The apparent suicide of former NFL star Junior Seau brings to the forefront...once again...the possible effects of head trauma in the NFL. Seau's situation is very comparable to the suicides of former NFL stars Dave Duerson and Andre Waters...both of whom shot themselves in the chest after suffering from depression, dementia and other symptoms related to constant head trauma. In Duerson's case...he even left a note indicating he shot himself in the chest so as not to damage his brain so it could be studied for possible injuries sustained while playing the game he loved dearly.
The NFL has a very real problem on their hands and it continues to snowball with a ferocity rarely seen. Lawsuits by former players claiming head injuries as a result of playing the game are mounting...former players continue to take their lives....and lawyers are lining up to take a shot at a $3 billion dollar a year industry trying to stay in front of it all. But can they? I don't think so because the bottom line is there is nothing to protect a human beings brain from being sloshed around inside their skull when colliding with a 300 pound of granite...period! Helmets protect against contusions...broken noses...and jaws...not brain injuries. On top of that....human beings are just to big and fast anymore. Blame it on performance enhancing drugs or evolution...or both....either way when you have 280 pound men running 4.7 40's colliding with each other....something has to give...and in most cases....it's a player's mental state. I just read a recent report where playing in one NFL game would be the equivalent of 20 low impact car crashes a day. Can you imagine?
Junior Seau will be in the Hall of Fame someday. He had a magnificent career spanning 2 decades...but how many times in those 20 years did this warrior step back on the field after suffering a concussion? We will never know the answer to that question but I think we all know why this 43 year old man decided to put a gun to his chest and pull the trigger......brain trauma brought on by years of playing a game that can break down even the strongest of it's participants.