First I would like to send my prayers to the Seau family, friends and Bolt Nation!
My first memory of Junior isn’t while he was at USC. It was when I found out we drafted a San Diego native. I was so excited to have a hometown kid playing for my hometown team. His play made me very proud of him and to be a Bolt Head. Our team had been going through some transitions over the few years preceding his arrival, the loss of Fouts, Winslow and Don Coryell still stung. Adding Seau to the team helped ease the pain.
Jumping forward to 1992. I just moved back to San Diego from Phoenix, where i was going to school. I was unable to find work in the trade I learned in Phoenix, so a friend offered to get me a job at Dairy Queen in the newly built Grossmont Center trolley station. Junior and his bride Gina moved to the Mount Helix area of La Mesa. This is when I first got to meet Junior! It was 9 pm on a Friday night when he and his wife came in for the first time. Being the cook, I didn’t do any of the cashier/order taking work. But as I looked out the 2 foot tall by 5 foot wide window where I put the cooked orders, there he was JUNIOR SEAU himself!! I was so excited, my coworkers didn’t know who he was, they didn’t follow football at all. They just didn’t get my excitement, so I explained who he was and why I was so giddy. He ordered a fried chicken sandwich and Gina ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. It was slow at the time and we were getting ready to close, so while I had the food cooking I made my way to his table and asked for a couple of autographs. I could tell his wife was very displeased with me and my request. Junior being the class act he was replied “Sure, Buddy.” ! What, wait a sec, HE CALLED ME BUDDY!!! I was so flippin happy. I personally delivered their meals and he handed me the autographs I had requested. A few minutes later the cashier came back and said I had undercooked his sandwich! After a few expletives I re-cooked his meal and delivered it again. I was so ashamed of myself and apologized at least 10 times. His reaction was “It’s ok, Bud!”. It eased my mind a little, but not much!
Moving on to February 1993. We had just lost to Miami in the Playoffs badly! Again it’s around closing time at the DQ, and in comes Mr. and Mrs. Seau. He kind of recognized me form our first interaction the year before and said “Hey Buddy”. I was happy for that and to see him again. They ordered the same thing and I got it right this time! I kind of left him alone this time, as I didn’t want to pester him again but, on his way out he gave me props for the food. I asked for a second of his time and he obliged. I asked for another autograph this time on one of my hats, he was gracious enough to give it to me. As he handed me my hat back and shook my hand I told him ” Sorry about the loss, you’ll get the Superbowl next season.” He gave me the “Junior smile” and replied “Thanks Buddy, yes we will!” That was my last personal interaction with him. We lost the Superbowl. No we got our asses kicked badly but, I feel as I help inspire Junior with my faith in him and our team.
20 years later I still feel like a major jackwagon for my mess up! But I am very thankful for my interactions with him.
Junior, Thank you for not making me feel any smaller at that time. You treated me with respect, class and as another human being. You did not act as if you were better than I, Thank you. Thank you for all the great football memories, for the personal memories and unfiltered love for San Diego County . I LOVE YOU BUDDY!!!