Junior Seau and Hank Bauer were friends right up to the horrible, inconceivable finish.

"I'd say Junior had a small inner circle of very close friends," Bauer said, "and I'd put myself in the second circle, which was much larger. I didn't see anything coming and I'm not sure anyone in the inner circle saw anything coming, either."

Seau and Bauer also had much in common. As beloved Chargers of different eras, they played hard, practiced hard and had great passion for the game. They recklessly threw their bodies around. The big difference now is that Bauer, an analyst for Chargers radio broadcasts, is alive, and Seau took his own life in May.

Last week the National Institute of Health announced it discovered Seau suffered from a debilitating brain disease that probably (no certainty) was caused by more than 20 years of playing football, and also could have led to dark moments and eventually suicide.