As it turns out, I chose a strange weekend to visit some family in Kansas City. Just shortly before hitting Interstate 35, I heard the tragic news of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killing his girlfriend, and then shortly afterwards, himself.
To say that this incident was unprecedented really wouldn’t do it justice. I don’t even think the word bizarre tells the story of Saturday morning’s events. Murder/suicides are unfortunately all too common in the world we live in, but when it involves an NFL player taking his life in front of team personnel and his head coach, all you can say is wow.
My view at the game.
After the initial shock of hearing about the incident, one of my first questions was, of course, if they were still even going to play the game. NFL games are almost never cancelled, but this was so unique that I thought it might have been a real possibility. It turned out not to be the case, but the chances of a cancel were much higher than normal.
The topic of conversation and of newscasts everywhere involved the Chiefs linebacker on Saturday evening. It was one of those things everyone was talking about, did you hear? Even non-sports fans were talking about it. An incident of this magnitude brings everyday life and sport together, but it also reminds us that football is just a game.
However, it was business as usual in the parking lot before the game. To the naked eye it looked just like any other Fall Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, but inside you knew that everyone had the tragedy in the back of their minds.
There was actually very little mention of the incident at the game other than a moment of silence observed prior to kickoff.
As for the actual game against the Carolina Panthers, the Chiefs were able to put together their best game of the year en route to a much-needed victory. This was a huge victory not only the franchise, but for the city as well. If for nothing else, just to take everyone’s mind off the tragedy.
The Chiefs aren’t my team, but on Sunday I was rooting for them like they were.
It’s truly remarkable for Romeo Crennel to witness what he did, and then 24 hours later, lead his team to a victory.
I will never forget the weekend’s events, and it’s unlikely we’ll ever hear of such a thing again. Huge props to the Chiefs’ players that are setting up a fund for Belcher’s three month old daughter Zoey. If you’re trying to find a positive in all of this, it’s at least great to see people stepping up in the wake of a terrible tragedy to help anyway they can.