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Hawai'i Underground >> I wonder if getting hit in the head too much: SEAU


5/4/12 5:33 AM
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FCTV808
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this worries me frens. i think i've taken too many cracks as well. :(

Seau's suicide forces hard questions on head injuries

He is not the first football player to have committed suicide, and experts worry that it may be linked to repeated concussions.

By Paul Newberry, The Associated Press / May 3, 2012

Junior Seau as a New England Patriots linebacker smiles during NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., in this July 2007 file photo.

Winslow Townson/AP/File
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Dave Duerson made it easy to understand why he was ending his tortured life.
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Junior Seau tragedy shakes NFL, intensifies concern about head injuries

Before the former Chicago Bears star fired a bullet into his chest last year, he left word with his family to have his brain examined for damage he believed was caused by repeated blows to the head from his hell-bent style on the football field.

Junior Seau was an even bigger star in the NFL, and yet he ended his life Wednesday in much the same way as Duerson and former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling: self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

RECOMMENDED: Junior Seau tragedy shakes NFL

Now friends wonder if the San Diego icon hoped his death might leave a greater legacy than any of his amazing feats on the gridiron.

Former player Kyle Turley, who is dealing with his own mental issues and has already agreed to donate his brain for research after his death, has no doubt that Seau wanted to make sure his brain could be studied for the telltale signs of football-related trauma. That's why, Turley believes, his friend shot himself in the chest instead of the head.

"Knowing Junior as I did, he was a very strong kid," Turley told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

"Somewhere, the wires got crossed and he unfortunately decided to end his life. But in his last moment — and I will without a doubt believe this until the day I die — Junior Seau ended his life in a valiant way."

Seau's death was ruled a suicide by the San Diego County medical examiner's office after an autopsy Thursday. Officials were awaiting a decision by the family on whether to turn over Seau's brain to unidentified outside researchers for study. A more in-depth investigative report could take up to 90 days.

Seau, 43, was one of the NFL's most rugged players, a fierce-hitting linebacker selected for the Pro Bowl a dozen years in a row. He played for three teams over two decades, far longer than the average football career, before finally retiring for good at age 40.

Three years later, he decided to end his life. There were signs of trouble away from the field: a divorce, a domestic violence charge involving his girlfriend, though he was never formally charged.

Hours before the domestic violence arrest, his car plunged over a 100-foot cliff in what some speculated was an attempt to kill himself. Seau survived with only minor injuries and insisted that he had simply fallen asleep at the wheel.

Seau never indicated publicly he was having trouble with life after the NFL because of all those blows to the head, and his family said he seemed happy.

That's a far cry from Easterling, who died last month at age 62. He suffered from dementia and led a lawsuit filed by a number of prominent retired players, claiming the league didn't do enough to deal with concussion-related injuries.

Notably, Seau didn't join that lawsuit. Also, it's not known if he wanted Boston University, which has been conducting research into football-related head trauma, to study his brain for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease that can be caused by multiple concussions and only detected after death.

The school said in a statement it was "saddened by the tragic death of Junior Seau," but declined to discuss his case without family approval.

Thomas Demetrio, an attorney for the Duerson family, said it would be "pure speculation" to say that Seau had the same motivation for ending his life as the former Bears safety.

"Dave made it easy," Demetrio said. "He left notes. He sent texts to his family letting them know he wanted his brain studied. I don't know that we have a good answer for why Junior did it."

But if Seau was dealing with CTE or a similar condition, that would make it easier to comprehend what sort of jumbled thoughts the former player might've had running through his mind. Demetrio hopes that Seau's family will allow his brain to be studied by the Boston University team.

"We know that CTE affects your judgment. We know it affects the control of your emotions. We know that it affects your suicidal tendencies," the attorney said.

Others also were struck by the method of death that Seau chose.

"Junior, as we know, put the gun to his chest," said Shawn Mitchell, a longtime San Diego Chargers chaplain and pastor at a church in Oceanside, Calif., the beach community where Seau lived and died.

"He was a very big man. If any man could take a bullet and live through it, it would be Junior Seau. He chose to do it that way."

Seau surely had troubles in his life. Beyond those that were readily apparent to the public, there were plenty of whispers that he played so long largely because he needed the money, that his divorce took a heavy toll on his finances.

Turley isn't buying it. Seau, he said, came from humble beginnings and wasn't driven by money. Even if most of his earnings went to alimony and child support, it shouldn't have been enough to drive him over the edge.

"You can talk about the divorce, say he was failing financially. Whatever," Turley said. "A lot of people are dealing with that and they don't kill themselves. This is a person who had more reason to live than not. It just doesn't make sense."

He is convinced that another factor was in play, a hidden killer that Seau couldn't make sense of and no one else could see.

"There are myriad factors that create a downward spiral of depression," Turley said. "But every one of these cases is exactly the same as far as the brain is concerned. There's a very visual disruption in the brain areas that control impulses, depression, anxiety and all those other things that contribute to this occurring."

Demetrio said the more players who allow their brains to be studied, the better. Seau's death might help others in the NFL think of the ramifications of head injuries on the field, he said.

"For the benefit of the players playing the game today, starting in peewee football all the way up, the more evidence that can be compiled," Demetrio said, "the safer the game will be."
5/4/12 7:27 AM
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hackett
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Yeah man, RIP to the big guy. Apparently he was a big fight fan too -- track down that "Sports Jobs" show he did where he cornered Forrest Griffen if you missed it.

I thought of K-1 star Mike Bernardo, who killed himself in February. Tough to quantify how much of this is a result of their personal troubles and how much came from professional risks...
5/4/12 11:23 AM
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junon
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he was murdered by some crazy broad.
5/4/12 1:58 PM
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FCTV808
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she is probably brilliant and he more than likely met her on the og. :(
5/4/12 6:09 PM
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Moke
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I just saw him on some food show...these guys were looking for the hottest (spiciest) food they could find and they ended up at Seau's restaurant in San Diego...he made them some super hot-as-shit poke and those guys fried their mouths. Seeing as chili pepper was emphasized in his restaurant, and Koreans are synonymous with chili peppers, I suspect a Korean played a significant role in his suicide. I know of a couple of Koreans who made me contemplate suicide a few times. So scientifically, that clinches it! It was the Koreans.
5/4/12 8:53 PM
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FCTV808
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my guess: it was hapa.
5/4/12 9:00 PM
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Sgt. Slaphead
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I hope his brain gets checked, but if CTE contributed to his suicide, I wonder the impact these kinds of incidents will have on the future of athletics. JEEBUS, you should see the concussion paranoia my kids school has for athletes.
5/4/12 9:25 PM
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mad tiger
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I think an all pro line backer with 14 years in the league may have had a tad more head trauma then you. I think you'll be ok fren.
Just to make sure you might wanna shoot yourself in your chest so we can examine your brain lol
5/4/12 10:12 PM
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hagisan
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I thought he shot himself in the chest so he could have an open casket. Every Samoan/Tongan funeral I've been to was open casket. Phone Post
5/5/12 1:28 AM
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JIMMYNAKS
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Dark thoughts happen when the dark passenger drives Phone Post
5/5/12 2:22 AM
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Sgt. Slaphead
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mad tiger - I think an all pro line backer with 14 years in the league may have had a tad more head trauma then you. I think you'll be ok fren.
Just to make sure you might wanna shoot yourself in your chest so we can examine your brain lol


When was the last time you had a conversation with FCTV?.....seriously, I think he had too much trauma already!!
5/5/12 6:48 AM
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FCTV808
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you have no idea. :(
5/5/12 3:16 PM
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alewaboy52
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first off...catching cracks and getting knocked out cold are two different things, second...how many former pro-boxers do you see squeezing a trigger towards themselves, sadly i think no longer being the star in front of 800000 screaming fans week in and week out probably had more to do with it
5/5/12 11:40 PM
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meatrokket
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Imagine being a 6-4 255 lb. Monster Bashing heads with 300 lb lineman and blathletic huge running backs for 50 plays a game.

I'm pretty sure all that blunt force trauma played a role. Lol at killing yourself because you don't have 80000 fans screaming your name. Phone Post
5/6/12 1:19 AM
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FCTV808
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concussions cause massive mood swings. and that's just one concussion.

very curious.
5/6/12 1:41 AM
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alewaboy52
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regardless of anyone's theory Seau did drive himself off a cliff a little over year or so ago, that guy has had serious problems, if suicide is a natural result of concussions than every former contact sport participant needs to be much more thoroughly checked over the course of their lives, i however feel it is a terrible and tragic yet isolated incident
5/7/12 9:46 PM
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FCTV808
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^^exactly
5/8/12 12:04 AM
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Sgt. Slaphead
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what you guys think about kids and judo? holy shit i seen a lot of supposed concusionssons this year, even with my daughter racking up two or three.......wtf? is it just drama and CYA?

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