To Commissioner Roger Goodell -
As the Commissioner of the National Football League, you have been forced to make many difficult decisions over the course of your tenure, and you have made them all with integrity and conviction. Many of those decisions flew in the face of conventional wisdom, and yet they were made for the betterment of the league as a whole. Another such case has arisen with the tragic and untimely death of an NFL icon, former 12-time Pro-Bowl Linebacker Junior Seau.
As a 20-year veteran of the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots, Seau was always a cornerstone of the defenses that he played on, the communities he represented, and the NFL as a whole. He played the game with dedication, conviction, and integrity. The argument could certainly be made that Seau was one of the most influential defensive players, as well as personalities, of the league that he so proudly represented. In an era when there are constant reminders of inappropriate player conduct, Junior Seau always conducted himself in a manor that was consistent with the image that the NFL has worked so hard to cultivate. He was a great player, an exemplary mentor to young players, and the ideal role model to children all over the world who looked up to him. In short, he was the perfect NFL Player. These many characteristics are the reason that Junior Seau should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame sooner rather than later.
I understand the nature of rules; they are there for a reason; to govern the policies and procedures of a league that has become one of the biggest sport entities in the world, and most certainly a multi-billion dollar industry. There may be no other sport in the world (with the possible exception of soccer), that has a larger influence on sports fans as a whole, and children in specific. Waiving the five-year waiting period for induction into The Hall would be the appropriate thing to do not only for Seau and his family, who have suffered a devastating loss, but also for millions of fans and children all over the world that put this man up on a pedestal, and for good reason. There are many rules that cannot be bent or circumvented due to the ramifications and consequences that they carry, but in my view, this is not one of them; there can be no harm, or negative consequence to making this exception to this rule in this specific case. The upsides are numerous, to both the family that has lost a dearly loved member, and to the fans and NFL community as a whole, who I believe would support this decision unanimously.
In my eyes, this is an exception and decision that should be a slam-dunk in all fashions, and appears to have absolutely no downside or negative ramifications. I would ask on behalf of all NFL fans in the U.S. and worldwide that you consider doing the difficult, yet proper thing in the case of Junior Seau and do whatever it takes to ensure that the 5-year waiting period is waived in his case, and put Junior Seau up on the ultimate pedestal, a pedestal that we all know he unquestionably deserves, an enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. The honor is well deserved, and should be bestowed upon him and his family sooner, rather than later.
Donnie Herron Jr.
Written by Donnie Herron Jr. on May 3rd, 2012