- Faith & Family
As sports fans we hate it when the real world intrudes upon our sports arenas or stadiums. Sports is supposed to be sacred — the necessary distraction to keep our minds off the terrible world in which we live. But there are instances that are simply unavoidable during which the two worlds collide. One such instance occurred recently for Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel. Crennel had to coach a football game some 28 hours after witnessing a tragedy he’ll never forget. Jovan Belcher, a starting linebacker for Crennel’s Chiefs, killed the mother of his child right before 8 a.m. last Saturday. He then drove himself to the Chiefs practice facility, thanked Crennel and GM Scott Pioli and then shot himself in the head in front of both men. Two hours later, the NFL instructed the Carolina Panthers to travel to Kansas City as scheduled in preparation for Sunday’s noon kickoff. By mid-afternoon it was determined that Crennel and team captains had decided to play Sunday’s game as planned. Regardless of which side of the fence you stand as to whether the game should have been played, Crennel had to deal with a lot of emotions. Someone he had grown to love as a son had done the unthinkable right before his eyes. It’s hard to imagine being forced to handle such a shock and then have to play a football game the very next day. Crennel’s safe world of sports had been invaded by a real life domestic violence situation gone horribly wrong. Suddenly his Chiefs became the lead story on the usually crime-filled evening news. Crennel was unable to talk Belcher out of committing suicide — although it is certain that he tried his best. Somehow he composed himself and was able to lead his team to an emotional victory. Yes, they won a game, but it feels like we all lost. Violence and guns have once again invaded our cherished fantasy world of sports.
The Sports Brothers, Jeff Fox & Ed Freeman, can be heard daily on WMEN 640 Sports.