Junior Seau, one of the NFL’s best and fiercest players for two decades, suffered from a degenerative brain disease often associated with repeated blows to the head when he committed suicide last May, the National Institutes of Health said in a study released Thursday.

The NIH, based in Bethesda, Md., said Seau’s brain revealed abnormalities consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. It said that the study included unidentified brains, one of which was Seau’s, and that the findings on Seau were similar to autopsies of people ‘‘with exposure to repetitive head injuries.’’

Seau’s family requested the analysis of his brain.

The star linebacker played for 20 NFL seasons with San Diego, Miami and New England before retiring in 2009. He died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound.

He joins a list of several dozen football players who were found to have CTE. Boston University’s center for study of the disease reported last month that 34 former pro players and nine who played only college football suffered from CTE…

The NFL faces lawsuits by thousands of former players who say the league withheld information on the harmful effects of concussions. According to an AP review of 175 lawsuits, 3,818 players have sued. At least 26 Hall of Famer members are among the players who have done so.

Seau is not the first former NFL player who killed himself, then was found to have CTE. Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling are the others.

Dr. Russell Lonser, who oversaw the study, said Seau’s brain was ‘‘independently evaluated by multiple experts, in a blind fashion.’’

‘‘We had the opportunity to get multiple experts involved in a way they wouldn’t be able to directly identify his tissue even if they knew he was one of the individuals studied,’’ he said.

Cripes. I don’t know what the numbers are nowadays; but, BITD the pension plan used to kick in for NFL veterans at age 55. There was a very good reason for that – courtesy of actuaries who work for those humanist guardians of our lives, the insurance companies. The average lifespan, then, for ex-NFL athletes was 54. When the rest of us were living a decade-and-a-half longer.

  1. dadeo says:

    Actuaries – Satan’s bean counters.

  2. Class supervisor says:

    Let the record show cause of death was gun laws. Move along citizen, nothing to see here.

    • Dum Dum says:

      The cause of death for Junior Seau was a gun shot wound to the head. The gun he used didn’t just spring to life, jump up in the air and fire a bullet. Junior Seau CHOOSE to pull the trigger on a gun he LEGALLY owned or at least legally possessed at the time. Those are the FACTS!

      Of course, Mr. Seau may have been coerced into his poor choice due TBI, CTE or some other mental affliction. Then again, he may have been coerced by outside influences too. Either way, I find it appalling that even a well known and well liked celebrity football player was unable to get the medical help he so obviously needed. Not from the NFL and certainly not from any public entity. It’s absolutely disgusting that no one was there to help him save even his OWN life!

      But that doesn’t ignore the other fact that Junior Seau also choose a very effective TOOL to end his life with either – he USED a gun!

      So you’re right. Move along citizen. Nothing to see here…

  3. moss says:

    Curious how much of life today’s copout conservatives (and their trolls) seem to spend feeling sorry for themselves. I thought all they needed was to vote Republican, invest with Bears – and all’s right with the world.

  4. dusanmal says:

    And how to solve the problem in these days of Progressive fascism? – With more regulations and of course more “protective measures” devised by those Progressive minds.
    Real solution? – Compare injuries in general (and head injuries in particular) statistics at any level of American Football versus very similar game rules (if not outright harsher rules – people can actually play and run and do stuff for minutes vs. seconds as in US Football) of rugby at the equal levels of play… Main difference (setting aside harsher play allowed in rugby) – no BS “protective gear” in rugby. No helmets, shoulder pads,… Contrary to Progressive expectation, game free of “protections” produces far less injuries and particularly couple of orders less head injuries… Why? Because players think for themselves when truly exposed. Same basic human psychology that yields more (and more severe) accidents in identical vehicles with “protective” measures vs. those without them (see exhaustive insurance companies research on anti-lock brakes, stability controls,…). It is in human mind to overestimate protections. You add protection, behavior will increase risk taking beyond actual protection benefit. Always.
    So, solution is simple: remove all protective gear from NFL (and other football competition levels), shoes, socks, shorts, jerseys,… that’s all what is allowed. See drop in injuries.
    And yes, this is just another example how Progressive mindset is completely wrong in general.

    • tj the former Catholic says:

      Does every topic have to turn into a progressive vs. conservative debate?

      I agree that helmets and shoulder pads are often used as weapons rather than as protection.

      However, having played both I don’t think you can really compare football and rugby. Very few pro rugby players are anywhere near as big as a typical NFL lineman for example. Rules, strategy and style of play are completely different. Pads or not, I would expect big differences in the types and rate of injuries.

      I’d check your facts on “protective” measures. I’m sure you can cherry pick plenty of examples to support your view. It’s also easy to find examples that don’t. Seat belts come to mind. I’m also not so sure about anti-lock brakes. If insurance industry studies found them to increase the frequency and severity of accidents, why do so many insurance companies offer discounts to owners of cars with that feature?

    • shooff says:

      Mouthpieces are not required in the NFL. Without any doubt the number two prevention method for concussions. NFLPA fought the requirement for mouthguards.

    • Arkyn1 says:

      An interesting thought. In another dangerous sport, auto racing, they did exactly what you are suggesting: removing the safety features from the cars and tracks, under the idea that the drivers should be more aware and therefore less prone to crash and injury. And besides, it’s an inherently dangerous sport, and therefore you should expect some injuries, shouldn’t you? The only difference to your theory is that they operated this way from the beginning.

      The result? A 1 in 3 chance that on any race day, a driver would be killed, usually by a tree too close to the track, getting thrown from a car, hitting a pole which bends the car, sparking a fuel fire which would engulf the driver (who sat either in-between or on top of the fuel tanks), skidding off the track and through the flimsy barriers (usually a farmer’s picket fence, or a hedge, or simply a tire laid flat on the ground), or going airborne in an impact, either with or without the car…

      The additions of fire suits for drivers, hard helmets, bladders for onboard fuel instead of metal tanks, track improvements like Armco barriers (which you also see on most highways), track marshaling for speedy response to a crash, and seat belts, just to name a few, have significantly reduced the amount of fatalities in racing. Each and every one of those features grumbled at by track owners and car manufacturers as “costly”, and “not likely to enhance the show”, but done anyway because “the show” is never as important as the performers’ lives. This is as it should be. Simply because the sport is “inherently dangerous” does not make it right and correct that the players are used as sacrificial lambs on the altar of “excitement” or “the spectacle”. Civilization has marched on since the time of the gladiator. It’s as ridiculous to imply that that the progressive attitude is “ban or water down any violent sport” as it is to imply that the conservative attitude is “death or serious injury is an integral and inseparable part of violent sports, and should be left to the vagaries of fate”. If there is a way to minimize serious injuries in inherently dangerous/violent activities, shouldn’t we, as people of conscience, research and develop those ideas? Or is it your contention that football players, boxers, drivers, riders, and others engaged in “inherently dangerous” sports are involved in those sports simply to find an entertaining way to be maimed/die for us?

      • MikeN says:

        Auto racing is not a real sport. If it were, then everyone with a drivers license is athletic.

        • Arkyn1 says:

          A comment which only goes to show how little you know about auto racing.

        • shooff says:

          Really? I drove a few race cars. Exhausting and your heart rate is tacked. Few would have the balls to take an Indy Car into a corner at speed.

          • jpfitz says:

            Agreed, auto racing is a sport. As mentioned the heart races to 240 bpm or so. Lest not forget G forces at every corner enough to take your breath away. The arm strength and hand eye coordination alone to keep an open cockpit vehicle where your butt is inches off the pavement is enough to call auto racing a sport.

  5. spsffan says:

    While not wishing to disrespect the deceased, there’s an answer that would improve the United States of America tremendously.

    Take all the resources put into football and put it to science, education, research and development instead.

    Or just use the windfall to pay off the national debt. Should only take a few years considering the hard on this country has for football.

  6. super77 says:

    The helmets don’t seem like they’ve changed much over the years. Maybe it’s about time the NFL hired someone to develop a helmet that could reduce the amount of concussions. Or switching to flag football would put this issue to rest for good.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Spoken like somebody who’s never got speared with six inches of flag right in the ribs.

      The risks are the risks.

      Any parent who’d let their children play like suicidal ass-holes deserve to pay for life support.

    • MikeN says:

      I hope that’s sarcasm, since the helmets are vastly different. It’s true that they still go on the head.

  7. Hey! Zeus!!! says:

    Life isn’t a box of chocolates. It’s a box of shit! The only real question is, are you going to let it happen or try and fight it? Some people decide to just let it happen. Those people I call cowards!

    I’m not quite sure what to think of with Junior Seau since he seems to have taken the cowards way in the last few moments of his life. I want to say Junior was no coward since his entire life was testament to a long hard fight against the shit. Yet, the shit still won since Junior had no help when he needed it the most.

    So what we may want to ask ourselves is if we want to let another person like Junior loose to the shit or not? Because if we let it happen again what’s that say about US?!

    That said, does anyone really give a shit – for ANYONE?

    You don’t have to be religious to understand HUMANITY! Then again, you DO have to be HUMAN!

  8. msbpodcast says:

    Just put up with the fact that a great many athletes get brain damage. They get hurt in lots of other ways too.

    If you’re going to go into sports you will end up with some form of injury.

    Maybe you’ll earn enough to make it worth caring for you after your broken, and maybe you wont.

    Those are the odds you’re facing.

    I went into computing. I could have gone into professional dancing. (Or I could have continued being stupid and stayed in music.)

    Considering my progressive/relapsing MS its a good thing I found something that needed my brain rather that my brawn…

    I could have also gone into karate. I’d probably be lying in a bed somewhere looking like a pile of broken Q-Tips™ wondering what was going to happen to me.

    All in all … I lucked into the right profession.

    • Gwad his own self says:

      Nay nay nay. I’ve been a programmer for over 30 years and I have some brain damage from repetitively slamming my head onto my desk.

      Turned out that when I went to work for companies that didn’t have a sales department these injuries mostly subsided.

  9. bobbo, neutering sports nuts with their own lack of ammunition says:

    Pee Wee Football is seeing declining participation as the Parents become aware of the long term damage to players who like Seau never even had a confirmed concussion. Like mining coal–its one thing to agree to harsh working conditions for a period of time and a whole other realities to actually exchange your health for a temporary income.

    IOW–the lawsuits being brought now are not for the injuries but rather keeping the knowledge of the risk of chronic degrading injuries from the players. Now that such injuries are pretty well public, people can decide for themselves whether or not this game is worth the risks.

    I’d never let my kiddies play the game. What responsible parent would? Boxing either. Too many completely satisfying alternatives.

    Amusing to see the Gun Nuts show up with their equally insightful solutions/concerns. === Nuts come in Bunches.

  10. Captain Obvious says:

    pedro is the nation’s soccer fan.

  11. The0ne says:

    WTF is one of my hometown football heroes doing here on DU where you old farts have always been talking sht about all sports except for your gay cricket. Just too funny.

    • Dum Dum says:

      So far, NO ONE has picked up on the real issue here or even why Eidard might have even put it here. See if you can.

      Let’s see… Guns? Nope. Brain damage? Nope. NFL or “da man” keeping people down? Nope. Sports are “bad”? Nope. Anything bobo says? NOPE!

      Keep going…

  12. Bump and Grind says:

    And then there’s rugby:


    They generally don’t use their heads as a weapon, even during a scrum. Why? Because they have no helmets.

    Maybe NFL football players should wear neck padding, but no helmets. And play in sneakers without spikes. It would be interesting to see how the talent would adjust.

  13. Mr Diesel says:

    “Junior Seau had brain disease from blows to the head”

    Well duh, thank you Mr Obvious.

    • bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is a Moderate Conservative by any party not captured by the Wing Nut American Talibans says:

      The point being it is not obvious. Nothing is really obvious except for the simplest first cause and reaction.

      It takes SCIENCE to understand the world. Once it is understood and accepted, THEN its obvious.


      Should we as a society “allow” sanctioned football to continue under the theory that it is the free choice of these players to do so?…. or go all Nanny State on them for their own good?

      As a True Liberal, my vote is securely on the outlawing of such barbarity. Let them play baseball, golf, or go bowling. For the same reason we don’t let people sell their livers, hearts, pancreas, or other single organ systems. Is it not obvious this is what we sanction for our Football Sports Heros?==selling their one and only brain one hit at a time?

      Causation over time, by small accretions, … like Global Warming, Debt Crises, Gun Violence, and all other plagues againt humanity.

      Just look. ((at the evidence, theories, facts, counter evidence, theories and facts: add them up, compare—WHEEEEEEE!!! Its a ride.))

      Only a stupid bastard who hasn’t outgrown his own child hood would let his own kiddie play Football.

      • Mr Diesel says:

        My favorite team is the Chargers. Junior was my favorite player when he was with them.

        It’s sad and senseless and I would not let my child play football. I quit when I was a kid because of my size and I realized I could hurt someone. I wasn’t big on the idea of someone hurting me either. I was injured in the Navy playing flag football in a head to head collision. Flag football – full speed football only without padding or helmets. Brilliant.

        • bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is a Moderate Conservative by any party not captured by the Wing Nut American Talibans says:

          Thats true. Touch/flag football is a good game except there are too many sniveling rodents with sharp elbows–same problem in basketball. Baseball too boring…etc down the list.

          I was on a Command Wide Volleyball Team. Got some extra travel in while the rest of the squadron got to clean the base. That was fun.

          Nothing wrong with volleyball.

  14. sargasso_c says:


  15. Supreme Ultrahuman (I see the comment system is still designed for retards.) says:

    Replace it with full contact bacon eating. I like bacon.


Bad Behavior has blocked 19407 access attempts in the last 7 days.