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At memorial service, Chargers retire Junior Seau’s number

No.55 jersey seen on display at Qualcomm Stadium as part of "Celebration of Life" memorial, held in memory of Seau in San Dieg Reuters

Junior Seau was remembered on Friday night as a great football player and a fine man at a public memorial service at the stadium where he played most of the home games in his NFL career, and in a fitting finishing touch, the San Diego Chargers announced that they would retire his jersey number, 55.

The memorial at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego was attended by thousands, many in Seau 55 Chargers jerseys, and it served as a tribute to a man who inspired many during his 20-year NFL career, and whose suicide last week shocked the nation and led to increased scrutiny of the post-football lives of NFL players.

But as sad an occasion as it was, the ceremony was mostly a celebration of Seau’s life. Among those who addressed the fans to honor Seau were Chargers Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, the great former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Bobby Ross, the former Chargers coach who in 1994 got the team to its only Super Bowl, with Seau as the team’s star linebacker and locker room leader.

Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell opened the service by saying, “Junior, we don’t know if you can see this down here, but tonight’s your night.”

Seau’s 55 was painted on the Qualcomm Stadium field where he played so many great games, and it’s appropriate that no Charger will wear it again. There was no one else like Junior Seau.

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47 Responses to “At memorial service, Chargers retire Junior Seau’s number”
  1. t16rich says: May 11, 2012 11:27 PM

    Beyond classy. Perfect way to retire his number.

  2. txxxchief says: May 11, 2012 11:31 PM

    This will not be a popular post, but Junior Seau’s suicide should not be glorified. It was an act of weakness that will result in suffering for his children for the rest of their lives.

  3. 3menandablog says: May 11, 2012 11:47 PM

    I watched it online and what an incredible, uplifting event.

    RIP Junior.

  4. raiderapologist says: May 12, 2012 12:07 AM

    Players come and go. Numbers are finite. Retiring a number isn’t classy. It’s easy. It’s better to let the next guy honor his number by wearing it than it is to give him a number like 155.

  5. sdb0ltz says: May 12, 2012 12:07 AM

    I just left and still have tears in my eyes. Great man, great ceremony. Spanos made a class act move by retiring his number… And LT was the man who made me lose it… Told “Poppa and Momma Seau” to take a bow for the great man they created and raised.

    A sad but proud day to be a Charger fan. God bless you all… Even the Raiders and their fans.

    God Bless us all.

  6. mikespimpin says: May 12, 2012 12:10 AM

    txxxchief, yes not popular at all.

    i assume you are one of the people in the boat that calls his suicide “one of the most selfish things” that one could do to himself. but have you ever thought about it from his POV?

    whose to say his FAMILY wasnt selfish for wanting someone to live a life of such extreme depression? whos to say WE and YOU TXXXCHIEF arent selfish? we have NO idea of the kind of pain he was going through.

    sure, we have all lost loved ones but NONE of us have had the pain of actually wanting to kill yourself. to say HE WAS WEAK and WRONG about what he did are just people that are bitter and pompous. judge all you want, but in the end all that matters is what He judges

  7. starks3 says: May 12, 2012 12:11 AM

    I agree with txxxchief, It’s like everyone forgets he DID kill himself. He didn’t have to die, he wanted to die. Until any evidence surfaces about concussion issues as a contributing factor to him DECIDING to kill himself, I will stay skeptical. Maybe he just missed the limelight and wanted it back again who knows?

  8. t16rich says: May 12, 2012 12:13 AM

    txxxchief says:May 11, 2012 11:31 PM

    This will not be a popular post, but Junior Seau’s suicide should not be glorified. It was an act of weakness that will result in suffering for his children for the rest of their lives.

    Juniors suicide isnt being glorified as somthing good. His life is. You are stupid. At the time I read your comment. It had one thumbs up. Good job on agreeing with yourself. Only an idiot dosnt recognize suicide as being a sign of weakness, so yes you are right. But mental weakness is a whole different beast, that you clearly have no understanding of. Ignorant jerks like you dont deserve to leave comments like that. You are looking for a way to bash the problem instead of help the problem. You as a human are well worse than Junior, despite what he put his family through.. I guarantee Junior taught his kids more good than you ever could, and left them more oppurtunities to succeed. Dont knock a man who provided for his family. Complete ignorant one sided opinion. Try looking at it from a side that isnt complete jerk faceness. I am making this PFT happy, but if you were in front of me, my fists would show you whats up. Depression and mental illness is so much more then what you just made it out for in that ignorant comment.

  9. afreak2u says: May 12, 2012 12:23 AM

    Txx I totally agree with u, what does it teach the younger generation oh times are tough lets me just end it, there is help out there and u can’t say he couldn’t afford it.

  10. t16rich says: May 12, 2012 12:23 AM

    raiderapologist says:May 12, 2012 12:07 AM

    Players come and go. Numbers are finite. Retiring a number isn’t classy. It’s easy. It’s better to let the next guy honor his number by wearing it than it is to give him a number like 155.

    I am by no means, a Chargers fan. But are you people posting comments really this stupid and disrespectful? I highly doubt the Chargers will ever find a player who wears the #55 with more pride or skill. Get lost and accept a classy move by the Chargers franchise. No one deserves to wear the #55 in SD more than Junior. I guarantee there isnt a single player who would complain about not being able to wear the #55 in SD. Seriouslly you people are ignorant and disrespectful to a franchise and league legend.

  11. xx4zu1 says: May 12, 2012 12:27 AM

    I have to agree with txxchief I live in an area where there have been 6 teen suicides in the past 8 months. Every single time there was a huge outpouring of support for these poor lost souls and yet not a single person cared enough while they were alive to step in and try to get these kids the help they needed. Six individuals from all walks of life with all different problems and only two actually knew each other. They didn’t have the means to help themselves like Seau did, I agree it’s very tragic either way but he had the means to get help and didn’t some of these kids were screaming for help and no one listened.

  12. steelymcbeam6 says: May 12, 2012 12:32 AM

    Chief I totally agree with you. no excuse to place all his grief and pain onto his children because he couldn’t handle it. Rich and mike…you are morons. Must not have children or you wouldn’t fully understand. seau had the balls to text his children he loved them and then offed himself?!?! Obviously didn’t love them enough to stick around and be there for them as a father should.

  13. wyrdawg says: May 12, 2012 12:34 AM

    txxxchief says: May 11, 2012 11:31 PM

    This will not be a popular post, but Junior Seau’s suicide should not be glorified. It was an act of weakness that will result in suffering for his children for the rest of their lives.

    Nope. Pretty sure you should not have hit “Submit” on this one bro. I love this site, but your comment right there was short-sighted and belittling. Unless YOU have faced this and have overcome it, GTFO. And if you did? You wouldn’t have posted.

    Carry on.

  14. steelymcbeam6 says: May 12, 2012 12:34 AM

    Trich…stop trying to act holier than thou. Wow what a damn blowhard

  15. wyrdawg says: May 12, 2012 12:38 AM

    afreak2u

    Yes you are.

  16. dabearsk says: May 12, 2012 12:48 AM

    As someone who had his father commit suicide I whole heartedly agree with txxxchief…

    My father made his choice and unfortunately Junior made his..

    Both were extremely selfish especially given the gifts each of them had…

    The Big Man gave so much to each man, and I am not talking about the wordly possesions Junior hadand earned , but rather by all accounts I have read he was a very generous man with his time and was of high character.

    Yet, they chose to give up and check out versus obtaining help and/or working out their issues… Life is hard for all but giving up should never be an option.

    The Big Man has given each of us so much to offer each other…

    My heart breaks for his small children.. such a shame that Junior made that choice…

    t16rich your posts are pretty intolerent of the differing opinions that folks have on these issues, you may want to check yourself before calling people ignorant, disrespectful, etc…

    God bless all..and may he help Junior’s family and friends through these tough times…

  17. ningenito78 says: May 12, 2012 12:54 AM

    RIP Junior.

  18. TaiwanMike says: May 12, 2012 1:00 AM

    Retiring a number is an honor, although this is a very sad way for that honor to be bestowed. It is appropriate for his number to be retired. When I think of the Chargers, four names come to mind: Lance Alworth, Dan Fouts, Don Coryell, and Junior Seau.

  19. demolition510 says: May 12, 2012 1:01 AM

    Rest in paradise Junior. Blessings to your family especially your kids and parents. Classy move to retire 55 Bolts.

    Respectfully,
    The Raider Nation

  20. paulieorkid says: May 12, 2012 1:08 AM

    Tonight was presented as a celebration, and that was the best way to look at a brutal situation. Glad they focused on the positives – that was the right play.

    But having said that, this still hits like a ton of bricks. Seau burned brighter than the other stars in the sky, on both the NFL playing field and the off-field landscape as well.

    Just reeeeal tough to see such a fiery, spirited and passionate warrior like Junior Seau feel awful enough to end it. The Hall of Fame induction, his amazing family, his legions of friends and fans, his charities, his wealth, the San Diego surf, etc., etc., etc.

    With so much to live for – it seems fair to reason that Seau’s pain had to have been EVEN more profound.

    Whoa.

    Sad as hell, man – just wish like hell we could use a mulligan on this one. It just seems so fixable – but none of us know, or can reasonably even assume we know, what Junior was going through.

  21. raiderapologist says: May 12, 2012 1:14 AM

    t16rich says: May 12, 2012 12:23 AM

    I am by no means, a Chargers fan. But are you people posting comments really this stupid and disrespectful? I highly doubt the Chargers will ever find a player who wears the #55 with more pride or skill. Get lost and accept a classy move by the Chargers franchise.

    Call it stupid or disrespectful if you will. I’m not criticizing Seau or claiming he doesn’t deserve respect or recognition for his accomplishments. I just said that retiring numbers is weak, and now I’m saying t16rich is a frontrunner.

  22. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: May 12, 2012 1:21 AM

    I’ve had times where literally the only thing that held me together was my Faith. Depression is one thing… suicidal depression is another. Instead of arguing, lets just use this situation to raise awareness. God Bless.

  23. asublimeday says: May 12, 2012 2:27 AM

    Whenever I have any faith in the human race, I need only stop by the PFT comments to lose it immediately.

    Well done, guys. Well done.

  24. packerpride03 says: May 12, 2012 2:28 AM

    Not goin to doubt the guys talent. Just don’t see the point in celebrating someone’s life when they couldn’t celebrate there own.

  25. lnfinite says: May 12, 2012 2:35 AM

    raiderapologist says: May 12, 2012 12:07 AM

    Players come and go. Numbers are finite. Retiring a number isn’t classy. It’s easy. It’s better to let the next guy honor his number by wearing it than it is to give him a number like 155.

    —————————————————–
    Better yet have the team wear a #55 patch on their 2012 team jersey.

    As a Viking fan I applaud the Chargers organization for their action. I pity the raider fan rival who wants crap on the idea in typical teenage fashion

  26. Ryan Luz says: May 12, 2012 2:43 AM

    To anyone saying suicide is simply selfish and weak: you have never ever been touched by mental illness. It is that simple. So if you don’t know, then just stop. Until you or someone very close to you suffers deeply, suffers and struggles daily with mental illness, don’t pompously look and talk down at the people who are battling it and attempting to cope with it each and every day.

  27. tdk24 says: May 12, 2012 2:44 AM

    First nice thing the chargless have ever done.

  28. hannahsdaddy says: May 12, 2012 2:48 AM

    Suicide is a sin. Those who commit a sin as their last act without accepting forgiveness are going to a place which is very hot.

  29. mlhlite says: May 12, 2012 3:04 AM

    sorry about the whole thing, don’t comment mostly, but I’m in agreement with trxeeechief an I’m sorry I know I mangled your name, but just read And went to comment. I’m a father and I try to be a good one but I realize how much I fall short, but my daughter believes I walk on water. I’m not throwing stone’s here, I’m f d up but I go on every day to provide and take care of my kid an wife despite my personal battles. I wish his family the best

  30. mlhlite says: May 12, 2012 3:22 AM

    I posted comment but never know if it will go through and hate “smartphone s ” cause can’t type my bad. I’m lifer sports fan, my fav team doesn’t matter. I understand the pain and I get the “they. will better off ” without me, sorry, whether I wanted to be remembered or life insurance is enough to set em for life, but at end of day a father’s love should always end these, those crazy thoughts. would rather walk daughter down isle than her see me carried down one. Sorry. and prayers go out to the family

  31. harrisbd99 says: May 12, 2012 3:35 AM

    All of you clowns calling his suicide “weakness” are probably christian wannabees who have no backbone or morals at all. I don’t care what “religion” you believe in, you have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT judging what actions other people do. You do not understand the pain Seau and millions upon millions of people have gone through when they made the decision to kill themselves. You are a bunch of selfish, ignorant clowns if you truly believe that you have the right to judge other people’s actions. You are just as imperfect as they are, and this comes from an agnostic.

  32. alibidavej says: May 12, 2012 3:44 AM

    I have called San Diego my home since 1991. Having been 21 years old at the time, my sporting alliances were already formed. Turns out I’ve hated San Diego’s professional sport’s teams all my life. That said, Junior Seau transcended sports. Living here, I can’t help but feel the pain of this loss. Personally, being one year younger than Junior, the whole thing freaks me out. But I’m sure certainly not as much as the all encompassing community of San Diego. My thoughts are with all. ~ Lovingly, RaiderFan

  33. alibidavej says: May 12, 2012 3:45 AM

    Not all of us are jerks.

  34. unprovenprophet says: May 12, 2012 4:08 AM

    Had to fight through a haze of beer, booze and a woman to remember the password to my comment sign-in…. primarily because I don’t like commenting with the majority of you immature, small-minded, insult-driven dorks.

    HOWEVER

    Tonight was a night to celebrate Junior Seau. However he may have died, he’s no longer with us and we, as football fans, need to acknowledge that.

    Hell, I’m not a Chargers fan by any means….cool uni’s…. nice weather there… but the Chargers??? Nope, not a fan.

    But Junior Seau is no longer with us and that is important. No matter how his life ended, a great player of the linebacker position in the National Football League is no longer living and now is the time to remember that and reflect upon what he did on the field as well as off the field.

    Now is not the time to criticize what this man went through before he took his life. Contemplate that in the months ahead. Lord knows you’ll have the time that he didn’t to do that.

    Compare yourself against the charity that Junior Seau did. Can you come close? This guy affected so many lives! Talk about that! Not about self glorification or selfishness!

    Charger and USC fans – As a fan of football, both college and pro, I extend my deepest sympathies. Junior Seau was one hell of a football player. You have a lot to be proud of and I pray your pain will subside knowing that you cheered on one of the best to EVER play linebacker.

    The rest of you who will choose to criticize what Junior Seau did… call it selfish… call it an act of missing the limelight… call it some kind of act of weakness… The truth is that you have no clue what caused this or what he went through…

  35. bathroombenlovemachine says: May 12, 2012 5:07 AM

    Steroids and crack are a deadly combination. Buh Bye Junior. Don’t let the door hit ya where the Lord split ya.

    Eagles = Super Bowl 47 Champs

  36. joetoronto says: May 12, 2012 5:31 AM

    It’s simple. If you have kids, you agree with txxxchief.

    Because you understand.

  37. TheWizard says: May 12, 2012 5:44 AM

    but in the end all that matters is what He judges

    That’s correct, but I don’t think that means we’re supposed to go through life with no opinions.

  38. jjbadd says: May 12, 2012 5:51 AM

    I want to start off by saying, I’m not going to insult anyone for their opinion, about suicide being a sign of weakness. Why? Because that to me, means that you’re not truly depressed, or mentally ill. I am so happy that you aren’t. I’m so glad that you don’t feel the torture of your mind telling you how much of a failure you are, day in & day out. I myself, was raised by a mother who lives with mental illness, & depression, and she is currently in a mentally facility for it. I know all to well that its real, & my mama is alive today because her numerous attempts at suicide failed. My siblings and me were hoping it ended with her, but sadly, it didn’t, as I have been diagnosed with severe depression. Let me tell ya, at the time, I had a job..I had money..I have a wife..a son.. I have everything a man could want, except happiness. It hurts, & my friend, it is absolutely real. So for every post I see saying he was weak, I take comfort in knowing that there is another person that don’t feel like me, and as much as I would want you to understand, I would never want you to experience these feelings, not even for 1 second. Jr. wasn’t weak, his suicide wasn’t a “sign of weakness” but a “result of a sickness”. But keep those comments coming, God has blessed you with a peacefulness, & a sound mind that unfortunately Junior will never experience. Rest now #55…

  39. cylondetector says: May 12, 2012 5:57 AM

    Patriots fan here.

    Awesome gesture by the Chargers – it was a honor to have this man wear the Patriot colors for a few years!!

    RIP Junior.

  40. bluefan204 says: May 12, 2012 6:19 AM

    “Class” is not a word that springs to mind when I think of the Chargers organization, but…..well done in this case. RIP Junior.

  41. tatum064 says: May 12, 2012 6:26 AM

    sdb0ltz says:
    May 12, 2012 12:07 AM
    I just left and still have tears in my eyes. Great man, great ceremony. Spanos made a class act move by retiring his number… And LT was the man who made me lose it… Told “Poppa and Momma Seau” to take a bow for the great man they created and raised.

    A sad but proud day to be a Charger fan. God bless you all… Even the Raiders and their fans.

    God Bless us all.
    ==============================

    God Bless you and the Chargers, you lost a great warrior

    from the Raider Nation!

    R.I.P. Junior Seau #55 forever.

  42. phinfan527 says: May 12, 2012 6:49 AM

    Seems to be a subtle hint why he shot himself in the chest. He probably knew he had brain concussion issues and wanted to have his brain examined as Duerson did. That seems to be Junior’s way of saying to the NFL this is going to be a problem, try and fix it. Shame in what he did, but he sent a message on the field and his family should let his brain be examined so he can send a message off the field too. RIP.

  43. ezmagic says: May 12, 2012 10:16 AM

    He was a great player, no doubt about it..It is a sad situation for the family having to deal with this. As much as it hurts to say this he did take the easy, selfish way out. My friends mom committed suicide a few years back and she will have emotional scars for the rest of her life. Junior had it all, $, family, football family, friends, memories. Why junior, why destroy your family too?

  44. inallsincerity says: May 12, 2012 10:35 AM

    Only GOD can judge him…RIP Junior Seau. May the LORD bless your kids and give them strength to carry on with their lives.

  45. packerowner says: May 12, 2012 9:55 PM

    RIP Junior.
    The Charger Nation has lost a leader and family member.

  46. captfoxboro says: May 13, 2012 2:43 AM

    To all you proud & preachy parents postin’ here – thinkin’ that just because you’re have children it makes you more in tune to what JR was going thru (thus qualifying you to judge him )

    BOOOOOOOO.

    Come off your high horse and get yourself educated about mental illness .
    Remember – Sadly parental credentials don’t preclude you from someday sufferin’ severe depression yourself.
    ( some would say it actually accelerate it …lol )

    Same warning goes for you “Holier-than-thou religious types ” envokin’ the wrath of your god upon Jrs. soul …Pffft.

    PEACE TO JR , HIS FAMILY , & HIS TRUE FANS.

    PS – I’ve got 3 amazing , well adjusted offspring of my own. They know better than to judge a person b4 walkin’ a mile in their shoes.

  47. clashpoint says: May 13, 2012 5:10 AM

    In my humble opinion, memorials like this help prevent suicides. The comments on every side of this issue support that belief. I doubt many people disagree that what Junior did was selfish. Most people would probably also agree that he lived his life in a very unselfish manner, despite his choice to end it. Yet, everyone should agree that such a bright spotlight on such a sad tragedy highlights it as a problem that affects us all. We can’t solve the problem until everyone agrees there is one.

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