Junior Seau‘s love for football was easy to realize, as the linebacker played the game his entire life, including two decades in the NFL. His love for surfing, however, was a little less known.
In the days following his suicide, though, Seau’s life away from the football field has been remembered as well, including his life for surfing. That love, along with Seau’s memory, were honored Sunday in Oceanside, Calif.
Seau’s family, friends and fans gathered for a “paddle-out” ceremony to honor the late linebacker’s legacy. Among those participating in the ceremony was New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who played with Seau in San Diego in 2001 and 2002.
“Junior always cared so much about his teammates,” Brees told the NFL Network. “He always wanted to know how you were doing, how I could help you, and I think that’s what I’ll remember most about Junior. Just the smile on his face, his attitude and his infectious personality.”
Another former teammate, John Carney, was also in attendance, as Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog points out.
“So many people out here have a story about when he told them a joke, or bought them a meal, signed their jersey or encouraged their child,” the former Chargers kicker told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re all grieving the loss of a great man who had so much positive impact on San Diego.”
The Union-Tribune reported that several hundred people were in attendance.