SAN DIEGO– It has been nearly one year since former San Diego Charger Junior Seau passed away. Thursday marks the day the beloved linebacker committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.
“When you said that this morning, I couldn’t believe that it’s been a year,” former San Diego Charger Darren Carrington told Fox 5 News. “It seems like it was a couple of months ago. That’s how fresh it still is.”
Carrington and Seau played together for the Chargers from 1991 to 1994. Seau played 20 seasons in the NFL.
“I remember him as a guy who he just loved to play the game, and that was something that, I mean, you couldn’t teach it,” said Carrington. “I was talking with my son and my son was asking, ‘Dad was Junior really good?’ And I said, ‘Man that dude was incredible.'”
A lot has happened since Seau’s death. The community came together and mourned. Two weeks after his death, Seau’s restaurant closed. His beachfront Oceanside home was sold. Seau’s number 55 was retired. Seau’s brain tissue was donated and researchers found he had suffered the same type of brain damage found in other former football players who had passed. That prompted Seau’s family to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL.
His Junior Seau Foundation hit some bumps but is still serving young people in San Diego and the Seau Golf Tournament is off this year.
Seau, though, is still as beloved as ever by those who knew him personally and those who felt like they did.
“They remember him as a guy who gave his heart and soul to the city,” said Carrington.
Carrington said he misses his friend but there is one important thing to remember.
“If things get too overwhelming make sure that you have somebody that you can talk to and somebody that can really pour into your life because there are answers to whatever issues and challenges you may have in your life,” he said.