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What People Are Saying About Junior Seau's Passing
3:35 AM, May 2, 2012
Mayor Jerry Sanders:"Junior Seau was one of the most electrifying athletes in San Diego sports history. He was a passionate figure who gave the game of football -- and Chargers' fans everywhere -- everything he had.His passion for the San Diego region was also felt through his charitable work, which did so much good in so many ways."The San Diego Chargers:"Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now. We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family."Tom Garfinkel, President of the San Diego Padres:"Everyone in the Padres organization is deeply saddened by the news of Junior Seau's passing. He was a great San Diegan and an inspiration, not only on the playing field, but in how he positively impacted people's lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Seau family, friends and the Chargers organization during this difficult time."Chargers President Dean Spanos:"I can't put into words how I'm feeling right now. I'm shocked and devastated. Junior was my friend. We all lost a friend today. Junior was an icon in our community. He transcended the game. He wasn't just a football player, he was so much more. He was loved by everyone in our family, our organization and throughout the NFL. This is just such a tragic loss. One of the worst things I could ever imagine. My prayers go out to Junior's family. It's heartbreaking."Head Coach Norv Turner:"I have no words to describe the passing of Junior Seau. It is a sad, sad day for not only me, but for the whole sports community. I worked with Junior here and later in Miami. I can tell you no one had more character and true leadership ability than Junior. He brought passion to the game of football that was unmatched. His commitment to charitable causes in the community was inspiring. It was an honor to know him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith:The NFL Players Association is saddened to hear of the passing of Junior Seau, a terrific player and teammate. The 12-time Pro Bowler achieved a level of success on the field that is unparalleled and his off-the-field service accomplishments are beyond admirable. The All-Decade Team linebackers career spanned an incredible 20 seasons, and Junior Seaus determination and passion for the game will always be remembered in the hearts and minds of the fans. The NFLPA player family today joins with the Seau family to mourn a brother lost too soon.Oceanside Unified School District"Today's passing of former Oceanside High School standout Junior Seau is a huge loss for his family, the Oceanside Community and our district. Junior personally contributed many positive things to those residing in North County, most particularly his alma mater, Oceanside High School.Junior was quite loyal to his Samoan heritage and community, and was an inspiration to many of the young people and community members whose lives he touched here in Oceanside. The district is saddened to learn of his passing and extends its utmost condolences to the Seau family."Former Chargers quarterback Stan Humphries:"The first thing is just the energy, the excitement that he had every day. I don't think he could wait to get to the facility every day to practice, to watch the game tape, to get on the practice field, to get in the weight room. I know when I came there he'd been in the league for two years and when I first got there, you heard about Junior but when you actually saw him, the youth that he brought out in you was what stood out. I looked at that team back then with guys like Gill Byrd, Gary Plummer, Leslie O'Neal, veteran guys, but then you see this guy with all the youthful energy and I think he gave a lot of the older guys a little fire and brought a little of that youthfulness back to them as well. He played the game instinctively, he studied the film and did some things on his own just off film study that allowed him to make huge plays. I remember times playing with him and also times flying home on the plane with him, just getting to know him as a person. I feel bad for his kids and his family. At that young of an age, it's just horrible."Former Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal (via Twitter):"Today the world is not a better place we lost one of our legends. Sad to Hear about my good friend and brother Junior Seau Passing. He was a great man to his family and the community he was a great example of sportsmanship and he had such a big heart for everyone he was someone i could talk to I'm at a loss for words this one really hit me hard. I Love you and will miss you my dear friend .To His Family i love you all and you are in my Prayers One Luv Lo Neal."Former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson:"I don't know what to say. I'm hurt. It's hard to put to words how I feel right now. I learned how to be a pro because of him. I learned how to start a foundation and work in the community because of him. I learned how to relate to people because of him fans signing autographs. I'm just hurt. He's an icon I looked up to my entire life before I got to San Diego. Even to this day. It's a numb feeling in my heart right now."Former Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard (who drafted Seau):"Junior was one of the two players we drafted that I thought if you ever drew a player up that was the complete package, it would be Junior and Rodney (Harrison). Junior was such an incredible football player, and as far as being just a great person, I just love Junior. I'd see him in the summer when I'd go up to Oceanside to surf (and) we'd get together. He was such a big thing for the community. I think a lot of the people that came to our games were there to see Junior. You never had to motivate Junior. He motivated everybody else. He had energy. He played like you hope every player would play. He practiced the same way he played. I haven't seen the whole time I was in the NFL I don't know if I've ever seen anybody like Junior that had it all. Just a great guy. He loved playing the game. He loved his teammates. He loved life. For the life of me I certainly can't understand what went wrong or what happened. But I love Junior as a player and as a friend. You always look in the Draft when you're getting ready to draft and think, 'could we every be fortunate enough to get someone like Junior?' Doesn't happen very often."Former Chargers kicker John Carney:"I'm shocked and heartbroken at the news. Being a friend and teammate of Junior's was a highlight of my career. The positive influence he spread among teammates, coaches, fans, and even opposing teams is unmatched. He'll be greatly missed." Former Chargers head coach Bobby Ross:"I'm totally shocked and very, very saddened by the whole thing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, to his children and to his parents, and all of those very, very special people there. Junior, to me, was the epitome of what a football player was. The words that come to me are passion for the game. Passion for life. Intensity for the game. Intensity for life. Team player. One of the best I've ever been around in that respect. Tremendous team player. Tremendous leader. Tremendous leader on our football team. Love for the game. He was always the first to arrive and the last to leave each and every day of practice. Great practice player. One of the absolute best I've ever coached at any level. He used to frustrate our offensive coaches from time to time because of intensity at practice and his instincts. A guy that prepared greatly. He was always early in to study film. At the same he was tremendously instinctive. He relied on his instincts. But I believe a lot of those instincts were a result of preparation that he did in film preparation. I don't know of a player in the National Football League that had a greater effect on the community in which he played, than Junior Seau. The people in San Diego literally loved him. And he loved them. It was unbelievable the way they took to another. I don't know that there has been anyone that has done that much for their particular community they played in than Junior Seau. He was always upbeat. I never saw him down at any time in my experiences with him. He seemed to be very happy all the time. I think that's why this is such a shock to so many people because he was such a positive person and such an upbeat person. But I'm sure most of us probably never expected anything was going on in his life. My last experience I heard from him on this golf outing that he recently had. He had wrote me a letter of thanks. His last words were, 'love you coach.' I'll cherish that. I only wish I had been able to be out there with him during that particular outing."Former Chargers center Courtney Hall (via Twitter):Thanks everyone. My thoughts go out to his family and children. This is so heartbreaking. I have not spoken with him directly in a while, but I will always remember his easy smile, big laugh, and loving spirit. The person you saw play with so much emotion on the field is the same personality he displayed off of it.Former Dolphins Jason Taylor:"I'm shocked and saddened. Devastated, really. Junior was one of the most positive, uplifting people I have ever known. He was always full of life and energy and had an infectious spirit that lifted everyone around him. Junior called everyone 'buddy' and treated them like he had known them forever. It would be easy for me to say he was a great friend and teammates, and a tremendous competitor, but that would be selling Junior short. Junior Seau was an individual of great honor and integrity, a leader of men and someone with a deep-rooted passion for giving of himself to make the people, the community and especially the children around him better. This is an immeasurable loss for so many. My heart and prayers go out to Junior's family, Gina and their children. I'm going to miss you buddy."Saints quarterback Drew Brees (via Twitter):"So sad to hear about (Junior). Junebug. Buddy. The greatest teammate a young guy could ask for. This is a sad day. He will be missed greatly."Chargers defensive tackle Antonio Garay (via Twitter):"Words cannot explain the sadness I feel right now for the loss of Junior Seau. My prayers & love go out to his family. Junior was a man that symbolized passion both on & off the field. I pray that everyone can learn to live every moment as passionate as Junior did. You will be greatly missed buddeeee."NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:"All of us are deeply saddened about Junior Seau, a great player loved by teammates who also worked hard to serve his community. Junior and his family will remain in our thoughts."Denver Broncos former QB and current Executive VP of Football Operations John Elway:"I had the pleasure of playing against Junior for many years. He played the game the way it was meant to be played. We shared a lot of laughs from our AFC West battles when I saw Junior before he was inducted into the Chargers HOF in November. Junior was a true competitor and a special player. My heartfelt condolences go out to the Seau family."Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix:"I am deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Junior Seau. This is such a tragedy and his passing will be felt by many. Junior was a great player in this league for so many years and he embodied that competitive spirit that all the great linebackers possess. My deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to his children and his entire family, his friends, the Spanos family and the Chargers organization." Former Broncos linebacker Eric Olsen (via Twitter):"When I was a (freshman) in HS, Junior Seau worked the Jay Fiedler Football camp and at the end of one of the days he challenged anyone to a 1 on 1. Being one of the 'big' kids, I was volunteered by my buddies and went up in front of the whole camp to face this monster of a man. Shaking in my cleats, he gave me a wink before a coach gave the cadence. He let me pancake him. And he sold it too. I can't even tell you how good I felt at that moment; it changed me forever. The whole camp cheered for me, a chubby kid that didn't know if he even liked football. From then on I was addicted. All thanks 2 this 10 time all-pro that felt like making some snot-nosed kid's day. Doesn't seem like much but it meant a lot to me. Sorry for the essay just had to share. RIP Junior I'll never forget what you did for me."