Former linebacker for the Patriots, Dolphins and Chargers Junior Seau, who is dead at age 43 after apparently committing suicide today, was mentioned in a May 2011 piece written by News Sports Columnist Bucky Gleason about concussions taking a toll on athletes, causing confusion, pain and fear. An excerpt from the article:
"Experts said all irrational behavior cannot be blamed on CTE [Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy], but it also cannot be ruled out when it comes to athletes or others who have suffered multiple concussions. [Clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine Dr. Robert] Cantu wondered if former NFL linebacker Junior Seau, who last year drove his vehicle off a cliff after a domestic dispute, could be suffering from the disease. Nobody knows for sure. Doctors cannot diagnose CTE in living people, leaving many unanswered questions until their deaths."
Seau was also prominently featured in a piece written in January 2008 by News Sports Reporter Mark Gaughan shortly after the AFC Championship Game that year. Seau, then 39, played a key role in the Patriots' victory over the Chargers that improved the Pats to 18-0 before a loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl. An excerpt from that story:
"Seau was voted to the NFL's all-decade team for the 1990s. His streak of 12 straight Pro Bowls from 1991 to 2002 is tied for the third longest all time. He has played in 257 regular-season games, second most ever by a linebacker."
Gaughan also wrote about Seau prior to the linebacker's first game in Western New York in October 2000. Seau was then 31 and already a nine-time Pro Bowler. The Chargers would fall to 0-7 that day after losing to the Bills in overtime, after Doug Flutie replaced an injured Rob Johnson. An excerpt from that story, leading up to the game:
"This will be Seau's first game in Buffalo in his 11-year career. He has made the Pro Bowl nine straight years. He was on the NFL's all-decade team for the '90s. He is a sure-fire Hall of Famer and ranks up there with Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke and Lawrence Taylor among the great linebackers to play the game."