In the Charger locker room, everyone was loose and animated, except for Seau, who still seemed locked in a zone. "You can never measure character," he said. "You can never measure heart. You saw it out there today. You don't know whether to cry, to laugh, to smile. This is a great moment for San Diego and for everyone in the organization. That's how big this is."
Then Seau put on his clothes—a multicolored bathing suit, a green-hooded SAY OW pullover, white sneakers, no socks—kissed his wife, Gina, and walked silently to the team bus. All around him, teammates were being detained by autograph seekers and well-wishers and family members, but no one dared stop Seau. He walked purposefully to the bus and boarded, saying nothing, conveying everything.