Junior Seau Drives Off Cliff, Walks Away

The retired superstar linebacker drove off a 30 foot cliff at 70 mph and walked away with barely a scratch.

The story of ex-superstar linebacker Junior Seau is sad:

Junior Seau drove his SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad, Calif., on Monday, just hours after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence toward his live-in girlfriend, reports KGTV-TV in San Diego.

The former NFL linebacker, 41, was reportedly released from the Vista Detention Facility at approximately 2 a.m. Shortly after, Seau then drove his Cadillac over the cliff.

Carlsbad police responded to a 911 call of a single vehicle off the road. Seau’s car was found on the beach 30 feet below the roadside. After being rescued, the athlete was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

Aside from apparently beating his girlfriend severely enough that he was charged with a felony, he reportedly drove his Escalade off the cliff at a very high rate of speed without braking.  The obvious speculation is attempted suicide.

But my initial thought upon hearing the story was:  Holy crap, this man drove off a 30 foot cliff at 70 mph and walked away with barely a scratch!  That tells you something about what it takes to play 20 years in the NFL.

Something like twenty-five years ago, I watched a program where Lynn Swann was talking about life as an NFL wide receiver.   He said that a good way to practice for it would be to have a friend throw you footballs . . .  and have a second friend hit you as hard as he could with a baseball bat while you where trying to catch them.   The game has gotten faster and more violent since then.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. tom p says:

    “Aside from apparently beating his girlfriend severely enough that he was charged with a felony, ”

    Truth is James, one does not have to beat any body (severely or otherwise) to get arrested for a felony. That is why we have trials where the “he said, she said” gets sorted out. (and no, just cause she went to the hospital with several contusions does not make him guilty)

  2. James Joyner says:

    Perhaps I should have said “allegedly” rather than “apparently.” But the subsequent (apparent) suicide attempt lends suspicion.

    This is just another in a long series of datapoints showing that, just because we thing a given celebrity is a good guy — and I certainly thought that of Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, and Seau — it ain’t necessarily so.

  3. tom p says:

    “just because we thing a given celebrity is a good guy and I certainly thought that of Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, and Seau — it ain’t necessarily so.”

    Indeed, Junior was always one of my favorites… but then, I guess maybe he was only human too.

  4. Holy crap, this man drove off a 30 foot cliff at 70 mph and walked away with barely a scratch! That tells you something about what it takes to play 20 years in the NFL.

    I think it tells you more about how well engineered the safety systems on modern cars are.

  5. James Joyner says:

    I think it tells you more about how well engineered the safety systems on modern cars are.

    Yeah, that too. But, man, I don’t want to try driving off a 30 foot cliff at 70 mph in my car.

  6. *calculates* If you drove off a 30 foot cliff at 70mph, you’d hit the ground at 76mph at an angle of 23 degrees off horizontal (ignoring any effects of air resistance). So: 1) the impact is actually a pretty glancing blow and 2) far slower than a head on collision on a highway.

  7. Hmmm, on further calculation though, the vehicle is going to rotate about 110 degrees on the way down (although for purposes of calculation replaced the escalade with a sphere), so even though it’s not moving that fast and is at an oblique angle, it’s probably going to end up upside down.