Saturday, May 12, 2012

And a Final Word from Dan Fouts

Dan Fouts cautioned the crowd gathered at the Q honoring Junior. He knew he had been invited to add his encomium to those of Chargers in the Hall of Fame or destined to arrive their shortly. But he couldn’t help it. His final paragraph had to remind people that it was senseless why they were here on this particular day and not in 2052, when this celebration should have been scheduled. "The thing is," he said, "is that as players we're taught to fight through injuries ... and to play ... and blah, blah, blah ... because I don't need help; I can get off the field myself. And I think that mentality has got to change, and I think it is ... even if it's slowly. "But the mentality that you can do it yourself -- that you don't need help for whatever it is, because the help is out there -- is a problem. Because, as ballplayers, you have to be so tough and not show weakness ... ever. And I think that has led to some players' demise." So Dan Fouts was teaching us again. Even if the Seau family, classy through their private and public turmoil, were not big into messages being delivered in the wake of their hero’s celebration, one couldn’t argue the point. Despite Juniors’ hold on San Diego for the past 20 years plus, despite his generosity, his football legacy and his megawatt smile, despite this all, his actions have left many lives with holes in their psyche they will live with for the rest of their days on earth. Why? Because Junior never once asked for help. Maybe you can argue that flying his Escalade off a cliff after a domestic violence incident was indeed a very specific request for help and I am not one to give you a clinician’s point of view. I am just here to thank the man whom I honor by wearing his Charger jersey. Thank you again. Dan Fouts.

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