Junior Seau: Latest victim of the 'curse of the Chargers'
Junior Seau, found dead Wednesday after an apparent suicide, became the eighth player of the 1994 San Diego Chargers Super Bowl team to die before the age of 45.
As reported by Digital Journal
, the body of Seau, 43, was found by a housekeeper in his California home. He died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Seau played for the Chargers between 1990 and 2002 and played in Super Bowl XXIV that saw the Chargers defeated by the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26.
The first member of the team to die prematurely was David Griggs. The linebacker was killed on June 20, 1995 after his car drove off a turnpike ramp and crashed into a pole. The Orlando Sentinel
reported Gregg had a blood alcohol level at the time of .16; twice the legal limit in the state of Florida. Griggs was 28 at the time of his death.
On May 11, 1996, Rodney Culver was a passenger on ValuJet Flight 592 that took off from Miami bound for Atlanta. Shortly after takeoff, smoke was detected in the cockpit and the plane was ordered to return to Miami. National Geographic
reported that after smoke was discovered, shouts of "fire, fire,fire," were recorded on the cockpit flight recorder. The plane went down in the Everglades killing eveyone on board. The running back was 26 at the time of his death.
The Daily Mail
reports that linebacker Doug Miller, 28, was camping on the banks of the Colorado River in July 2008 when he was struck and killed by two bolts of lightening.
Curtis Whitely, another member of the Super Bowl team, was 39 years old when his body was discovered in Fort Stockton, Texas, on May 11, 2008. As reported by Zimbio
, Whitely had been battling a drugs and alcohol and had admitted using crystal meth. He had a previous charge for drinking and driving and had been suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy.
Chris Mims, a defensive lineman, was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment on October 15, 2008. He played with the Chargers from 1992 until 1996. As reported by the San Diego Union Tribune
, there were no signs of foul play and the 38-year-old was found to have died from heart failure.
Shawn Lee was 44 on Feb. 26, 2011, when he died. USA Today
reports the defensive lineman, who spent six seasons with the Chargers, died from cardiac arrest that was brought on by double pneumonia.
The last player to die prior to Seau was Lew Bush
. The linebacker, who played for San Diego for seven seasons, died of a heart attack on Dec.8, 2011. He was 42 years old.
It is not just the 1994 Chargers team that is believed to be cursed but the city of San Diego itself. As reported by the Daily Mail
, San Diego is the largest American city that has never had a professional sports team that won a championship.