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Junior Seau’s death another sad ending for the 1994 Chargers

juniorseausb Getty Images

Today’s sad news that Junior Seau has died at the age of 43 is another tragic story about the star-crossed San Diego Chargers of 1994, a Super Bowl team that has now seen eight of its players die before reaching the age of 45.

Six months ago we noted that linebacker Lew Bush had died of an apparent heart attack, only six days after his 42nd birthday, making him, at the time, the seventh member of that team to die. Defensive lineman Shawn Lee died last year of a heart attack at 44. Defensive lineman Chris Mims died in 2008 of complications from having an enlarged heart at age 38. Offensive lineman Curtis Whitley died in 2008 of a drug overdose at age 39. Linebacker Doug Miller died in 1998 after he was struck by lightning, at age 28. Running back Rodney Culver died in 1996 in the crash of ValuJet Flight 592, at age 26. Linebacker David Griggs died in 1995 in a car accident at age 28.

The 1994 Chargers were a tough, hard-nosed, physical team, and no one personified those characteristics more than Seau, who was 25 years old, in his fifth NFL season, and emerging as one of the NFL’s great defensive players. Seau would play seven more seasons in San Diego, then three in Miami and four in New England, and by the end of his career he was as universally respected as an NFL player can be.

But in retirement, Seau seemed to lose his way. In 2010 he drove his SUV off a cliff shortly after he was arrested on a charge of spousal battery, and this morning he died, of what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Seau exemplified that Chargers team, and he has now joined too many of his teammates in early death.

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43 Responses to “Junior Seau’s death another sad ending for the 1994 Chargers”
  1. bearsrulepackdrool says: May 2, 2012 3:29 PM

    They fight together they die together.

  2. fitzmagic1212 says: May 2, 2012 3:31 PM

    prayers go out to his family in this time. and please goodell no 18 game season more games = more of this.

  3. ldjred12 says: May 2, 2012 3:32 PM

    RIP Junior this is a shock to the football world

  4. kmesr53 says: May 2, 2012 3:33 PM

    My thoughts and prayers to 12 time pro-bowler Junior Seau’s family and friends. A tragedy!

  5. steaky247 says: May 2, 2012 3:34 PM

    Unreal 8 guys dead in less than 20 years…RIP Junior.

  6. Fan On Fire_Maurice Barksdale says: May 2, 2012 3:34 PM

    That 1994 Chargers team defied all logic. They were a scrappy bunch of over achievers, and they will have their place in history.

    Seau’s death is sad. I was a fan of his, and I will remember him for the great player he was. My condolences to his family.

  7. lightninglucci says: May 2, 2012 3:36 PM

    One of my favorite Seau moments:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1915&dat=19940906&id=sM1QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UvgMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1362,1169424

    Couldn’t find a video…

  8. fullhouseofcards says: May 2, 2012 3:37 PM

    I wonder if he went with the shot to the chest so that his brain would still be available for concussion studies?

  9. clipper325 says: May 2, 2012 3:42 PM

    Very very sad day. Thought’s and prayers to the Seau family. Rest In Peace Junior.

  10. eddieapoc says: May 2, 2012 3:44 PM

    Thats a weird coincidence.

    Heart goes out to Seau’s family and fans. I am a Lions fan but always loved Seau. He was a hell of a player.

  11. woodwizard says: May 2, 2012 3:45 PM

    This is so very sad, Junior Seau, was one of the best that played, but his generosity to his family, fans, his community and to fellow players will be long remembered. He was greater than the game, a remarkable man, my prayers go out to his family and for him.

  12. quonce says: May 2, 2012 3:45 PM

    speechless

  13. gmenmunny says: May 2, 2012 3:48 PM

    RIP. This guy was the Ray Lewis of the 90′s. One of the best LBs ever. Such a shame.

  14. nicktownsend says: May 2, 2012 3:50 PM

    I remember being in 3rd grade, seeing him on TV and fell in love with football and sports in general from that day forward. He always came across as such a humble, hard working individual, infamous for his community work.

    It’s a sad reminder that no matter how much money you make or how much fame you acquire, at the end of the day, we’re all human and carry demons.

    RIP.

  15. mullman7675 says: May 2, 2012 3:52 PM

    Rest In Peace Junior. Rest In Peace.

  16. ampats says: May 2, 2012 3:53 PM

    Very sad. A sure fire HOF’er he will never get his chance to accept his bust. I believe he should be eligible this year and hopefully his children will remember what a great player he was on the field and be there to accept his nomination.

  17. nineroutsider says: May 2, 2012 3:53 PM

    It’s too bad that someone couldn’t find a way to get Seau to seek help; while we are all shocked, certain people close to him had to know he was very volatile and needed help. Not that he would have accepted that help and perhaps attempts were made. It’s just too bad. Condolences to his family and friends.

    Members of that team died of a lightning strike and a plane crush…you can’t get more unlucky than that.

    Hope the Chargers do something special to honor Seau and other members of that team. That team fought hard that season; I remember it well.

  18. patriots55 says: May 2, 2012 3:54 PM

    Prayers to you and your family RIP 55

  19. pongonfl says: May 2, 2012 3:59 PM

    Salute 55!

  20. nokoolaidcowboy says: May 2, 2012 4:08 PM

    Union needs to have some sort of confidential hotline to help athletes transition into retirement. All that aggression suddenly comes to a halt.

    A player once said, they do things on the field that would get them arrested in the real world.

    Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends…

  21. rosesacl says: May 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    lived 10 minutes from his house about 6 years ago, still remember looking up at the beach homes and seeing Junior on his balcony soaking in the sun with his shades on…. Now he’s chilling with all the greats in heaven and that sun is keeping him warm…. gonna miss you 55

  22. tecmobowl2k says: May 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    “Linebacker Doug Miller died in 1998 after he was struck by lightning”???

    Tough break

  23. thefiesty1 says: May 2, 2012 4:25 PM

    RIP Junior 55. Heartbreaking -always force on the field. Sad news if it’s confirmed as a suicide.

  24. j0esixpack says: May 2, 2012 4:26 PM

    It’s odd – it’s the 21st century and it’s still taboo – especially for men – to talk about chemical imbalances of the brain.

    If you’re depressed – or worse yet ask for help – our culture deems you to be “weak.”

    That’s why 3 times as many people die from suicide than from drunk driving – yet we have major advertising campaigns to fight against DWI yet hardly anyone speaks up about depression and mental illness.

    Having some big strong football players step forward to make clear that it takes strength and courage to ask for help might make a difference.

    Maybe this will be the wake up call.

  25. sndmn331 says: May 2, 2012 4:48 PM

    If it’s a suicide, I wonder if it’s head injury related? I remember he was a very physical player. It’s sad.

  26. steelymcbeam6 says: May 2, 2012 5:01 PM

    Sorry cant feel for the guy at all. That’s an incredibly selfish thing to do when you have a family. Great football player but taking the coward way out and leaving your children? Unacceptable I don’t care who you are.

  27. liquidalfa says: May 2, 2012 5:06 PM

    Watching it on ESPN News….just heartbreaking watching his poor Mother.

  28. billh1947 says: May 2, 2012 5:21 PM

    The statement that “they fight together and die together” should be used only when pertaining to the US military which the saying was meant proudly for and should never be used in a sports scenerio,his death is tragic but preventable,it wasnt after all natural causes,nor illness, nor accidental which caused his demise,it was he himself who left his family alone to go on without him.

  29. raideralex7 says: May 2, 2012 5:43 PM

    When that many members of a football team die of heart problems, and/or have anger issues,

    does no one else but me suspect steroid use that spread through the locker room?

  30. stairwayto7 says: May 2, 2012 5:45 PM

    That is what happens when you beta the Steelers in a playoff game!

  31. mybrunoblog says: May 2, 2012 6:50 PM

    Eight guys out of 45 dead before age 43? Beats the hell out of any life insurance tables I ever saw.
    Think Goodell still going to push for that 18 game season any time soon?

  32. radrntn says: May 2, 2012 6:53 PM

    wow, never knew that…could almost make a a horror movie out of that…so many young guns dead. odd

  33. snargi01 says: May 2, 2012 6:59 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    May 2, 2012 5:45 PM
    That is what happens when you beta the Steelers in a playoff game!

    You are worse than an idiot posting that in this thread.

  34. gogetmtiger says: May 2, 2012 7:00 PM

    We will miss you my man god bless thanks for everything.

    @raider alex

    You shouldnt suspect what is right in front of you go ask alzado and romanowski. Every locker room has been infected with steroids.

  35. iplaybad says: May 2, 2012 7:08 PM

    WTF happened with that 94 team and the doctors who allowed those guys to return back to the field after injury?! This many guys dying from different post-concussive related illnesses and other severe ailments from the same team is super weird.

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…. beware, beloved NFL. This will not help your case against these lawsuits!

  36. freeelectricityandmore says: May 2, 2012 7:28 PM

    55 played the game with more passion than most. His dangling arm with the pinched nerves that season sealed his place in my heart. His one armed tackles and extreme pain grimaces each time he got up tore me up… knowing that he left nothing in the tank. His wandering eyes as he sought to get the jump on the ball… the snap and WHAM … the qb laying in the ground… Junior and his dance… his fiery words on the sidelines and his smile.. God has one of the greats now… and my hope is his pain is gone. His family needs our thoughts and prayers… and we can only hope that we see a player of his caliber again in the Bolts Blue !!!
    Junior… you will be missed… 3 sad days in my life as a die hard Bolt fan … his release… LTs release and now this…
    Bolts mission this year… bring the SB Trophy home for 55 …

  37. dirtyjersey9er says: May 2, 2012 8:50 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    May 2, 2012 5:45 PM
    That is what happens when you beta the Steelers in a playoff game!

    People like you make me glad the 49ers beat the hell out of the Steelers this season. Seau was so much more a class act than Harrison or Roethlisberger could ever dream to be. Stop trolling every thread with your crap.

  38. kodakinvegas says: May 2, 2012 9:33 PM

    The Steelets idiot that has no empathy, respect or common sense, do the world a favor and take a long walk off a short pier you idiotic, low class imbecile. Where’s your human compassion man? You’re the kind that tortures animals or abuses those smaller or younger than yourself. Have yourself castrated so you can’t contaminate the rest of the world. Imagine you having a kid, what a sick life he would have. DO NOT REPRODUCE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. You represent the best applicable evidence for women to maintain the right to abort.

  39. anarchopurplism says: May 2, 2012 10:14 PM

    Steelymcboob

    I am not a fan of suicide and have philosophical issues with it very much as well.

    I also know that speaking ill about the dead, especially during a mourning period is taboo. I dont care that this is an internet board or that you personally did not know Junior……CLASS IT UP A LITTLE

  40. wilnel1984 says: May 3, 2012 8:59 AM

    This is so sad. For all of those who wonder how this could happen: Depression.

    This affliction does not discriminate, and it does hurt.

    My sincerest condolences to his family. For all those who think they might be suffering in the same way, please seek help. It’s sad that Junior didn’t. He was an ebullient figure when interviewed. He would have been great on camera or coaching. He had a wonderful life ahead of him.

    RIP, Mr. Seau.

  41. geezohman says: May 3, 2012 9:01 AM

    couple of things:
    1. I believe life insurance does NOT pay if suicide.
    2. Who was the owner and coach of that team… heartattacks, lightning, .. must have been a pac with the devil…

  42. jamesmatthiascox says: May 6, 2012 10:23 PM

    Death and loss are an integral part of life everywhere. We have to accept it and move on. Now going forward with respect to Junior Seau. He was a great citizen of the USA and intimately involved with his community and more importantly, his family. I am getting frustrated turning on the news and ESPN or NFL Network and the only thing blazing the airwaves are reflections of Seau’s “now tainted” legacy. Everyone has demons. He was 1 of 6 documented suicides to occur after a post NFL career. He lived a life billions of people on this planet could only dream about. People are calling it post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, saying he had trouble coping with life post NFL. Bottomline is he had the world out there and was fully capable of asking for help, but didn’t. Now I am going even further to say that there are thousands and thousands of military members trying to cope with PTSD begging for help, wanting to be heard and nothing happens. These members struggle with PTSD attempting to be reintroduced into society with blown off arms, legs, basically, you name it. As I stated before, Seau did a lot for the NFL and his community and was a successful businessman but because of that he is getting this much publicity. It is, in my opinion, very insensitive to people that are struggling behind the scenes coping with there issues trying to do good for the betterment of themselves and our nation and are getting turned away, in turn commiting murders and suicide to prove a point. These people wanting help and asking for help and not receiving it. Once again, my intent wasn’t to be insensitive toward Seau but to enlighten those reading this to a bigger issue affecting the less privileged people in our country

  43. psychosteeler says: Jun 15, 2012 1:00 AM

    ray lewis of the 90s er uh ray lewis played half of the 90s also…just sayin.

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