On November 27th, just a few days after Thanksgiving, the Chargers will throw on their powder blue jerseys and welcome the Denver Broncos to Qualcomm Stadium. On that same day, they'll be welcoming long-time Charger Junior Seau into their Hall of Fame.
It's a well deserved honor for the hometown kid, who is the leader in tackles and games played by a Chargers defender. Also, while playing OLB in the Chargers' 4-3 defense, Seau managed to rack up 47 sacks (4th all time for the Chargers) and 15 interceptions (15th all time). He leads the Chargers' defensive players in fumble recoveries and is third in forced fumbles.
I'll applaud Junior when he's inducted, and will appreciate why his name will be plastered inside of Qualcomm and whatever stadium the Chargers play at next, but (like many other Chargers fans) I still have bittersweet feelings towards the man that made offensive players "Say-Ow!"
The way in which Seau embraced the Boston community as a member of the Patriots seemed stronger than what he had done in San Diego, his own home town. It was certainly more than he had done when a member of the Miami Dolphins.
He retired, or "graduated", in San Diego and then un-retired to play with the Patriots. Was it because the Patriots were the only team interested? No, it was because they were the only team that Junior was interested in playing for anymore. The message from Junior to Chargers fans felt loud and clear: The Patriots are my team.
When he was making Pro Bowls (12 times, all as a member of the Chargers), there was nobody more fun to watch before, during and after a play than Seau. That will mean a lot to me one day. I just wish I had more time to think about that and I wish could sit through the ceremony in November without that Patriots wound being so fresh. I don't think I'm the only one.