Junior Seau took his own life on Wednesday, and it's come as gut-wrenching, shocking news to the sports world and beyond. Those who knew him have shared their favorite memories of him all afternoon, but one stands out. It comes from Eric Olsen, an offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, who remembers meeting Seau at a football camp back when he was a high school freshman.
As he remembered on Twitter:
Wow this is a tough one.. When I was a frosh 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 to 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.
Seau's death is still confusing, and it'll take longer than an afternoon before we can begin to process this news rationally. For now, the only certainty is this: Between the family and friends who loved him, fans who looked up to him, and the countless people like Olsen, whose life he changed without ever really knowing it, Junior Seau will be missed forever. R.I.P.