Tiaina Baul “Junior” Seau is widely considered to be among the best linebackers in NFL history, a ten-time All-Pro, a twelve-time Pro Bowl selection, and a first-ballot entrant into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But in 2012, just two years after retiring from football, Junior Seau committed suicide. Studies of his brain by the National Institutes of Health concluded that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease often caused by repeated hits to the head. Seau’s suicide spawned numerous investigations into the brains of deceased NFL players, and many were found to have CTE.
Drawing on exclusive access to Seau’s family as well as Seau’s never-before-seen diaries and letters, Jim Trotter paints a moving and revealing portrait of a larger-than-life sports star whose achievements on the field were rivaled by his personal demons.