Tragedy Pays Another Visit To Chiefs

Look at that face … what a cutie! That’s three-month old Zoey. She doesn’t know it yet, but she lost her mother and father Saturday morning.

What can one possibly say to explain the tragedy of two young people and their lives so senselessly snuffed out? How is anyone going to explain to Zoey many years from now what happened one tragic morning when she was sleeping in her crib.

Zoey is the daughter of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Parker. Saturday morning, Belcher murdered the mother of his child and minutes later took his own life. He was 25 years old. Kasandra was 22. Zoey is not even 100 days old.

Over the last 50 years the Kansas City Chiefs have had their hearts torn to pieces by a half-dozen different tragedies. No two were the same with the exception of one factor – these were men and in two cases women that died far too young. The ownership, organization, alumni, locker room and fans of the red and gold have lived through this grief before.

Stone Johnson … Mack Lee Hill … Jim Tyrer … Joe Delaney … Derrick Thomas …

And now, add Jovan Belcher. There should have had many, many years, decades ahead to enjoy life, themselves and their family for Jovan and Kasandra. What could have possibly been so bad that after arguing for nearly an hour, Belcher pulled out a gun and shot Kasandra multiple times.

Although he played a violent game and worked at a violent position, Belcher did not present any other outward appearance that he was a man prone to violence. He had traveled a long, tough road to reach the NFL. Despite being a four-year starter at the University of Maine, where he earned a degree in child development, Belcher was not selected in the 2009 NFL Draft and signed with the Chiefs as a rookie free agent. In any given season, only one or two undrafted rookies end up making the roster and generally their stay is short.

But four years later, Belcher was a starter at inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense and had racked up 287 total tackles and another 18 on special teams in his 59 games with 44 starts.

To achieve what Belcher did took an incredible amount of perseverance and dedication. He was one of the team’s workout champions and was always in search of the next step that would make him a better player both mentally and physically. In the locker room, he blended well with his teammates. Whether it was due to being naturally shy or simply not giving a hoot, his reticence to speak with the media is one reason so few knew much about him. Talk to him about wrestling however, and he couldn’t shut up. Belcher was a three-time prep All-America as a wrestler.

There was nothing on his resume that would have led anyone to think something like this was possible. Reportedly the couple argued over Perkins’ staying out late Friday night at a concert. It’s the type of “discussion” that goes on in thousands of households on a daily basis. For it to lead to death is unthinkable. For it to lead to two deaths is unbelievable

For it to lead to creating an orphan in three-month old Zoey is simply unforgiveable. There is nothing that her mother and father did, or said that should leave Zoey without them before she ever got a chance to know them. I feel bad that Belcher and Perkins are gone, but I grieve for Zoey – she didn’t deserve to begin her life in this manner.

Stone Johnson passed on September 8, 1963 in Wichita after suffering a broken neck in a Chiefs preseason game 10 days earlier. Mack Lee Hill died on December 14, 1965 while undergoing knee surgery at Menorah Hospital. On September 15, 1980 Jim Tyrer, reportedly depressed over poor financial decisions and results, shot his wife Martha while she slept and then took his own life, leaving behind four children. Joe Delaney died on June 29, 1983 when he drowned in a construction pond in Monroe, Louisiana trying to save three children who could not swim. He left a wife and three children. On February 8, 2000, some two weeks after an auto crash left him a paraplegic, Derrick Thomas died of cardiac arrest in a Miami hospital. He left behind seven children.

And now on December 1, 2012 we have another day of tragedy for the Chiefs. Like those that came before, the passing of two young people with so much to live for makes no sense. As time passes maybe we will learn more about what led to that moment when anger and despair took over the senses of a young man. It really doesn’t matter; all we are left with now and in the immediate future is a three-month old that is now an orphan.

Grieve for Zoey.


5 Responses to “Tragedy Pays Another Visit To Chiefs”

  • December 1, 2012  - milkman says:

    This is the first news outlet today that hit the nail on the head. What a terrible way for an innocent child to start her life. Football is not important when it comes to family, especially when compared to raising children. There is nothing in this world more important.

    We must all pray now for the families involved, but none more than this precious child. I’m sure this happens more than we know, this just happened to involve a professional football player. So sad…


  • December 1, 2012  - ChuckXX says:

    Very shocking. One has to wonder what was so terrible between the two of them that he felt he had to do this. Very sad day in Kansas City.


  • December 1, 2012  - bhive01 says:

    Awful. Just awful. Thanks for focusing on the real victim here.


  • December 1, 2012  - txchief says:

    It is nearly unbelievable, but the barrier between civility and a violent, jealous rage is fragile and thin. I hope Jovan left something financially for his daughter to help pay for her upbringing and education.


  • December 1, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    As a former law enforcement officer I can tell you this type of thing does happen far more often than most people realize. The results are nothing like you see in movies that glamorize violence but instead are truly tragic causing grief and despair for the families and loved ones left behind. This is another senseless tragedy. Apparently the players are discussing establishing a fund for baby Zoey.




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