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Chargers retire Junior Seau’s number in emotional ceremony

Tennessee Titans v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

It was the kind of day Junior Seau would have loved.

The Chargers, in front of a sold-out stadium, hammered the Titans 38-10. They also retired the late linebacker’s number 55 in an emotional ceremony, with fans chanting his name as team president Dean Spanos presented his family with a framed jersey.

The team wore 55 stickers on the back of their helmets to remember him, and defensive tackle Antonio Garay even had a picture of Seau shaved into the back of his head.

“I thought it was quite an atmosphere today,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said, via Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego. “It was awesome. And obviously putting that sticker on your helmet means something.

I’m sure he’d have loved to be a part of this one.”

It’s only the third number retired by the Chargers, along with Lance Alworth’s 19 and Dan Fouts’ 14.

Fouts spoke at the pregame ceremony before, hailing Seau’s leadership.

“He had it – all of the ‘it’ qualities that make up a great leader,” Fouts said. “He was the ultimate leader on the field for the Chargers for 13 great years and an equally great leader in our San Diego community. . . .

“There is no one more deserving than our friend Junior.”

Chargers coach Norv Turner was emotional as he talked about Seau, who died in May of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But the circumstances of his death didn’t cloud the respect shown for him, as many talked about his spirit and the way he approached the game.

“Our guys have so much respect for Junior,” Turner said. “Just a remarkable individual. If you’re going to say, here’s a football player, I don’t know if you could build one that’s better than Junior Seau. He was an inspirational guy to be around — not Sundays, I’m talking about a day to day basis, six in the morning, last one to leave in the evening, flying around in practice like it was a game, and it was contagious for everybody.”

Those are the things they’ll remember, and the reason no Charger should wear 55 again.

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9 Responses to “Chargers retire Junior Seau’s number in emotional ceremony”
  1. mqcarpenter says: Sep 17, 2012 10:01 AM

    He was an amazing football player but there is more to life than that. This day was to celebrate him as a player. No one knows what mental health issues he had. It’s an ignorant statement to call him a coward.

  2. ripseau says: Sep 17, 2012 10:30 AM

    It was just 10got yrs ago when getting your bell rung was thought to toughen u up and getting water during practice was a weakness. Kory Stringer and Jr showed what a disaster that caused. Rip to both men

  3. ripseau says: Sep 17, 2012 10:36 AM

    Its well known in boxing that blows to the head lowers a mans testosterone which causes a multitude of problems, including depression. Havent heard any results of his biopsy but i bet he had a lot of damage.
    And its very easy to call a man a coward from the comfort of your own house without knowing the man

  4. kreedos says: Sep 17, 2012 11:21 AM

    You all definitely could’ve picked a better picture for the story.

  5. mrgroovesd says: Sep 17, 2012 11:26 AM

    Regardless of what people’s opinion of him is on the way he passed, this day was to celebrate the type of player he was and how he motivated everyone around him. He was a great football player and no one can take that away from him. RIP #55

  6. og2012 says: Sep 17, 2012 3:46 PM

    Mr. Seau was a stand-out member of the NFL community, the S.D. community, and this community of humanity. Any individual can bad mouth from the comfort of his couch but to do so, in my opinion, is in the truest sense, cowardice in action. The ignorance it took to call #55 a coward is truly inexcusable and reprehensible.

  7. ajchargers says: Sep 17, 2012 4:12 PM

    I wore my Seau jersey that day, and he was right behind those guys in the Win over Tennessee.. This is your year Junior.

    R.I.P

  8. grantnjones says: Sep 18, 2012 1:41 AM

    Why are we celebration his death? Hes wasnt 70! He had a family and children that will need him in their life. He chose to take his life and yet he still was able to text them good bye! Its pathetic to celebrate someones life when he took his own life and left his kids like he did. We celebrate bravery, hard work, veterans! We should not be celebrating a suicide! What kind of message does that send to our kids watching the celebration of someone putting a gun to his head!

  9. ajchargers says: Sep 19, 2012 9:30 PM

    grantnjones says:

    Sep 18, 2012 1:41 AM
    Why are we celebration his death? Hes wasnt 70! He had a family and children that will need him in their life. He chose to take his life and yet he still was able to text them good bye! Its pathetic to celebrate someones life when he took his own life and left his kids like he did. We celebrate bravery, hard work, veterans! We should not be celebrating a suicide! What kind of message does that send to our kids watching the celebration of someone putting a gun to his head!

    ______________________________________________

    Just to clarify, you’re saying if a Military Veteran has PTSD you don’t think we should Celebrate His/Her Life, because He/She did something that was pathetic?

    I’m going to go ahead and say that I completely disagree with everything you just said. Every Hero deserves to be Honored. Including Junior Seau.

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