National media reaction to Chiefs tragedy
A day before the Kansas City Chiefs were scheduled to play a football game against the Carolina Panthers, the team suffered a tragedy that made the game trivial. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he committed suicide.
The national media tried to make sense of the unthinkable news:
Sports Illustrated's Peter King describes Joe Linta's, Belcher's agent disbelief of the news:
Linta has a reputation in the business for taking on long-shots like Belcher, but only long-shots with character. One NFL general manager told me Saturday that he didn't have to do much homework on Linta clients off the field "because they're all borderline Eagle Scouts." Linta said he talked to Belcher a couple of times a month, and most recently noticed nothing in his voice or words that was troublesome. His relationship with Belcher was "a business relationship,'' the kind he shared with many of his clients.
You could hear the mixture of disbelief, shock and sadness in Linta's voice when he spoke Saturday afternoon. He said Belcher's financial adviser spoke to the player this week, and nothing seemed amiss then.
Bill Reiter of Fox Sports on the Chiefs waking up to this nightmare:
What everyone seems able to agree on here is that this Chiefs' season — mired in a 1-10 tailspin that has consumed this town since August and focused considerable consternation toward Pioli and Crennel — no longer merits the emotional energy needed to be angry about football.
For today, at least, there is some perspective because what matters is this: A young woman has been murdered, a newborn orphaned, a troubled young man dead by his own hand and several well-known Kansas City football men saw the bloody end to a tragedy that will have an impact for a very long time.
That sinking feeling of loss — of an innocent life taken, of a child with a life now fractured, of the idea such horror can simply sneak into our own lives — those are the things meeting at the intersection of Chiefs football and this city.