SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Chargers will retire the No. 55 worn by the late linebacker Junior Seau before Sunday's home opener against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium.
Seau, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound May 2 at his Oceanside beachfront home, was a 12-time All-Pro known for his ferocious style of play and prolific community service. He was one of San Diego's most popular professional athletes and now no other Charger football player will ever wear No. 55 on his jersey.
"He's just a special, unique person," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "If you got to spend time with him, you know what I'm talking about. It's very fitting that we would honor him at our home opener."
The Chargers will wear white jerseys together with white pants for the first time since their new uniforms were introduced in 2007. They are asking fans to dress in all white, following a practice introduced by the NHL's Winnipeg Jets in 1987.
"Imagine a stadium all in white, unified behind the team dressed in all white," Chargers CEO A.G. Spanos said.
"It will be loud. It will be impressive. It will be intimidating and it will give our players a huge emotional boost and even stronger home field advantage."
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers called himself "a big fan of wearing all white."
"We did it a lot in college and the few times that we've gotten to do it here with the old throwback uniforms," Rivers said. "I thought those were the best-looking uniforms that we've worn.
"The fans and the energy that they bring make this a tough place for other teams to come and play. I know that our team feeds off that energy."
When asked if he thought wearing all-white jerseys would help the Chargers win, Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, who played with the team from 1973-87, said, "If they think it's going to help, then I guess it will help. I personally think the team that has the better players usually wins, regardless of what they're wearing."
Wearing white on a hot, sunny day "is definitely going to help physically," said Fouts, who will be the analyst on CBS' telecast of the game, which will air locally on KFMB-TV Channel 8 because all the non-premium seats were sold out by Friday's extended deadline.
"That's one of the reasons we wore white jerseys in our time with `Air Coryell,"' Fouts said, referring to the team's explosive passing offense under the late coach Don Coryell in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"When we played at home, we knew there was a good chance it was going to be warm, so why wear our dark jerseys that would absorb the heat?"
The National Weather Service has forecast the temperature to be in the low 80s in San Diego throughout the game.