By law I’m required to hate anything and everything about the San Diego Chargers. It comes with my Raider Nation membership.
I can’t stand their logo. I hate their colors. There are no fans I detest more than that fair weather group down in San Diego most of whom couldn’t tell LaDainian Tomlinson from Natrone Means. To this day I can’t even stand the name Jack Murphy just because of the Chargers. While we’re at it I don’t honestly even like the city of San Diego, do like the running backs that come out of that city though (gotta respect that).
All that said it took a real effort on my part to try and dislike Junior Seau.
In fact, if I’m being completely honest, the only thing I ever disliked about Seau was the jersey he wore as a pro. Seau embodied everything you could have ever wanted in a football player. Had he been a Raider there’s a good chance Seau would have been among the most beloved to ever wear Silver and Black. At least for me he would have been.
When I was just a young buck growing up in SoCal Seau was the man most of my football coaches referred to. He represented tradition as evident by owning the honor of sporting #55 at USC. He represented toughness as evident by the 20 (count them…20!) season of pro ball. He represented pride. He represented dedication. He represented leadership. He represented everything the game of football is and how it should be played.
In short Junior Seau was as good a football role model as there ever was and ever will be.
Seau was and is about the only Charger I ever wanted to be a Raider. It took real effort to dislike Junior Seau. The type of effort that usually ended in complete and total failure on my part because no matter hard I tried – even after he did my Raiders dirty – I always respected the way he played the game.
That’s why it is almost impossible to wrap my head around the sad details of Seau’s death.
No matter the circumstances I’ll still only remember the man that terrorized my favorite team. I’m choosing to remember the Seau that embodies everything the middle linebacker position is supposed to be. I’m going to only remember the sure fire Hall of Famer. The warrior. The #55.
R.I.P. Junior Seau, your death occurred far too soon but your legacy will live well beyond all of us that saw you play. Your influence on the game will never be forgotten.
For more coverage on Seau’s tragic passing and more memories of his amazing career be sure to check out Bolt Beat.