Monday, December 3, 2012

Chiefs Win it for Belcher

Just over 24 hours following a murder-suicide involving starting inside linebacker Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs captured its 2nd win of the season against the Carolina Panthers.

Belcher, 25, shot his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins inside his KC home on the morning of Saturday December 1 before driving to the Kansas City practice facility outside of Arrowhead Stadium and pulling his handgun on himself.

According to the police, they saw Belcher, inside his car, with a handgun to his head. He was talking with members of KC's staff, including head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, among numerous others who went unnamed. The group attempted to talk Belcher out of it, but the police reported they heard a gunshot as Belcher shot himself from behind the wheel of his car.

Clearly shaken up by the incident, the team held a meeting between coaches and the captains to decide whether they should continue on and play on Sunday afternoon as planned. The group decided they would, in fact, take on the Panthers at 1 pm ET as scheduled.

The mayor of Kansas City, Sly James, had spoken with Pioli and had this to say (quote courtesy of Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan):

"I can tell you that you have absolutely no idea of what it's like to see somebody kill themselves. If you can take your worst nightmare and then put somebody you know and love into that situation and give them a gun and stand 3 feet away from them and watch them kill themselves, that's what it's like. It's unfathomable. It's something that you would love to wash away from your mind, but you can't do it. There's nothing like it. There's nothing like it. Think about your worst nightmare and multiply by five."
Belcher's agent Jim Linta was in shock and didn't see this coming, much like everyone else around Belcher. Linta spoke to Sports Illustrated's Peter King and this is what he had to say about the situation:

"Never until four hours ago did I think Jovan was anything but a model citizen. He came to my youth clinics in the offseason and worked with kids. He was a gracious, unselfish, hard-working, dedicated kid -- very, very caring of some of the underprivileged kids who came to the clinics. I saw him in a real positive way.
I never take on anyone as a client I wouldn't be proud to take home and spend time with my wife and kids. Jovan was one of those type of people."
The general public, much less Jovan and Kasandra's family, may never know exactly what caused Belcher to resort to this option. I think it's better to leave it unknown than to attempt to judge and make assumptions as to why it happened.

Kansas City will be mourning the loss for the remainder of the season, and I think it's obvious in the Chiefs' 27-21 victory over Carolina yesterday, that they are willing to continue on and fight for his memory this season.

I found some photos from yesterday's emotional victory and added them below (again, we do not own these images or quotes, no copyright infringement has been intended):

It turns out that this was not only the loss of a teammate for KC's star running back Jamaal Charles, but also a close friend and a family member. Charles' wife was Perkins' cousin and Charles was actually the one to introduce her to Belcher.

It was reported that Belcher, of all the KC team members, was closest with Charles. So this tragedy certainly has hit Jamaal hard. He released a statement about the situation earlier today (courtesy of's Gregg Rosenthal):

"Our family has suffered a personal tragic loss. Kassandra Perkins was in fact first cousins to my wife, Whitney. As this is a very tough time for our family, I ask that we are respected as we grieve. Kassandra was not only family, but a friend and a loving mother. As my actual family and my Kansas City Chiefs family have been altered forever, we ask that you keep us and most importantly their child in prayer.
Thank you all for your continued support."
The Chiefs will be as close as they have ever been for the remainder of the season. This story is bigger than the game.

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