With the incredibly tragic and sudden news that Junior Seau has passed away, the entire NFL community is clearly grieving today. Players are taking to various media forms to express their sorrow and every sportswriter is left shaking their head at the loss. At only 43, Seau was a true legend on and off the field.
As a member of the rival San Diego Chargers, he made his presence felt on every single down. Every offensive coordinator in the league had to account for where he was on the field at all times. Few players can force such adjustments.
It was not only in the stats column, although those were always impressive in and of themselves. It was also in his leadership and presence on the field. In the same way that Derrick Thomas left a legacy for Chiefs fans, Seau will do so for Chargers fans as well.
"He was a local hero -- he certainly gave back to the community and to the youth through his Junior Seau Foundation," Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood told The North County Times. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
The 12 time Pro Bowler played from 1990 until 2009, an incredible 20 year career in which he earned 56.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and 1,524 tackles. He was truly a once-in-a-generation player, and the NFL suffers a loss that all of us will feel for some time.