Chief’s General Manager Scott Pioli was greeted by Jovan Belcher Saturday morning at the Chief’s practice facility. Belcher had come to say goodbye and thanks. He did just that. He thanked Pioli, Head Coach Romeo Crennel, and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs. He told them the police would be coming soon for him and then he walked away and shot himself in the head. He had murdered his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins just moments before driving to the Arrowhead practice facility. Perkins was also the mother of Belcher’s 3 month old daughter Zoe.
“I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over, and let's get this worked out,” Crennel said at his Monday afternoon meeting with the media.
His pleas were not heard by Belcher. Crennel did not know at the time that Perkins had been murdered.
Just over 24 hours later Crennel put his team on the field and the lowly 1-10 Chiefs played an almost flawless game and beat the Carolina Panthers. 27 - 21. Quarterback Brady Quinn threw 2 touchdown passes and running back Jamaal Charles ran for 127 yards on the ground. Justin Houston sacked Carolina Quarterback Cam Newton.
The team that has been so bad, for one day was very good. Arrowhead fans were happy, but solemn.
While Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli have been under severe fire for the horribly bad season the Chiefs are having, they must be commended.
Crennel handled the situation with amazing wisdom and calmness. After a storm of domestic violence and suicide, Crennel comforted players and put the focus on the game. The players responded.
The pain in his eyes was obvious, but he never wavered. Crennel coached his team.
Chief’s owner Clark Hunt did all he could to console his head football coach and general manager. He also set up a foundation for the orphaned 3 month old daughter Zoe, which Belcher left behind.
“There are a lot of players hurting here today”, Clark said on Sunday.
While the football success of a coach is measured by wins and losses, the strength of coach was put to the test on Saturday December 1st.
Romeo Crennel is a strong man, with great moral character.
No one should ever question that.