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Tim Brown urges caution before conclusions on Junior Seau

Tim Brown  looks on Getty Images

Former Raiders receiver Tim Brown met Junior Seau on the field many times and developed a friendship with him off the field, and Brown is urging everyone to hold off on making any conclusions about what led Seau to commit suicide.

Brown said in an interview on 95.7 The Game that chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a real problem facing former players, but he doesn’t believe there’s enough information available to make the leap that CTE led Seau to kill himself.

“What I say about this, and this is what I’ve been saying to everybody when it comes to the whole CTE thing: I know that that’s real because you have guys who play this game, and they get concussions and keep playing. So I’m not doubting the fact that CTE is real,” Brown said. “But when you look at the guys who do this, you don’t see Roger Staubach committing suicide. You don’t see some of the more successful players doing this. It’s all guys who are having a few problems. You can say what you want — does the CTE cause the depression? Does the CTE cause these guys not to be able to adapt? That’s another whole story. But all I’m saying is it seems like all these guys who are having this issue, going back to the center, Mike Webster, for the Steelers, it’s all guys who are having issues adjusting to life after football.”

Brown said he suspects that football had dominated Seau’s life to such an extent that he had a hard time adjusting to life without football — and a hard time finding a reason to get up in the morning.

“There’s a whole lot of studies that need to be done before we can just say it’s CTE,” Brown said. “I just think it has a lot more to do with the issues that these guys are dealing with.”

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35 Responses to “Tim Brown urges caution before conclusions on Junior Seau”
  1. radrntn says: May 3, 2012 11:51 AM

    lets just say driving your car off a cliff, might have been one sign of a cry for help….

  2. joetoronto says: May 3, 2012 11:53 AM

    Well said, Tim.

    How this man is not in the HOF is beyond me.

  3. daysend564 says: May 3, 2012 11:54 AM

    Breaking News: Tim Brown added to the concussions lawsuit

  4. redwards29a says: May 3, 2012 11:56 AM

    It’s also entirely possible that both things played a factor. I have no doubt that it’s incredibly jarring to go from spending your whole life playing football to suddenly being retired not knowing what to do with yourself. But I have a hard time believing that this is the only factor at play here.

  5. mullman7675 says: May 3, 2012 11:57 AM

    Tim Brown has been overlooked for the Hall of Fame. He will be in soon enough.

  6. thebigcaptain2011 says: May 3, 2012 11:57 AM

    I also caution everyon on this message board from giving me a thumbs down for saying how much I love the LA FOOTBALL LAKERS!

  7. mullman7675 says: May 3, 2012 11:57 AM

    ….and Cliff Branch and Ray Guy…

  8. mullman7675 says: May 3, 2012 11:58 AM

    …Jim Plunkett

  9. hanspard says: May 3, 2012 12:00 PM

    Tim Brown has an opinion….ON EVERYTHING. I love the guy, and he should be in the HOF, but he talks too much. One time he hinted that Al Davis was somehow racist….that’s when he lost me.

  10. sg419 says: May 3, 2012 12:00 PM

    This will not get the media into frenzy so it will be ignored and Tim Brown will not be invited to anymore radio shows

  11. jebdamone says: May 3, 2012 12:01 PM

    i agree with that argument to an extent. having played a sport myself 5 days a week, year round for almost 20 years i had a difficult time finding a new identity for myself outside of that sport and as an ‘athlete.’ it sucks when you have known one thing your entire life and suddenly it is gone, especially with the time, work and emotions involved in being an athlete. but having brain trauma that amounts to permanent brain damage can only make the adjustment scenario much more difficult.
    notice that junior shot himself in the chest instead of the head? i think there is probably a reason for that.

  12. jeffw says: May 3, 2012 12:02 PM

    Thank you! Finally some logic brought to this situation.

  13. justentertainingthestupid says: May 3, 2012 12:02 PM

    Totally agree. More things will surface regarding the troubles of Junior unfortunately. As a Dolphins fan I carry a sad heart for him and his family.

  14. 8youngblood5 says: May 3, 2012 12:07 PM

    Well said Tim, well said…

  15. sawasta says: May 3, 2012 12:08 PM

    Well said. Kudos to him for bringing to light the other side of the story. Too many people are jumping on the CTE bandwagon. While I have no doubt CTE certainly plays a role in this, how much so has yet to be determined. I imagine the points he hinted at are the main contributors.

  16. pack4gop says: May 3, 2012 12:11 PM

    Thank you Tim Brown. I said the same thing to friends l
    Yesterday. Society is too quick to place blame. It is not the NFL’s fault no matter if football contributed to his depression or not. There is a thing called personal responsibility and responsibility by loved ones to help or get help. This is tragic and its safe to say that anyone associated with the NFL feels terrible for his family and friends

    Enough blaming the NFL.

  17. swayray says: May 3, 2012 12:14 PM

    How about we compare steroid users vs. non-steroid users in the CTE study.

  18. twigsandberries says: May 3, 2012 12:20 PM

    good point TB. i mean Troy Aikman is still alive..

  19. tedmurph says: May 3, 2012 12:20 PM

    I guess we’ll all yield to your expertise Dr.Brown, considering all your training in medicine and psychology.

  20. gameproper says: May 3, 2012 12:27 PM

    THANK YOU TIM BROWN!!

    I cant believe im seeing posts from people talking about how they werent allowed to play football as a child or theyre glad they didnt play football…Youre all wusses. u act like football is a death sentence. Ur probly all fat and lazy

  21. Deb says: May 3, 2012 12:27 PM

    Tim Brown is showing a lot of wisdom here. Suicide is a complicated issue that people want to wrap up in a simple box. It doesn’t work that way.

  22. humb0lt says: May 3, 2012 12:28 PM

    First, Tim Brown is a class act himself. I’ve met him during his various visits to the Calif State Capitol.

    I believe Mr. Brown is correct about the void that was left in Junior’s life after he was through as a player. What I have a hard time with is that Junior apparently was unable to find a replacement for football. With his dedication, drive, star power, electric personality, and his money, he could have reinvented himself with a different career, almost as equally rewarding as football, that would have kept him in the spotlight for decades into his senior years. At least that is how I see it for myself, if I had what Junior had.

    But I suppose that is where the depression factors in. He was unable to cope. The head trauma and numerous undiagnosed concussions he probably suffered during his career made it impossible for even someone like Junior – physically AND mentally tough, outgoing, charismatic – to overcome the physical damage to his brain.

    Medical researchers don’t fully understand depression, and those who don’t suffer from it have an even harder time comprehending what it does to the people who do.

  23. leatherhelmets says: May 3, 2012 1:08 PM

    Quarterbacks or Receivers don’t have the 30-50 car wrecks to go through every game. The non concussed repetitive brain trauma.

    So I trust the lady at the checkout counter as much as I do Tim Brown on this one.

    Seau shot himself in the chest folks. Why do you think he did this?

  24. andyreidisarrogantandfat says: May 3, 2012 1:11 PM

    First, Tim Brown is a class act himself. I’ve met him during his various visits to the Calif State Capitol.

    ———————————

    Dropping names baby. come on PFT leave it up.

    both of ya get a come on man.

  25. briang123 says: May 3, 2012 1:12 PM

    What? How dare he bring up a possibility that has no money in it for Plaintiff’s lawyers? I lost my DJ career to cancer. Spinning records, being on the radio, and playing the clubs was my life from age 13 to 36. I was beyond depressed when it ended. Had I not had a family, I might have given up. Seau played 20 years. If that’s not a man that doesn’t want all he knows to end, then I don’t know who is.

    What players do we believe committed suicide over the concussions? Webster, Andre Waters, Dave Duerson, and possibly Seau. Anymore?

    I can’t wait for the day the players are thrown out of football after a second concussion and hear them and the same media cry how unfair it is for the NFL to deny them the abiliry to make a living.

    Playing football has risks. Everyone knows it. No one is walking away from the best money they will ever make over injury fears. (of course someone will bring Robert Smith and act like he quit while perfectly healthy and ignore his chronic knee problem). It will be a sad day if the old players win their lawsuit because the NFL would be basically done.

  26. 81buckeye says: May 3, 2012 1:19 PM

    I would like to know the percentage of former football players who have committed suicide compared to any other profession. Should we blame CTE if the percentages of athlete suicides fall in line with the rest of society?

  27. dcalisto1 says: May 3, 2012 1:21 PM

    Brown said he suspects that football had dominated Seau’s life to such an extent that he had a hard time adjusting to life without football — and a hard time finding a reason to get up in the morning.

    Didn’t he just leave a wife and 3 kids behind!!?? Not enough of a reason to get up in the morning??!!

    I’m sure more will come to light as time goes by, but spending quality time w/ wife and family, volunteering at the local hospital, salv army, United Way etc… might not give a guy the same “juice” as game day, but what does?

    I just pray for peace to those he left behind.

  28. barneysbullet says: May 3, 2012 1:25 PM

    Finally a voice of reason instead of the blah blah blah media.

  29. mrbcd15 says: May 3, 2012 2:55 PM

    He was a big player in one of the big name casinos in Las Vegas. He used to stay in the penthouse and to do that you got to be a pretty strong player. So maybe you can gambling to his downfall.

  30. bullcharger says: May 3, 2012 3:06 PM

    Not saying that Seau didn’t have CTE and not saying it didn’t contribute to depression and make him suicidal. However, just because someone is depressed or suicidal doesn’t mean it’s because of a brain injury. Depression is common accross all walks of life. You have to be careful with the whole correlation vs. causation thing.

  31. raidermick says: May 3, 2012 3:12 PM

    Cliff Branch needs to go into the HOF before Timmy. Case freakin closed!

    Seau gave up! He quit!….And I am supposed to honor this guy?

  32. geezohman says: May 3, 2012 3:35 PM

    wow… just read WIKI on Mike Webster.

    I encourge everyone to see. See how Attorneys were able to get the remaining family money as a result of his dementia etc.

    (I understand its Wiki) but still good info.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Webster

  33. rams1999 says: May 3, 2012 3:36 PM

    Junior was one selfish person at the end. Okay, my four kids, wife, and mother would be better off without me. He is too big a boy too let this ” i wanna please everyone and if i dont, it hurts” excuse to off himself. He did not have $ problems. If he cared about his family he would have gotten some help. He could have gotten the best help with the money he had. I dont get this selfish act.

  34. wetpaperbag3 says: May 3, 2012 3:41 PM

    dcalisto1 says: May 3, 2012 1:21 PM

    Brown said he suspects that football had dominated Seau’s life to such an extent that he had a hard time adjusting to life without football — and a hard time finding a reason to get up in the morning.

    Didn’t he just leave a wife and 3 kids behind!!?? Not enough of a reason to get up in the morning??!!

    I’m sure more will come to light as time goes by, but spending quality time w/ wife and family, volunteering at the local hospital, salv army, United Way etc… might not give a guy the same “juice” as game day, but what does?

    I just pray for peace to those he left behind.
    ====================================

    Let this sink in. Seau has been playing football since Pee Wee league! Including high school and his 3 years at USC, that’s about 11 years of football BEFORE he embarked on his 20 YEAR LONG trek into the NFL. That’s a total of 33 YEARS OF PLAYING FOOTBALL! Virtually, his entire life was spent playing football. I don’t care what anyone else says, there is NOTHING…NOTHING that is remotely close to the rush, the adrenaline, the action of playing professional football! Having 70,000 fans cheering or jeering your name week after week for 20 years is a high no drug can come close to.

    Sure, starting a family and having kids is a wonderful thing, but it’s not the same as being a gladiator that played at the top of his sport for his entire adult life. Too many former NFL players have extreme difficulties filling that void. I would bet that Seau suffered from not being able to fill that void or at the very least, not being able to walk away from football and be okay with that.

  35. 303bengalguy says: May 4, 2012 12:12 AM

    briang123 that’s a pathetic correlation… you DJing and a guy playing LB. I’m sorry you lost out on your career but I don’t think you had massive onset brain trauma, the equivalent of numerous car crashes clouding your decision making and ability to generate a rational thought. And that’s where you and Seau differ. You WERE able to pull thru, and by all accounts Seau’s family didn’t seem to neglect him in any way. His ability to generate rational thought was gone it seems.

    Also, for what its worth, 2 years ago I was in Seau’s restaurant, as an out of towner, on a football Sunday and the place was a ghost town, and the food was terrible. I’m not even sure if its open today and wouldn’t be surprised if it was closed. For perspective, I’m just saying, I don’t know if things were going so well for him lately.

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