Arrowhead was a somber scene on Sunday. With the Carolina Panthers in town for the game at noon, the stands were filled with many still in shock from the events of Saturday. The players and personnel were still reeling from it all as well.
Saturday morning, after having an argument with his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins; Jovan Belcher, (a linebacker for the Chiefs) grabbed a handgun and shot his girlfriend (and mother of their 3-month old baby Zoey) multiple times before leaving the house. She would die a few minutes later at a nearby hospital. After leaving the house, Jovan drove to the Chiefs training center where he was confronted outside by Head Coach Romeo Crennel, General Manager Scott Pioli, and Defensive Coordinator Gary Gibbs. The information for this moment is still blurry but what is known is that Jovan then thanked Romeo and Pioli for the roles they played in helping him become a Chief and for supporting him.
Soon thereafter, a police car would pull up, the officer would get out of his vehicle and Jovan would put the gun to his head, ending his life while his 3 superiors and police looked on.
Now I am not here to judge Jovan, Romeo, or anyone else. Two people lost their lives and one baby is now parent-less. If that doesn’t trigger an emotion or two, I don’t know what does. It’s overwhelmingly sad.
So with heavy hearts and emotions running seemingly unchecked. The Chiefs decided to go ahead with the game scheduled for Sunday.
Now, shifting from the depressing to something a little more positive…
Did you see the same game that I did? Wow. The Chiefs brought it and they brought it HARD. They brought it so well, Brady Quinn actually outscored Tom Brady in fantasy points! Many thought the game should have been postponed due to the circumstances, but they decided to play. They weren’t kidding. They took the field and scored on their opening drive. They had only one penalty the ENTIRE game. They also had absolutely zero turnovers the ENTIRE game. We literally watched an emotionally charged team out-perform the Panthers in nearly every category. Jamaal Charles broke 1,000 yards rushing on the season and Jon Baldwin, Peyton Hillis, and Tony Moeaki EACH had their first touchdowns of the season. Now remember, the Chiefs are currently dealing with several key injuries, so for the guys to come out and play with the heart and emotion they did was astounding. Brady Quinn arguably had the best game of his NFL career. Jamaal Charles lit it up as if no injury had ever occurred. Dwayne Bowe made some ridiculously high catches. The defense stayed all over the Panthers and rarely let up. Ryan Succop was, well, Ryan Succop-hitting all the field goals he was asked to kick. I could go on and on about the impressiveness the Chiefs showed in this game. They were profoundly better in this match up than they have been the rest of the season.
This team was tasked with taking the field a mere 28 hours after tragedy struck. Not only did they play, they showed what a group of guys can do when they put their heart and souls into it and play as a team. Romeo Crennel deserves much credit for being able to rally his players even while he was under the same emotional duress as the guys he was coaching.
Changes are still coming to Kansas City following season’s end. Pioli and Crennel should still not be with the team next year. However, while I have criticized their job performance and decision making all year. It’s my belief that both of these men (and all of those on the field) have handled the situation in which they have been placed; with class. Its not everyday that someone you know and love murders someone else and then takes their own life. The families of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher are hurting and its important to understand that life is greater than a game played on a field.
I am proud of the Chiefs effort on Sunday and their ability to stick together through adversity. I am proud of the community and players for immediately pledging support for the 3 month old Zoey who is now parent-less.
I am proud to be a Chiefs fan.
Stay strong Chiefs Nation.
Follow Brandon on Twitter @06Moffet
Follow Chris on Twitter @jedichris816
Thanks for reading, please like, share, and follow us. Help us make Chiefs360.com THE place for Chiefs news, opinions, and more.