10/15/2012 09:05 am ET

Junior Seau: Song Of Sorrow

In 2009, his 20th and final season in the NFL, Junior Seau discovered a new obsession that would help ease his transition into retirement. A friend presented him a ukulele, and Seau instantly fell in love with its breezy, Hawaiian sounds. Never mind that he couldn’t carry a tune or that he didn’t know all of the words to any songs. And it certainly didn’t matter that after two decades as one of the greatest defensive players in pro football history, he possessed “linebacker hands.” His massive fingers were arthritic, misshapen, swollen and scarred, thanks to having been stomped on in piles, again and again, by teammates and opponents wearing cleats.

Read more on UT San Diego