How can 20 years feel like an eternity, while 43 years can feel like the blink of an eye? That is the conundrum that surrounds the death of Junior Seau.
Seau was found by his girlfriend in his Oceanside, Calif. home Wednesday morning unconscious and having suffered from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
When police arrived on the scene, Seau was declared dead. Police are investigating the possibility that his death was a suicide, saying that the gun used was found next to him and that no suicide note was found.
This is unfortunately not the first time that the word suicide has been used in conjecture with Seau's name. In 2010, merely hours after being arrested for investigation of domestic violence against his girlfriend, Seau survived a 100 foot fall off a cliff in his SUV. There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol involved, and Seau said that he had merely fallen asleep at the wheel, but the circumstances of that night led many to believe that the wreck was a failed suicide attempt.
Seau's death sent shockwaves throughout the sports world, prompting numerous friends and former teammates to call into local radio outlets and take to the internet to express their feelings of loss. Most notably of those friends may have been Marcellus Wiley, who when reacting to the news during the Max and Marcellus show on ESPN 710 in LA, couldn't control the overwhelming emotions that came from losing a friend and teammate.
Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres also held a moment of silence before their game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday.
A former star at USC, No. 5 overall pick in the 1990 draft, and future Hall-of-Famer; Seau enjoyed a 20 year NFL career with three teams and was an all-pro 10 consecutive years, a pro-bowler 12 consecutive years, and went to two Super Bowls. Seau was named to the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame in 2011 and will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
Seau was also an icon in and around his hometown of San Diego. He owned a clothing line, Say-Ow Gear, as well as Seau's The Restaurant in San Diego. In 1992, Seau created the Junior Seau Foundation with the mission to educate and empower young people through the support of child abuse prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, recreational opportunities, anti-juvenile delinquency efforts and complimentary educational programs.