Lee Roy Selmon was a legend in the football world. He was a Hall of Fame defensive end who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of Oklahoma. He was known for his fierce pass-rushing skills, his gentle personality, and his leadership on and off the field. He was also the first player ever drafted by the Buccaneers, and the first player from the franchise to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But on September 4, 2011, Selmon’s life came to a tragic end. He suffered a massive stroke at his home in Tampa, Florida, and died later that day at the age of 56. His death shocked and saddened his family, friends, fans, and former teammates and coaches. He left behind a legacy of excellence, generosity, and inspiration that will never be forgotten.
The Cause of Selmon’s Stroke
According to ESPN, Selmon’s stroke was caused by a ruptured aneurysm in his brain. An aneurysm is a bulge or weakness in a blood vessel that can burst and cause bleeding in the brain. A stroke occurs when the blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted, resulting in brain damage or death.
The exact cause of aneurysms is not known, but some factors that may increase the risk include high blood pressure, smoking, family history, age, and gender. According to Mayo Clinic, aneurysms are more common in women than men, and in people over 40 years old.
Some symptoms of an aneurysm or a stroke include sudden severe headache, nausea, vomiting, vision problems, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, numbness, or paralysis on one side of the body. However, some aneurysms may not cause any symptoms until they rupture.
The Impact of Selmon’s Death
Selmon’s death was mourned by many people who knew him or admired him. His family issued a statement saying that they were “grateful for all the prayers and support” they received. His former coach at Oklahoma, Barry Switzer, called him “the greatest player I ever coached” and “a wonderful human being”. His former coach at Tampa Bay, John McKay, said that he was “a great player and an even greater person”.
Selmon’s death also raised awareness about the dangers of strokes and aneurysms. Many people paid tribute to him by wearing his jersey number 63 or by donating to charities that support stroke research and prevention. Some of these charities include the American Stroke Association, the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, and the Lee Roy Selmon Foundation.
Selmon’s legacy lives on through his family, his foundation, his restaurant chain (Lee Roy Selmon’s), and his impact on football. He is remembered as one of the best defensive players of all time, as well as one of the most humble and kind-hearted people ever. He is an example of how to live a life of excellence and grace.