The Hall of Fame Speech Junior Seau’s Daughter Couldn’t Give … Roger Goodell and the NFL Get It Wrong Again … NFL Buckles Somewhat to Pressure
SHAME ON YOU NFL , ROGER GOODELL AND THE HALL OF FAME …
As the NFL Hall of Fame inducted 8 more members into the hallowed halls of Canton, Ohio something his year was definitely not right and should not be brushed over as, oh its just a policy.
Linebacker Junior Seau gave every inch of his body to the NFL and sadly, his brain as well as the hundreds if not thousands of hits caused irreparable damage to his head, mind and health. Seau was a “Super Charger” and one of the games greats who sadly passed away at the age of 43 from suicide and a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest. As his daughter Sydney Seau said, Junior Seau was an Oceanside Pirate, a U.S.C. Trojan, a Miami Dolphin, a New England Patriot, a San Diego Charger, and now he is, and forever will be, a Pro Football Hall of Famer. His daughter has stated that “the two words that exemplify my dad the most are “passion” and “love.” Everything he achieved, accomplished or set his mind to was done with both qualities. In every situation — whether it be practice, a game, a family barbecue, an impromptu ukulele song or just a run on the Oceanside Strand — he always gave you all of himself because to him, there was never any other option.” For me, as just a fan that is exactly what I saw him do on the field as a player. Is passion and leadership so late in his career appeared to be like that of someone just starting out their career. Seau played with a passion like every play could be his last and he did not just hang on to hang on. He was an inspiration until he finally retired. I had so hoped in his years with the Patriots that he could finally get that Super Bowl ring he so deserved. However, that was not to be the case.
However, what should have been the case was that Junior Seau’s family should have been able to induct him into the NFL Hall of Fame with a speech. Seau was inducted posthumously, not because he was an 85 year old veteran, but because he committed suicide from the effects of brain damage suffered over his 20 year playing career. But the NFL and the NFL Hall of Fame looked to brush that terrible dirty little secret under the Gold colored blazer. Shame on you!!! Rules are made to be broken, especially when they are for ambassadors of the game like Junior Seau, but the NFL does not want the truth behind brain injuries and damage to players to ever come out.
In his 20-year N.F.L. career, Junior Seau established himself as one of the game’s greatest linebackers. He committed suicide in 2012 at age 43 and was subsequently found to have had a degenerative brain condition linked to repeated hits to the head. Before his death, Seau told his daughter Sydney that she should speak on his behalf if he made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But the Hall, citing a five-year-old policy of not letting others give full speeches for deceased inductees, did not allow Sydney to deliver her speech.
Recorded in her hotel room in Canton, Ohio, this is the speech Sydney had hoped to deliver on Saturday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
I cannot speak for him because I am not him. I have not played in the N.F.L. for one second, let alone 20 years; I do not have past seasons to reminisce about or hilarious locker room stories to joke about. But I do have one thing, and that is unconditional love.
Your Junior Seau, your No. 55 and your buddy, was also my father. And although I didn’t know every aspect of his life, I did know one particular part very well. His athleticism and talent made him extraordinary enough to make it into the Hall, but it is his passion and heart that make him truly legendary and deserving of this tremendous honor. Tonight I would like to honor him and his legendary heart.
What the sad and pathetic NFL suits did not want said live in Canton, Ohio during Hall of Fame induction was the follwoing … Shame on you Roger Goodell and the rest of you low-lifes that would not allow a family to honor one of the NFL’s greatest linebackers because he committed suicide at the hands of the NFL turning a blind eye to concussions and the damage it reeked upon the players. But of course the air in a football is more important.
But I think what we tend to forget about our favorite invincible, unstoppable, indestructible superhumans is the minor detail that they are also human. That is something that we all must endure today without his physical presence. We cannot celebrate his life and achievement without feeling the constant piece that’s missing.
May 2, 2012, we all endured a loss. Thousands lost their all-time favorite linebacker, hundreds lost their favorite Charger, tens lost their buddy, and four lost their father. The reason why this honor is so hard to accept is because we had always envisioned him still being here to accept it.
But something that we all cannot deny is that we are all still here. We can keep working today, we can keep building our tomorrows, and we can keep praying for the rest. This superhumanlike man truly blessed us with one of the most precious gifts he could have given. He gave us his time. With that time, I know he made one hell of an imprint on my life, and from the amount of emotion and love in this room, I think we all could say the same.
Something that is hard for me to admit to myself and to you all is the fact that I miss his singing. I miss his huge mangled hands strumming on his uke, playing the only five chords he knew, to the hundreds of songs he would attempt to sing off-key. I miss him calling me Beau, my girlie middle name, and I miss him hugging me too long and too tightly, almost to the point where I couldn’t breathe.
There’s nothing I want more than to see you walk up on stage, give me a hug and tell me that you love me one last time, but that isn’t our reality. You would always say you loved me, and even after I would respond and say I loved you, too, you would look me in the eyes and say, “I love you; do you hear me?”
Well, after this speech, I hope you can hear us when we say that we love you, and I hope that this induction can exemplify the fact that you were more than just Junior Seau — you were a light, and you’re still mine. This is your speech, your moment and your honor, and to say that I’m the most proud daughter on Earth would be an understatement. Congratulations, Dad; you made it.
Watch the VIDEO here, this is what the NFL was guilted into conceding to do for a man who gave so much to the NFL and the game, including his life.
She received a similar reception Saturday as she paid tribute to her father, who was inducted posthumously, in an onstage interview after the showing of a poignant video featuring family photos and clips of his bone-crushing tackles. It was a concession made by the league, which had said it would not allow her to make an introductory speech.
After the montage, Sydney and Seau’s three sons uncloaked their father’s bronze bust to claps and cheers. Seau’s mother, who sat in the stands, wept.
“You are a light, and I want nothing more than to see you come on stage and give the speech you were meant to give, give me a hug and tell me you love me one last time,” Sydney Seau said, her voice breaking during the interview, which lasted about five minutes. “But that isn’t a reality.”
Make no mistake about it NFL … you knew damn well about the studies of the damages to the brain and what would eventually happen to these players after they retired or even during their playing days. But making money off their bodies and minds was more important to the NFL and those lucrative TV deals. To Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL suits, do not ever pretend to say you care about the players or the integrity of the game, looking the other way with concussions and the dame it caused to so many players shows exactly what you really think. But the NFL and the commissioners office would rather make a bigger deal over deflated footballs, rather than players committing suicide due to brain damage.