May 2nd, 2012 was a dark day for all of football. One of its greatest and most beloved players, Junior Seau committed suicide. Seau played for the Patriots, Dolphins, and Chargers, with San Diego retiring his number, #55. Even without a history of concussions, Seau's brain was donated to scientific research to see if there was any serious damage sustained throughout his long football career. This not only includes his time in the NFL, but college and high school levels as well.
The study revealed a very sad, yet somewhat expected, truth about Seau. He had suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). An article on ESPN Boston gives a detailed description of the disorder and I suggest that you read it if you want to gain some serious knowledge on the matter. Basically, Seau's brain took a massive beating over the years, which is unfortunately expected when pursuing a career in football. The result of the beating was the development of CTE, which includes symptoms of dementia and depression. Previously more common in boxers, this disorder has surfaced over recent years with football players. It is now assumed that this contributed to Seau committing suicide.
Expect an article later about how these results could affect all of football, especially the NFL. For now though, I'll wrap up with these quotes by his ex-wife Gina and son Tyler from an interview with ABC. Again, I suggest you read the ESPN Boston article.
"The difference with Junior ... from an emotional standpoint (was) how detached he became emotionally," "It was so obvious to me because early, many, many years ago, he used to be such a phenomenal communicator. If there was a problem in any relationship, whether it was between us or a relationship with one of his coaches or teammates or somewhere in the business world, he would sit down and talk about it." - Gina Seau
"I guess it makes it more real," "It makes me realize that he wasn't invincible, because I always thought of him as being that guy. Like a lot of sons do when they look up to their dad. You know? You try to be like that man in your life. You try to mimic the things that he does. Play the game the way he did. Work the way he did. And, you know, now you look at it in a little bit different view."
"Is it worth it? I'm not sure. But it's not worth it for me to not have a dad. So to me it's not worth it."