Junior Seau: The Lightning Bolt (Shutdown Corner)
For 13 years, there was a lightning bolt on the side of Junior Seau's helmet. As the logo for the San Diego Chargers, the bolt was there to symbolize energy, electricity, and light. The bolt decal seemed to fade when it was on Seau's helmet, though, because he was energy, electricity and light. It was like putting a pair of headlights on the sun. If energy, electricity and light were the qualities you were looking for, your eyes made their way to Seau on their own. He had unbounded energy on the football field. You couldn't help but notice him. Before the snap, Seau looked like he was caged by the line of scrimmage; like all this energy was bursting forth, and if he didn't get to attack the offense in the next few seconds, we'd see a supernova explosion right there between the tackle and the defensive end. For years at a time, Seau was the only thing about the Chargers worth observing. He was there in '90 and '91, when the Chargers were trying to overcome Billy Joe Tolliver and John Friesz. He was, of course, there in '94 when Bobby Ross had helped right the ship and the Chargers were AFC Champions. He was there through Kevin Gilbride and June Jones. He was there when the Chargers pinned their hopes to Ryan Leaf. He was there for 1-15. Remarkably, through all of this, Seau was the same guy. He didn't play any harder on January 29, 1995, when 83.4 million people were watching him in Super Bowl XXIX, than he did on December 24 th in 2000, when the 1-14 Chargers had to play out the string against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seau's trademark energy and electricity were there on every play, in every game, whether a world championship was on the line, or one of Craig Whelihan's two career victories. It never felt like Seau played for anything that he stood to gain from an outstanding effort ? it looked like he played simply because there was football to be played, and if you're going to do something, why not pour your entire being into it?
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