“NFL News-Makes You Ache”
It was such an empty feeling when I got the new alert on my cell phone.
Another NFL player I knew, had passed away, this one at the age of 38.
It brought an overwhelming sense of sadness to hear about the longtime and popular Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department has begun an investigation, how a popular player would be found deceased in an extended stay hotel room outside Tampa.
It seems as if this will end badly when we find out the cause of death.
It is sad to think of such a popular player and person, with a family of five, would die alone.
You wonder what had happened to him recently, to live away from his family since January 11th.
The missing person’s report. Report of some type of estrangement.
The shock and disbelief from the Tampa Bay organization is echoed by the same things said by recent Bucs and former Chargers teammates, who had been in touch with him as recently as Super Bowl week.
A self-made player, who became a star, and made alot of money, did a ton of things on and off the field, would come to an end like this.
Police say there was no foul play. No mention of a suicide, a robbery, or a struggle in that room.
Did he pass of a heart attack? Of a stroke? Of a blood clot?
Was there a downturn in his mental health? Was he overtaken by what might be the onset of CTE.
He had no history of concussions while with the Chargers nor Bucs. His decade long career ended with knee injuries in Tampa Bay.
He was special.
Born into a military family, both father and mother in the Air Force. Raised up right. Played at Division II-Northern Colorado.
Was a higher than normal draft pick.
Became a go to-big play guy for Philip Rivers during a really special Chargers era. Went to Tampa Bay as a big money free agent and excelled.
The NFL record books will show (540) receptions…(16.5) yards per catch…(57) touchdown catches. Highlite video of his big plays are everywhere.
What it won’t show you was his “83-Foundation” work…the charity work he did with military families at Camp Pendleton and Miramar. What he did at McDill Air Force Base with deployed families in Tampa.
He was unique too, in that he was one of the few Chargers who said ‘thank you’ to me, a working guy in the media. It was a note after I congratulated him on his free agent contract in Tampa Bay. Thanked me for being so-fair to him in the midst of his initial contract dispute with the Chargers front office.
lt just causes you an ache to think of his life ending badly, ending alone, ending without anyone knowing what was going on.
Good kid, became a great player, and a special person.