We were young and foolish.
We celebrated huge hits, we secretly applauded when an opponent splayed vanquished and injured (and then clapped when he peeled himself off the turf), and we revered tough guys—even exalted those even bleeding from their heads.
We grew our athletes like the Russians manipulated theirs during the Cold War Olympics(es?), actually our boys were more like race horses, our football players’ bodies became bigger and bigger while their legs got faster and faster—far past the point of becoming too big and too fast. But instead of them running in the same direction like thoroughbreds we sent our guys careening into each other without care to their most vital organ.
Junior Seau, a Patriot, died today. He was chiseled out of a Starting Lineup Figure. He was impossibly quick, powerful and, (at least "football) smart("). He played 20 years in the League amassing 12 trips to Honolulu, 1,849 tackles and tens of thousands of collisions. In no way was he a junior anything except in name.
He only lived 43 years.
Of post time it appears that Seau committed suicide. While the cops investigate who shot him in the chest, we are speculating that too many hits to the helmet rendered a physical specimen of a man deranged enough to end his own life in its early 40s. And if he did shoot himself in the chest did he do so in the fashion of Dave Duerson, the Chicago Bear who killed himself thusly to leave his head intact for scientists to study the effect of Riddell on Riddell collision? The curious case of death by chest blow could very well turn out to be a murder but even if it were by Seau’s own hand, we forced it.