Reports of Junior Seau's passing surfaced Wednesday morning and many surely had the same reaction to the awful news.
Junior Seau will always be remembered by the masses as one of the most passionate and talented football players to ever step foot on the field.
He had great size, speed and playmaking ability - but what made No.55 so special was the spirit, love and passion that he brought to his craft and to those who watched him.
Seau, was one of the few players, like Magic Johnson in basketball or Kirby Puckett in baseball, that drew fans in because they played with the enthusiasm of a child, which made us all feel young in turn.
He could seemingly will his team to a win, as he did several times, with the usually overmatched San Diego Chargers. It didn't matter if the opposition ran right at him or tried to run away from him, Seau was always up for the task.
He was the definition of a hometown hero - born in San Diego, the Oceanside High School standout accepted a football scholarship and went on to become a star linebacker at USC. He then returned home as the No.5 pick of the Chargers in the 1990 NFL draft.
Because of his tremendous talent on the field and generous spirit in the community the proud Polynesian quickly joined Tony Gwynn as the face of San Diego sports.
In his NFL career, Seau was selected to the Pro Bowl twelve times, led the Chargers to an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX, and was an unquestioned team leader for the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots.
While we all mourn the loss of this legendary man in our own way, no one will be left with a bigger void than those closest to him, so please keep the Seau Family in your thoughts during this incredibly difficult time.
Rest in Peace.
(Getty Images/Mike Powell)