Just one day removed from linebacker Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide that claimed the lives of himself and girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, the Kansas City Chiefs managed to pull out a 27-21 home victory over the Carolina Panthers, pulling them to 2-10. For a team like the Chiefs, who have already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the win is more of a moral victory than anything else. But exactly what kind of moral victory is it?
There is no doubt that Belcher was not a martyr figure as he died by his own hand, taking an innocent party with him. And even though the Chiefs lost a friend and teammate, the way in which they lost him must leave a sour taste in their collective mouths at the very least.
It’s hard to say winning was even an attempt to return to normalcy since the Chiefs are such a horrible team. Snarkiness aside, they are 2-10 after today’s victory, meaning they were 1-10 beforehand. This is a really bad football team.
If nothing else, today’s victory was a chance to move forward with their lives. And the outcome has little to do with that. The very fact that a game was played at all just served as a distraction, an attempt to forget and move on from the whirlwind of events that began at Belcher’s home early Saturday morning.
Ultimately, there’s no way to say for sure whether or not today’s game will help the Chiefs organization from recovering from this weekend’s events, nor will it help clarify how anyone should feel.
But maybe that’s the point. Maybe we aren’t supposed to know what to feel in this case. And maybe that’s why winning today was the best way to deal with this tragedy. Because winning a game to pull their record to 2-10 was a microcosm of dealing with the senselessness of Belcher’s actions. It doesn’t matter how or why the Chiefs even played today, let alone that they won. What matters now is that they’re moving forward. And that’s all anyone can ask for right now.
Stats via ESPN.com