Pats. Even though his skills and explosiveness had mostly left him you could tell he loved the game and cared deeply about winning and helping his younger and less experienced teammates. I always felt like he was having trouble coming to terms with the end of his career and I assumed he would get involved in coaching just to be around the game. This is really such a huge tragedy and loss for the football community.
So sad. I dont know if it would be worse to know that he was killed by an intruder or by suicide. I always really liked the guy, he seemed like a class act. Really unfortunate event.
He is the eighth player from the 1994 Charger Super Bowl team to pass away.
A graphic representation of what a life expectancy of 55 for former nfl players really means
One guy died in an alcohol related (at least according to one site I found) car wreck (at 28), another in a commercial plane crash, one was struck by lightning, one OD'd, and three died of heart disease/attack. Now Seau.
A lot of plain bad luck involved along with the self-destructive stuff, and really nothing before now that looks like it has anything to do with head trauma (the guy who OD's was suspended for drug use in his mid-20's).
If it's in fact a suicide, and he shot himself in the chest, he wants his brain analyzed.
Folks - football has a serious, serious problem staring itself in the face.
Wow, is that right? Shot himself in the chest so he can have his brain analyzed? That's pretty darn amazing for someone that upset to do something so smart and self-less.
On a related note, I know the military uses changes in suicide rates as one way to assess the stress on soldiers in battlefield situations. When you see news about the suicide rate increasing, senior officials take note and start asking how to ease overseas tours. I wonder if the NFL tracks this kind of thing as well (albeit on a smaller sample size basis).
EDIT: TMZ is reporting that Seau did do the same thing as Duerson, so it's unclear.
Touche. I was describing the selflessness in a vacuum and only referencing the shot in the chest. Obviously this is devistating to the family that is left behind and I didn't mean to make light of that. But I think you already know that and were just being argumentative.
Okay, you win. But what you are saying was a given in this whole discussion. No one is saying suicide was a selfless or responsible thing to do. Obviously not.
Perhaps he was already unable to be a father to his children due to extreme depression and early onset demetia, brought on by having the brain of an 80 year old man?
Perhaps he wanted to go out his own terms, rather than having to spend the last 30-40 years of his life as a vegetable, where he would not only be incapable of fathering his children, he would be a financial burden on them as well?
You clearly knew enough about his family situation, personal health, and mental acuity to declare his act to be selfish.
When the argument you're attempting to make can be so easily reversed and thrown right back in your face, perhaps you ought to spend a little more time crafting it, or better yet, don't use it at all.
Also, there was a clear (and I thought blatantly obvious) reason I ended each statement with a question mark, and began each statement with "perhaps." I was attempting to get you to not be so quick to rush to judgment. There may be more to this story than we know.
This of course went over your head, and in a hilarious bit of irony you accused me of doing the exact thing that you did, and that my original post insinuated that you ought not do.
how many people have you sat and talked with as they were in the process of committing suicide? How did you become an expert on what or whom they're thinking of as they pull the trigger?
if you've never been in the presence of someone committing suicide you have no idea what you're talking about and no business stuffing your thoughts into their heads.
This exact argument is what got one of the multiple reincarnations of Bouje banned.
People who commit suicide are at the point where normal levels of rational thought are impossible due to the acute mental health/neurochemical imbalances they are suffering through. Suicidal people - who often suffer from extreme levels of guilt and feelings of worthlessness - may believe that their loved ones are in fact better off without them, no matter how misguided this belief may be.
Think about it: to be at a point where you can seriously act against all instincts of preserving your own safety in such a dramatic way, it would seem that something would need to be seriously awry in the way your brain was operating.
That settles it - since your experience with depression has been one thing, that definitely allows for an unassailable perspective on what others' experiences might be. I'm glad you've always been able to keep in mind the reality of what would happen if you were to commit suicide (note that this is not at all sarcastic). But your personal experience hardly qualifies you to make such sweeping judgments.
The argument that it was a selfish act can certainly be made, but that's easy for any random person to say. You have to think about it from the perspective of a guy who probably had serious brain damage which caused big time depression along with other psychiatric problems.
Take Huntington's disease, for example. Because of the neurodegeneration it causes, all those people end up with dementia and depression. Some 30% try to commit suicide while about 10% actually do. I imagine Junior Seau's condition made him feel similar.
Of course his family is devastated. Even if he wasn't thought to have any problems, that doesn't mean for a second he didn't have psychological issues. It's just important to be cognisant that the guy had to have been suffering in some way or another.
...since in the fall of 2010, he was arrested for domestic abuse, then drove his car off a cliff immediately upon his release (fell asleep, he said) with his ex-girlfriend claiming that no, he wasn't trying to harm himself and he would never, ever do anything like that; just an accident...
Frankly, I don't think there is anything we can do about this. Hitting is football. You cannot eliminate that aspect of the game. The NFL is between Scylla and Charybdis on this issue.
Safer helmets, limiting big hits...the NFL can only do so much before hurting the product. I think we may have to accept that this is, like drug abuse in music, part of the industry.
But, we can't accept what is going on in football. If the life expectancy of an NFL player is only 55 and those who make it past that age are usually crippled mentally and physically, that just is not acceptable. I love watching football, I've given up hours of my life every Saturday in the fall for years and been happy to do it since I can't think of anything more enjoyable. That said, I can't keep doing it much longer if the game does not become noticeably safer.
The music industry is littered with corpses of people who died as a direct result of their passion for music. ODs, suicides, murders, etc.
I think if we are to ban football then we should consider banning music.
That's not a very good analogy. While drugs often go along with music, music does not require drugs. You cannot play football without the hits.
That analogy is wrong. Creating music by itself does nothing to harm musicians - the problem is the lifestyle so many musicians choose to live. Playing football in and of itself causes trauma to the brain.
Or, like gladatorial fights, you could decide it's something civilization shouldn't allow.
You know, like everything else in life, I'm sure there is a faction of people that would love to see them return.
I'm sure there are.
I just think that "personal agency and free will" arguments only go so far. We regulate or outlaw a fair amount of self-destructive behavior.
When the population being impacted is overwhelmingly poorer (at least, growing up) and less-educated (despite those free "educations") then much of society, you essentially are bribing poor, athletic freaks to sacrifice 30-40 years of their lives in order to support their parents and themselves in a away they couldn't possibly do otherwise.
If I had read the Hunger Games, I might say it sounds something like that.
Agree with some of this, but I would not consider NFL players less-educated than the average citizen. Only around 60% of adults have any college education whatsoever, and only something like 27% have a four-year degree. If you restrict the sample to residents of poor, crime-ridden communities (where many of these players are from), the percentages are considerably lower than that.
If players can avoid long-term health issues, that free education is a good deal. It's a big "if," though.
It's tangential to the larger issue here, but I think in order to have this conversation, we need to be honest about what the "free college education" entails, and how it compares to the education I, for instance, received at the same school, on the aggregate level.
I know what you're saying, but OTOH, the actual knowledge you acquire in college is often not very relevant to your future profession. It's more just having the degree that counts.
While a liberal arts degree and the associated major may not be directly relevant to your future profession, a degree says you have a great ability to learn and apply knowledge quickly. There are very few professions where that is not a valuable skill.
I am not arguing that a college degree is unimportant. It's more the type of degree that is increasingly inconsequential. A lot of employers really don't care what your major was as long as you have the degree.
between self-destructive behavior and bribing someone else into self-destructive behavior.
I understand the arguments against drastic regulaton of the former. I don't understand the arguments against regulating the latter.
Would you be a poster on multiple Gladiator blogs at the same time you're asking for it to be abolished?
I don't think I said I thought it should be abolished. I said that's an option.
I do think it need to radically change.
Then you're comparing it to something that would widely be considered something that should be abolished. So it's either a grand bit of hyperbole, or a really poor comparison, or maybe both.
I don't think you can really say the two are close and be pro football (unless your also pro gladiators), but you can say there needs to be major reform in the sport, and still be a fan of the sport.
How is this so difficult for you:
Gladiator fights were once a widely accepted part of civilized society that civilized society decided no longer belonged.
One could decide that that human carnage currently being strewn around by organized football is something civilized society could decide no longer belongs. I am not advocating the position - I am mentioning it as an alternative to the above poster's resigned sigh that "welp, we gotta accept it". We do not, actually, have to accept it.
Do I need to explain that I realize football players don't use swords and tridents?
What you are saying is not difficult to understand. It is just a bad comparison. Try bare knuckle boxing or something more comparable.
You can say that society might start looking at football like gladiator games, but "I'm" not looking at them that way, but when you're simultaneously making parallels and saying they have similar problems, it comes off as insinuating that society should look at football the same way. You don't have to believe somebody got killed by a trident to say something should be banned, or regulated. But it ignores all the other things that are risky that we still are "allowed" to do. You can make extreme examples, but don't be surprised when it comes off like the athlete who likens his million dollar job to slavery. Even if he really knows his sport car to the Stadium isn't really being dragged in chains on a slave boat.
Calling football the modern day gladitorial games is a pretty solid analogy.
Boxing. 100 years ago boxing was king. Hell, the whole plot of Ocean's 11 (the clooney version of which came out like 12 years ago) revolves around a big title fight. The last huge boxing match was...?
Who is the heavyweight champion of the world? 25 years ago everyone in america knew that answer. But at some point the brutality became more than people wanted to watch as they saw former boxers with no mental capacity. Look at Ali, he has been crippled by his sport.
You don't think that the violence and damage inflicted by football will start turning people off? Boxing is still legal, it's popularity just disappeared.
People LOVE violence. The more brutal the better. Just look at the increasing graphic nature of horror films and video games. Look at the rise of a sport even more brutal than boxing in UFC. Look at the love of fights in hockey and big hits in football.
Boxing tailed off because no longer believed in the authencity of the fight. It became assume that fights were as much as influenced by unscruplous gamblers as the skill of the fighters. The lack of charismatic or intriguing boxers did not help either.
Brutality does not scare people off, it brings them in. Let's be honest here, humans are a tad bit sadistic by nature. We love ourselves some violence.
But there are a multitude of reasons for boxing's decline, violence being one of them. But that would hold more water if it didn't parallel the rise of MMA and such. Some of the other reasons boxing is no longer king aren't that different from baseball, or even horse racing. Horse racing hasn't declined because of the violence...it's just demographic changes.
Violence didn't kill boxing. PPV and Hbo/Showtime killed boxing.
I had always heard (remembered hearing?) that Ali himself did not believe that his Parkinson's was due to boxing. In fact, it's almost certain that boxing did not cause his Parkinson's, per se. But, googling around, I think I've learned that Ali's attending physicians have determined that boxing absolutely worsened his condition.
"Ali's physical exams and tests indicated a surprising amount of abnormalities, all of which seemed to be boxing related. It was found that Ali had a hole in the membrane separating the two sides of his brain. While this type of abnormality is often congenital, being punched in the head repeatedly, if not causing such a condition, can certainly exacerbate and worsen it. Further complicating matters, Ali was shown to have a series of degenerative changes in his brain stem; a part of the brain that is linked with dopamine production, a neurotransmitter that is lacking in those afflicted with Parkinson's-like afflictions. Ali's brain stem was shown to be significantly damaged, and his attending physicians, in a statement released at Muhammad Ali's behest, stated that they believed Ali's brain damage to be boxing-induced."
I am really, seriously, sad today.
If by "allow" you mean "force slaves into", then yes, its a perfect parallel
It's by no means a perfect parallel, but when you look at the socio-economic class most NFL players came from, and the actual amount of education received, combined with the limited options they have given those two factors to make a good living, it's a better parallel than you care to admit.
If by "allow" you mean "force slaves into", then yes, its a perfect parallel
Should we ban firefighters, police officers, soldiers, miners, musicians, airline pilots, NASCAR drivers, and skiers? There are inherent dangers in all of the jobs.
The way I see it is if people know going in the dangers then who am I to tell them not what to do?
I agree. And there are several lawsuits that claim the NFL deliberately mislead players regarding the risks of head trauma, hence, the entire point.
And I assume I don't need to point out the difference in socierty's need of policemen, firemen, and football players.
A more appropriate comparison would be skiers. That is a very dangerous sport. The luge is as well. Baseball can be dangerous too. There is an inherent risk in many jobs, some of which are purely for entertainment. In my mind NASCAR is far more dangerous. Not only do you have the risk for concussions, but also the risk to life. A NASCAR driver is speeding around a circle at 100 mph in a car loaded with gasoline in close quarters with other like cars.
If any sport is to be banned it has to be NASCAR. Besides the needless consumption of oil, the aforementioned dangers present are greater than what a football player faces.
The risk of dying in a flaming crash is relatively obvious.
The risk of your brain slowly dying over the course of 20 years due to amassed collisions is less so.
Hence the lawsuit.
And, hence the difference in the assumption of risk.
They can go back to leather helmets, and adopt rugby's rules of tackling (a player must be wrapped up). Those two things would cut down dramatically on helmet spearing. If rugby players can avoid long-term damage, there should be a way for football players to as well.
I think it's clear that the sport needs to roll back the clock on how it's played, certainly. But when do you go to? The guys from the 70's and 80's don't seem to be fairing very well either.
Widen the field and crack down as hard as you can on HGH and steroids. The greater speed and size that comes from performance enhancing drugs must be making the head injury issue worse, though even totally get rid of them would not be a panacea, of course.
I think they should adopt helmets with external padding. A blunt object (like a plastic helmet) will strike things with more force than one with one with a exterior that gives (like foam-rubber) on the outside. A small number of players have worn those kinds of helmets and they seemed to be safer. There didn't seem to be any drawbacks other than that people thought they looked silly.
It may look a little goofy but hey, the first plastic helmets probably did, too.
I agree with you completely. When you think about it, the whole uniform in general looks strange. Heck, soldiers in battle that could get shot and killed don't wear that much armor. Astronaut suits are the only comperable uniforms.
That still looks like Steve Tasker to me. I believe Don Beebe wore #82.
I always remember he looked like a conehead because of the extra-padded helmet.
the initial objection to the soft-shell helmets wasn't that they looked funny but that they didn't give that satisfying crack on a collision.
Yeah, well, that's an okay tradeoff if it means more safety.
An athletic trainer once told me that the rigidity of the modern football helmet reduces neck injuries. After I broke three fingers one season, I inquired about why helmets had to be so hard. He explained that softer, externally padded helmets have the tendency to "stick" to one another, albeit briefly, when a collision happens. The increased "stickiness", of helmets colliding at full speed, leads to much more frequent and much worse neck injuries, as heads get twisted more vigorously. Rigid, slick helmets deflect off each other and reduce the chance that players' heads will get twisted during high speed collisions. It sucks that the rigid properties of current helmets reduce neck injuries, but promote concussions. Pick your poison I guess.
There's got to be a way to make a "non-stick" soft helmet. There must be some advanced polymer out there.
I don't think it's all size of players - lots of guys going through this played when there were no 300 pounders
I only mean to say that it's one of the things that you could do.
We're just seeing the effects of playing with 280lb linemen bashing each other. In 20 years couldn't it be even worse when 320lb linemen are the ones doing the bashing? F=m*A and P=m*v and all that...
Does anyone know if rugby is noticeably safer than american football especially later in life? Admittedly I've never seen any real stats between football and other sports that seem like they might be equally dangerous.
I believe that in general, rugby players suffer fewer major injuries, including concussions. They suffer more superficial facial injuries (as they have nothing to protect their face), but spinal injuries are much rarer.
but it doesn't seem to hold up under scrutiny.
Can Football Finally Tackle Its Injury Problem?
Further, Michael Keating, the medical director for USA Rugby, says that a review of the scientific literature indicates that the number of incidences of concussions among rugby players and American-football players are similar. Some data suggest rugby incidence is 5% higher.
Concussion In Rugby Appears To Be Hidden Epidemic, Researchers Say
In their research, Marshall and Spencer found 11.3 concussions per 100 player-seasons. A quarter of playing days lost from rugby involved such head injuries.
We need to figure this out and get it right before we bring out the leather helmets.
Or an open casket for his family. Let's not jump to conclusions...
This sport is in trouble, folks. It's time for some serious soul searching about its future
as OD's are in music.
However, a bit premature to speculate as to the cause, or reason. Unfortunately, suicide is a leading cause of death in the US (I believe the #3 cause in people 18 and under). There are many reasons why this could happen. Do not dispute that football is going to have to get in front of the medical issues, especially with young kids and teens.
Please put up your jump to conclusion mats. He was involved in domestic violence previously. May not have been head trauma that caused this. People that go from everyone kissing their asses, 80 k cheering for you, huge cash coming in, etc, might have a tough time dealing with that. I just hope he is in a better place.
From MGoBlog now?
Still no word at the so-called WWL's website.
Though they're just cribbing the AP.
Where else would I get it? What do you mean there are other websites?
/ only busting your chops
For me, not most, but all.
"MGoBlog - the one-stop news shopping experience."
it could easily be side effects from roids and not from football hits. it is widely known that he took a shit load of steroids, and steroids can produce labile mood.
It's widely known huh?
Well I guess that's that.
Proof or it didn't happen. I love people like you who know nothing about steroids and their long term affects and just point to it as the immediate result of his suicide before even getting a confirmed report that this was a self inflicted gun wound or if he was murdered.
Dude had the sweetest hair of his generation. Razor Romone-esque.
Hey Chico. Here's the bad guy.
Unfortunately, the true story of Razor (Scott Hall) is very long, sordid and scary one that will be most likely be coming to a premature end as well in the not too distant future.
Yeah, he's what? Early 50s? And he aleady has a pacemaker and several severe health issues (primarily due to drinking). I believe he was recently arrested again for public intoxitation and disorderly conduct. He also defaulted on his home. Sad.
Former Ohio State and Saints player, and current trainer for Kyle Kalis, had a great response on twitter:
Certainly well said, and a very sad story.
He advocates widening the field, for one thing.
I'm serious. If the field is wider, it will increase the speed of play, which will increase the momentum when one player tackles another. Am I missing something?
He did so much for the children's hospital down in San Diego. Such a sad story. Hopefully his foundation will carry on what he started.
I was working out in San Diego around the time he was finishing high school as a great All-American LB at Oceanside H.S. (I was a recruiting-a-holic for a while before that!) So, I've followed his career since then. This is such a terrible end to an otherwise successful life. I wonder what could have caused him to reach the decision to take his own life. My condolences go out to his family.
when someone famous dies the country seems to think it is such a tragedy. I could care less about some spoiled pro athlete who fathers tons of kids by tons of women.
Damn. I wish I was a cold hearted, bad ass like you.
I could aggrandize pro athletes I have no connection with like you.
Yet you seem to have no problem spitting on the grave and memory of someone you have no connection to - which is equally senseless.
it were someone I knew then it would be worth mourning, but for someone famous like Whitney Houston or Seau forget about it. It is sad, but let's be honest: stars and athletes are some pretty awful people.
It's also okay to be sad about the death of someone who, like most people, was a mixed bag...I have no idea where Seau fell on that continuum, but I know that he did at least some good things, so the fact that he shot himself is a sad thing.
Yet it's worth you making up a back story like his slew of made up illegitimate children. You're just as invested in this as the people you're mocking - you're just invested in being an asshole.
Do you know Seau personally? How do you know he is an awful person?
You know he does lots for children and young adults in San Diego who are dealing with abuse, drug problems and other issues.
I hope I never read anything from you on this blog again. And I doubt I'm the only one. Please neg yourself as soon as you post anything.
Compassion. I reccomend it.
I just don't care much about pro athletes, stars, and celebrities enough to feel bad when they pass away. There are plenty of other people who don't care either. I find it a little interesting when people over identify with pro athletes and such.
But you care enough to keep this up.
You care. You just care about being contrarian.
You probably could, if you weren't a dick.
So I also "could care less."
Not familiar enough with his off the field life. Did he father a whole bunch of kids?
He apparently had four kids with his ex-wife.
Thanks, which is why I dont really understand the op's comments related to Junior. Junior did alot of charity work and most in the NFL liked him. RIP Junior.
I think the phrase "painting with a broad brush" would be both an accurate and charitable way to describe what he said.
was a wife beater and he cheated on his wife. he does have illegitimate children, you just don't hear about them because it is handled under the table. sounds pretty typical of a pro athlete, doesn't it?
NY Times just put this on their front page
sad and tragic
Won't it soon be time to consider steroids as a causative factor, in addition to repetitive brain trauma?
When suicide was suspected in the case of Seau some years ago (he tried to drive his car off a cliff after being arrested on a domestic abuse charge), before "brain injury" became a cause celebre, people questioned Seau's possible steroid usage.
Well, there will surely be an autopsy in this case...
As with Chris Benoit, it wouldn't shock me if the answer was "both".
And "both" might just be a helpful answer. Seau, with a body-builder's physique and an almost unbelievable physical specimen in the NFL until age 40, is no stranger to steroid allegations, as has been alleged with the New England Patriots more generally.
Everybody is shocked and saddned by the Seau suicide; but how can one not wonder about his mental health care for the last year and a half, after one (apparent) suicide attempt in 2010?
but there is absolutely no reputable peer reviwed study linking steriod use with anything approaching these symptoms - depression, suicidal tendencies, etc. subconcussive hits yes, steroid no. zero zilch.
I just googled "Steroids and depression" and found quite a few sites suggesting a connection. Here are a few:
But I'm not sure that steroids have a lingering effect like concussions do. I don't know why they would affect your mood once you cycled off of them.
Another one falls to CTE. 25 years of Division 1 or Pro football and his brain was probably mush. I played the game myself and love it, but the rules need to be changed in order to protect the players. This has been ignored for too long. Widen the field, leather helmets, personal fouls on any tackle in which the defensive player does not wrap up, etc.
I wish I could have a quarter, for every post that presumes a diagnosis from the autopsy of Junior Seau. Good thing that none of you are San Diego County Medical Examiners. Otherwise you might just be tempted to skip the investigation, the history, the tox screen the gross findings and the microscopic findings altogether.
That's awful. It's possible that all the hits to his head caused an issue that made his mind not function right.
I'm beginning to wonder if going back to rugby helmets is the only real answer. The defense uses the helmet as a weapon. There is almost no way to stop that with rules. The only way to do it is to remove the weapon, which is the helmet.
Give them leather helmets and put in draconian penalties for blows to the head. That's about the only thing I can think of that would reverse this trend. Unless someone can find a way to make a helmet that protects you significantly better.
This is going to be a bigger and bigger issue as medicine starts to really catch up with what football is doing to people. I love football as much as anyone, but at this point if I had a son I probably wouldn't want him playing it.
rugby historically did not use leather helmets nor any helmets. In the professional era, there have been a small number of players who wear a soft sided "scrum cap." (Australian 5/8 Steven Larkham famously wore one). But helmetless is still by far the most common way to play.
That being said, were I not retired from rugby, I would likely wear one having suffered a few concussions playing.
I now play only "no check" hockey and have switched to a Messier Project helmet which is great at preventing concussions (I suffered a few concussions from hockey wearing bauer and ccm helmets before I switched).
I think changing the technology of the helmets in Football will help a great deal.
Interesting. I think football helmets will need to have Cascade Sports' Seven Technology impact attenuation system, or something like it, if companies don't acquire the rights to use it. The M11 helmets don't look extra bulbous.
were that some of the review said it was really stuffy. Having just started wearing a facemask (on orders of my wife) after 20 years, I didnt know if I could take feeling even more overheated but the risk of further head injuries demanded I make the leap.
I have to say that the M11 is a very comfortable bucket and I have no ill feelings from any head impacts since I started wearing it.
While it is certainly lacks the old school coolness of a CCM or (even a Bauer), I agree it is not too bulbous. It's light as a feather and I highly reccomend the helmet. Numerous of my teammates have switched over and they universally like it as well.
I am sure there is that type of technology with football, but if not, there is a lot that they can learn from hockey.
but they are larger and make the players head look quite bulbous. Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear one, and the technology has come a long way since then, even. Gregg Easterbrook talks about them often in his TMQ articles for ESPN.
However, many players eschew these safer helmets because they don't want to look ridiculous on the field. Although, from a legal point of view, I can't see why the NFL wouldn't want to mandate the safest helmets available. I would think that would help them prove they were concerned with player safety
I agree, the league should step in and mandate the safer helmets. Maybe they could use some of the tv money to buy these helmets for high schools around the country also (colleges are rich enough to take care of themselves). If the game doesn't get safer, high schools will start dropping football for lack of player interest (i.e., parents not allowing their kids to play) and/or concerns about liability, which will probably then spread to colleges. With more of the best athletes going into other sports the quality of NFL action is likely to decline, and this coupled with the game getting an increasingly bad rep will shrink the league's fan base, and the remaining players won't get paid as much. Bring on the ugly bulbous helmets.
I too am rethinking eventually putting my boy in football with pads. I can't justify my wishes with his future brain damage. Maybe just flag.
Tragic, wish his family well.
Give someone a gun they will shoot it, give them a stick and they'll hit with it, give them a helmet...ditto. Soft helmets will get rid of most of the head/neck injuries because it will actually hurt when they use it. It's time for the nfl to be proactive I think. I think some of the college coaches have suggested this as well. They can paint them so they look like plastic, no one will know.
I'm beginning to think the sport of football either needs to undergo some extremely drastic changes or be ended all together.
I am not trying to be a dick here, just bringing up a general question. What about coal mines? What about police work? I realize police work is definitely a need, but those guys go in knowing full well they may come face to face with death on any given day. It's a risk that they are compensated for - and no where near to the extent that football players are. I just think changing the game or ending the game is a drastic measure and would take away a means to make a living in this world. It sucks that guys end up being hurt forever, but most don't.
The dangers in those professions has always been readily apparent.
The dangers of repeated blows to head over time causing neurological degeneration in football is only recently coming to light. Everyone who has played football understands the obvious risk of injury, but not this type of "injury."
I'd also just add what Chitown said earlier, "I assume I don't need to point out the difference in society's need of policemen, firemen, and football players." (Or in your case, coal miners).
I agree with you on societies needs, but when I see a way to achieve the American dream being taken away - no matter the reason - it bothers me. I just wouldn't want a means to a comfortable life being taken away from so many people because of the tragic ends to a relative few. Just my opinion.
NFL players are dying, on average, in their fifties, about 20 years younger than their peers. And we're talking about a subset of the population that was, on average, extremely healthy as young adults. A "means to a comfortable life" that chops two decades or more off the life of those who choose it doesn't seem life it'sto be leading to such a comfortable life, and never mind the non-lethal physical problems they're saddled with.
I'm not jumping on the ban-the-game bandwagon but there's got to be a better way.
I think it really is a relative few. When you take into account all of the players who have been in the NFL over it's 100 + years and all of the kids who got an education for free that would ultimately not have been accepted to a university otherwise I truly believe it is a relative few who end in this tragic fashion. I just think that if you asked every NFL player if they think the sport should be banned they would strongly disagree.
I'm certainly not drawing any conclusions on the issue, but the life expectancy for, say, African American males or men who weigh in excess of 300 pounds (two groups that are strongly represented in the NFL) is already drastically skewed from the national average. Add in potential factors like socio-economic upbringing and what I and most on this blog would act like if we had unlimited fame and fortune and there are a lot of life-shortening circumstances at play beyond NFL head-trauma.
Obviously the issue should be studied at length, but just saying that the NFL chops two decades off someone's life is probably not accurate.
There is an inherent problem with the NFL though, because a lot of these guys so very clearly have not been living the American dream (or they were only living it for a time).
IIRC, the facts are that most football players are completely broke within five years of retirement, and the average lifespan of an NFL player is 55 (nearly 25 years less than a typical American male).
I don't think it is hard to argue that making even the league minimum 375,000 for 3 years is enough to live a modest life in this country.t. The fact that most blow it with bad investments and lavish spending shouldn't really weigh into this. That is plenty enough to create a life and raise a family. Get a normal people job after your pro career and it would be pretty easy to get by.
Get a normal job without well-functioning hearts, limbs, and brains.
Dudeness, I think it's worth noting that the danger of work in mines have been apparent since the 1950's, and have been actively counter-balanced and legislated against repeatedly, to the extent there is a government body exclusively devoted to mine safety:
Part of the insidiousness of the allegation against the NFL is that they've had evidence of the effect of accumulated concussions, at the very least, since the time we realized mines were dangerous. Yet, no action was taken until the past few years, and the NFL actually, actively lied about the risk until 2010.
The difference, in other words, is that although coal-mining is inherently dangerous, the government and activist groups have been working for 60 years to mitigate those risks. In order for the two to be analogous, you'd need to argue that mining companies told miners they'd be able to disapparate through a cave-in.
RIP Jr. the evidence of subconcussive hits over time contributing to the early deaths of football players is getting harder to rationalize. one more reason i will not fight my wife's prohibition on my kids playing tackle football.
R.I.P. Everyone should say a prayer for his family ..
So sad... One of the greatest defensive football players of all time, and by all accounts an even better human being.. My thoughts are with his family. I just watched the video of his mom addressing the public that ESPN has up and it brought tears to my eyes..
I've read a lot of these comments and the way I see it the vast majority of guys who played made it through without the mental illnesses that we have seen here (possibly) and in others. That being said you can't take away a means to make a living because some people end up being irreperably damaged by it. I mean it is awful that some end up mentally damaged, but most do not. To change the game because of the effects to a relative few is unwarranted, in my e-pinion. They could create regulation to take away big hits - which they have to some extent - but doing so might hurt the game and it turn hurt the possibility of making as nice a living for those who can play, and get through unharmed, as it is now.
Incredibly sad, and if it is true that he committed suicide, I expect more people to see this as evidence of the dangers with concussions.
No other comment.......except to say, I am positively terrified of the mods coming after me, I have been warned via email that the banned hammer is in their hands and their "cocked eye brow" is upon me. GO BLUE!!!!!
Bummer. Sure fire first ballot hall of famer. RIP
The first LB I ever noticed that was just as fast as any RB he ever played against. Horrible news to the NFL and his family.
Just saw this and couldn't believe it. Seau was one of my favorite players when I was younger. RIP.
RIP Junior :(