JUNIOR SEAU — ANOTHER AMERICAN FOOTBALL CASUALTY

BY MICHAEL CAHILL

Police in Oceanside California on Wednesday discovered the body of former Chargers and Patriots Probowl linebacker Junior Seau.

According to police, Seau’s body was found at his home by his girlfriend with a single gunshot wound to the chest. Police are ruling it as a suicide. Both the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers released statements expressing their shock, and offering their condolences.

Seau’s sucide bears a striking similarity to the death of former Chicago Bears Safety Dave Duerson who killed himself with a single gunshot to the chest in February 2011. Duerson notified his family that he wanted his brain donated to Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy so it could be studied for signs of C.T.E.

C.T.E. is a degenerative brain condition found in individuals who have suffered multiple concussions and head injuries. Duerson was later found by Boston University to have C.T.E. whose symptoms can be similar to dementia or Parkinson’s disease. However it is impossible to diagnose C.T.E. absolutely without a brain biopsy.

Seau did not leave a note or any hint to his wishes. Incidentally, he also drove off a cliff two years ago after getting into a physical altercation with his girlfriend.

At the time he said the action was caused by his falling asleep at the wheel, but in light of his suicide it’s possible it was also an attempt on his own life.