Jovan Belcher tragedy leaves sympathy, anger and a lot of questions

Dilip Vishwanat

In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, it's time to look at Jovan Belcher's deadly decision.

Sometimes in life, there are no words for what has happened.

That is certainly the case with Jovan Belcher. The 25-year-old linebacker was in the prime of his life with the Kansas City Chiefs before he decided life wasn't worth living.

After murdering his girlfriend and subsequently being confronted by Chiefs' coaches in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot, Belcher put a gun to his head and bid the world farewell.

It's a tragic end to a life that was just beginning. It was a tragic start to a baby's life, Belcher's baby, which is only two and a half months old.

It's hard to fathom an act such as a murder-suicide. Most of us can't imagine doing something like that, can't imagine what it must feel like to be at that point emotionally. At one time Belcher clearly loved this girl, and now he has taken her life, and his, in an instant.

It's especially surprising considering what we have all heard about Jovan. He was a consummate teammate, a friendly man and a quiet soul. He was undrafted out of Maine University in 2009, only to rise through the ranks and become a starting inside linebacker on an AFC West champion in 2010.

This is a man who knew how to fight through odds and adversity. Unfortunately, whatever demons plagued him eventually won the battle.

Ultimately, none of us can really explain why something like the events of Saturday morning happen. Was it a single event? Or, more likely, was it a culmination of issues coming up in Belcher's life that pushed him over the edge?

Perhaps the more poignant, and difficult question to ask is whether he deserves sympathy, or anger? On one side of the spectrum he leaves the world a murderer, taking with him the mother of his child, the daughter of two people. He killed an innocent person, the worst crime known to humanity.

On the other side is a man who clearly was distraught and confused, looking for a way out of things he couldn't imagine dealing with. Some would call that weak, others would say he was a young person overwhelmed and terrified.

Any way you want to look it at, Jovan Belcher is gone, along with him a young woman. They leave a baby behind without parents, all of which is terribly sad.

Suddenly nothing else relating to the Chiefs matters. It's all just noise in the background compared to what took place at Arrowhead this morning.

It all feels like a dream, but of course, it's nothing short of a horrendous nightmare.

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