Sunday, March 6, 2016

Book Review: Junior Seau: The Life and Death of a Football Icon by Jim Trotter

Junior Seau: The Life and Death of a Football Icon by Jim Trotter

Hardcover, 240 pages

Published October 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

It is really easy as football fans to forget that the players are human beings. If you are a casual fan of the sport you might only watch games and it is easy to forget. Jim Trotter has done an amazing job painting a picture of the human being Junior Seau. After hearing Totter do many radio interviews to promote the book locally it was clear the respect and love the author had for the man and his family. If you think this a glowing celebration of his life without realistically looking at the man's faults you'd would be wrong.

The most impressive aspects of the book center on that tightrope the author walked of celebrating the accomplishments, and fun loving public persona while shining a light on the man's demons. There is alot of information packed into the short 214 page count. Junior was know for his friendly and giving nature off the field and being a straight killer on the field. This explains where the player grew up through stories that reveal his competitive nature. I enjoyed the background on his career as Charger and dreaded the eventual tragedy that came with the end to his life.

Jim Trotter doesn't gloss over the controversy, perhaps he doesn't hit it as hard as Frontline did but this was Junior's story and it was not Trotter's job to break down CTE. I'll tell you the story about Jason Taylor almost losing one of his legs was the story that blew me away. The end of Junior's story was sad and awful but it was one I am glad I read.

Me personally it was important to read this book. In my position as a co-founder and organizer of Save Our Bolts. Junior is one if not the most important player in Chargers history. As we gear up for the fight to pass a vote that get the franchise a new stadium, the legacy and the history of the team is key. I believe teaching the legacy of the Chargers is so important to convincing San Diego to vote for the stadium.

I had to learn it myself, you see I never watched Junior Seau play. LT is the reason I became a Chargers fan. I grew-up in Indiana and my family were IU basketball and Football season ticket holders. We were there when Bob Knight threw the chair, but as a teenager I got into horror movies and punk rock and I didn't watch sports for almost 15 years. When Junior took the Bolts to the super bowl in 1994 I was going to Wright State in Dayton. My life was studying history, my life was music and animal rights activism. I never heard of the guy honestly. When I first moved to San Diego my bank gave us Chargers themed checks and didn't even realize that my new city had team. A few years later LT, Brees and Marty Ball made me a fan.

The Chargers became important to me, and so did learning the history of the team. I found videos online was games throughout the teams history and watched them. I went back and watched Junior play in youtube videos of the AFC Championship win against Pittsburgh. For the younger fans who didn't live through this era they NEED to read this book.

This book is a must for Chargers fans, but really any football has alot to get out of it.

Junior Highlights...

Frontline segment on Junior...

1 comment:

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