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Junior Seau’s style of play transcended and revolutionized the linebacker position to what it is today. His illustrious 20 year career has left an unforgettable mark in NFL history, as well as San Diego. Before the NFL was what it is today, there was no player that could match the intensity, enthusiasm and larger than life presence that Junior brought.

On the field Junior terrorized opposing offenses. A highly decorated sack machine in San Diego, Seau made multiple Pro-Bowls and helped the Chargers reach its very first Super Bowl appearance in 1994. His sack celebration is one of the most memorable celebrations in NFL history, and one that quarterbacks still have nightmares about. Although many players will often imitate his intensity, no one will ever duplicate the irrepressible spirit of Junior Seau.

He was, and for some still is, the face of the San Diego Chargers. But better yet, he epitomized San Diego. Although he had a larger than life persona on the football field, off the field he humanized himself to the community. Seau dedicated his time to help the youth tackle the trials and tribulations of life, as well as mentor aspiring athletes by guiding them away from trouble. He always opened himself up, and was more interested in how others were doing. Junior was selfless and that’s what was so intriguing and likeable about him.

Junior Seau will be forever remembered as a man that gave everything to his team, his city, and for his family. On May 2nd, 2012, San Diego lost a son, leader, and legend. Selfishly we miss and want Junior back. Although now he is at peace, his smile will continue to shine bright over San Diego. Thanks for the memories, Junior.

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The San Diego Chargers found themselves with the 16th best defense in 2011 but ranked dead last on 3rd downs.  A dimension the Chargers have lacked over the years has been a consistent pass rush and with Peyton Manning joining the division the emphasis of the 2012 draft is without a doubt defense. With glaring needs at Safety and Outside Linebacker look General Manager A.J. Smith to address these needs in the first half of the draft.

Round 1 – Pick 18

Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB, Illinois –  Assuming the Chargers don’t trade up to grab Alabama safety Mark Barron or trade down for Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, I can see A.J. Smith giving another go at an outside pass rusher. Mercilus was the nation’s sack leader with 16, but may scare some teams due to his lack of productivity before his Junior year. This could hinder his chances of not being drafted higher than pick 18. He shows natural pass rush abilities, comes quick off the edge and knows how to work his way towards the QB. He will have to learn a few more pass rush moves as he won’t be able to rely strictly on speed. With the newly acquired Jarret Johnson, any OLB drafted in this spot would split time with the vet, easing his way into the starting spot over the years.

Other possible selections: LB Dont’a Hightower, S Mark Barron, S Harrison Smith

Round 2 – Pick 49

Bruce Irvin LB/DE, West Virginia – With the top 2 safeties off the board, the Chargers could be in a position to draft another highly touted sack artist, LB/DE Bruce Irvin. Much like Mercilus, Irvin comes off the edge very quick and shows natural pass rush abilities. He has a tall lengthy build, and can be a great situational rusher. He is very similar to Aldon Smith of the 49ers in the way he uses his speed and change of direction skill to get past blockers. The safety from Boise State, George Iloka, could be targeted here too. But a great pass rush can make a secondary look elite. I can’t imagine A.J. Smith being all that thrilled about being ranked dead last on 3rd down stops last season.  In order to change that, he will have to improve this unit by any means necessary.

Other possible selections: OLB Ronnell Lewis, OLB Bobby Wagner, S George Iloka

Round 3 – Pick 78

Alameda Ta’amu DT, Washington –  Antonio Garay has fit in well as the nose tackle in a rotational defensive line, but with this pick the Chargers could finally have the true NT they’ve been looking for since the release of Jamal Williams back in 2010. A mountain of a man at 6’3” and in the 320-350lbs. range, Ta’amu is the prototype nose tackle for a 3-4 defense. The majority of the time he takes up 2 blockers which frees up other rushers and it is rare to see him get pushed backwards. He has shown he can consistently take on double team blocks, and has the ability to break through them to make the tackle. He will never be a sack leader, but his strengths against the run and taking up space in the middle make him a great fit for the Chargers pass rush.

Other possible selections: S/CB Brandon Hardin, CB, Casey Hayward, RB Ronnie Hillman

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Well, now we know why it’s taken so long. Cross him and he will destroy you. Roger Goodell will do everything in his power to maintain the integrity and image of the NFL. He has done so with his iron fist ruling heard worldwide on the infamous Bounty Gate. Like a gangster in the night, Goodell puts a bullet to the heart of the Saints organization, handing suspensions and fines to coaches and front office staff. Let’s take a look at the damage:

–    $500,000 Fine. In addition, Saints forfeit their second-round picks in the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts.

–    Head Coach Sean Payton is suspended without pay for the 2012 season, effective April 1.

–   General manager Mickey Loomis is suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2012 season. $500,000 fine.

–     Former Saints (and current St. Louis Rams) defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely from the NFL. Commissioner Goodell will review Williams’ status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him.

–    Assistant coach Joe Vitt suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2012 season. $100,000 fine.

The two worst being Head Coach Sean Payton’s year long suspension, and no eight million dollar salary for the year. The other being former Saints Defensive coordinator and bounty gate mastermind Gregg Williams being suspended indefinitely. I think it’s safe to say he will never be a coach in the NFL again.

Who knew Roger Goodell had it in him? Supposedly he had known about the Saints bounty program in the past and gave fair warning for them to stop. With Goodell being fairly new as NFL commish, the Saints didn’t take him seriously and continued to run “business as usual.” Don’t try to undermine the commissioner, in his statements about the ruling, Goodell said, “No one is above the game or the rules that govern it.” Were these suspensions harsh? Absolutely not. The time fits the crime.

The message has been sent to every team in the NFL and they better listen. Don’t cross the boss. If there were any plans for teams to continue their bounty programs, they better take a hard look at themselves, or they better start posting their resumes on Because the punishments will be equal if not harsher. He’s trying to bring justice and integrity to a game that is taking over as America’s pastime. One message the other 31 teams should take away from this: Roger Goodell may not be the guy with the biggest arms, or the man with the greatest charm, but mess with him and he will cause you a lot of harm. Roger Goodell is Batman, and justice will be served.

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Ever wonder what the reflection of perfection looked like? With his performance against Bayer Leverkusen, Lionel Messi has proven why he stands alone as the best pound for pound soccer player in the world. “Leo,” as he is known all over Barcelona, is the kind of player you have nightmares about trying to defend.  No matter how good you are, he is going to dismantle you, and that’s on a bad day when he has a calf strain…and he’s partially blind in one eye.  Messi’s recent masterpiece came during a UEFA Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen in which the Messiah humiliated opposing defenders with 5 goals. The most impressive part of the highlight was that he wasn’t even breaking a sweat.

In this day of age where every sport adopts the mantra, “bigger, stronger, faster,” Messi tortures defenders who at times may be a clear foot taller than him, while he stands a diminutive 5’6”, weighing around 150 lbs. Being this size doesn’t bother Messi, as a child he was always the smallest kid, so he focused on control and agility as he believed he was built for that style of play. He may not look like the typical athlete but watching him is like poetry in motion when it comes to controlling and scoring with a soccer ball. With a focus on technique and speed, his brilliance is seen with his disregard towards a defense’s game plan to stop him. Clearly it’s working.  He has help won multiple championships with Barcelona over the years, and he looks to add another UEFA Championship to the mantle this season.

Even with all of his success, some doubt Messi will ever reach ‘Legend’ status. Former Brazil striker Ronaldo agrees that Messi is an excellent player, but will only become a legend once he can claim a FIFA World Cup, a la Zidane and Maradona.  What may be the most impressive stat for Messi is at 24 years old he has only just begun his campaign to be the best there ever was.  So for the moment he is simply the best there is with milestone after milestone of achievements; ranging from the Ballon d’Or to FIFA World Player of the Year. And in this moment, when you’re the greatest soccer player in the world today your name transcends the sport.  You become synonymous with greatness.  So now, when an up and coming player has a great game.  They don’t call you great, they call you “Lionel Messi.”

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The anointing of Breesus came after one of New Orleans darkest moments as his stellar play captivated a culture and brought glory to a city that had been down on their luck BB. (Before Breesus). Yet after all of his accomplishments and the winning tradition he has instilled into the new generations of Saints fans, apparently he’s not good enough for the New Orleans Saints. Well that’s the message they are sending him anyways.  After days of negotiating, the Saints and Brees couldn’t agree to terms on a new contract and he was hit with the dreaded franchise tag.

Are you serious? This guy has been the crème de la crème when it comes to Quarterbacks. Defenders are aware of the dangers when they line up across from him; Warning: Playing defense against Drew Brees may be hazardous to your health. The single-season passing record holder, and Superbowl XLIV MVP, can’t seem to get his team to pay him. With all the accomplishments Brees has attained, and the community service hours he puts in, he is clearly a role model for the youth not to mention a top 5, TOP 5, fantasy draft pick every year, but this is not being acknowledged by the Saints organization. However far apart they are on money shouldn’t matter to a player like Drew Brees. With the franchise tag he is scheduled to make $14.4 million, if he signs it. Reports from many sports personalities say he won’t sign his tender. And why should he? The problem with the tag is that it doesn’t provide guaranteed years, money, or a signing bonus. He has done nothing, but lead the Saints from the bottom of the NFL barrel to one of the elite powerhouses.

Year in, year out he puts up gaudy statistics and has his team in playoff contention. His long ball is considered to be the best in the game, he is as accurate as it gets and shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 33. There have been many excuses made for why Drew Brees isn’t highly valued; coming out of college he was seen as too short. The San Diego Chargers refused to bring him back because he wasn’t supposed to recover from shoulder surgery. And now the New Orleans Saints have the honor of coming up with the latest excuse for why he is under valued…whatever that is.  If anybody hasn’t figured out yet, Drew Brees thrives on adversity. To the general public he would just look like a regular guy, Oprah had mistaken his signature mole for lipstick, but to the NFL’s diehard fans, he’s the gold standard, the best in the world. For years FOX has been telling people they have the American Idol, and they do, except he’s been on every Sunday since 2006.

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