Good morning. We're getting a little closer to normal every day. Today's Kansas City Chiefs news has the most recent developments in the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide, including reports and photos from yesterday's memorial service. Additionally, we are seeing an increase in straight football related articles. To top it off, I included a bbq story.
Chiefs Gather To Remember Jovan Belcher from KC Star
Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who witnessed Jovan Belcher take his own life last weekend, gave a eulogy for the fallen player during a one-hour memorial service attended by Chiefs players, coaches and staff, including chairman Clark Hunt, on Wednesday afternoon.
"It was rough on him," former Chiefs great and Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said of Pioli. "It's a sad situation. You never want to be put under those situations ... you don't want to see things like that. For him to get up and say something, I don't know how he got through it."
After Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend nine times and fled his house Saturday, his frantic mother pleaded with 911 dispatchers for help and shouted at the dying girlfriend to "Stay with me!"
Meanwhile, the couple's infant daughter was crying hysterically, causing his mother to eventually abandon the 911 call to tend to the 3-month-old.
Members Of Kansas City Chiefs Attend Memorial Service For Jovan Belcher from The Associated Press via The NY Daily News
Defensive back Travis Daniels said he understood the complexity in memorializing a man who committed murder and remembering someone the team knew and loved.
"Any time you look at a situation, there's going to be multiple views, how someone feels you should go about it," he said. "Just like when we're on the field, some people think we should have made this tackle or that catch, and other people might think it was too hard. I don't have a problems seeing Javon's locker over there."
Daniels said that Wednesday's memorial service could "reopen wounds," but he also said it might provide some closure. He said it was important for the team to support the families of everyone involved - the murder-suicide left a 3-month-old girl, Zoey, any without any parents.
"We're definitely thankful we have the opportunity to see them one last time before they go home and everything," Daniels said. "We definitely want to go and pay respects to him and his family."
Chiefs Try To Remember Belcher As Teammate, Not Killer from USA Today
The Chiefs also will be represented at a memorial service for Belcher's girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins, though details of that service have not been released, a person told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
"I hope it will bring peace to a lot of people, not just people on this team," quarterback Brady Quinn said before leaving the Chiefs' training facility.
Cowboys' Carr Struggling With K.C. Tragedy from The San Antonio Express
"I'm still thinking about it," Carr said. "I thought about it before the game, during the game, especially when I'm laying in bed, closing my eyes ... I don't really get too much sleep nowadays."...
...Punctuating his comments with frequent sighs, Carr said Belcher was one of his closest friends in Kansas City.
"We did a lot of things together, shared a lot of intimate moments," Carr said. "I had been out with Belcher and Kassie for her 22nd birthday. Me and my fiancée were out with them the whole night, partying and celebrating. That's why this is a sad, sad story."
Crennel Tries To Keep Players Focused from KC Star
"You hope that emotion they used in counting on each other and leaning on each other, that they are able to carry that forward into the next game," said head coach Romeo Crennel. "Like I told them, once you step across the white line, nobody cares about what your problems are.
"You have to be ready to play football. On Sunday, we're going to step across the white line, and we better be ready to play. If we're not ready to play, then we're going to have a hard time winning."
Appreciating The Humanity In Kansas City's Rock - Romeo Crennel from The Cleveland Plain Dealer
They call him "Rac," but "Rock" works, too.
There's no cheering in the press box, or I'd be clapping out of respect and support for Romeo Crennel Sunday. The former Browns' coach has thrown a warm arm around his football team at a time when he might need the biggest hug of all.
He deserves that much from Cleveland fans when he leads his Chiefs out of the tunnel to face the Browns. More importantly, he could use it.
Chiefs' Quinn Tries to Keep Focus On Browns from KC Star
Quinn was so distraught after hearing that Belcher had fatally shot his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself that he wondered about his ability to play in a game the next day.
But Quinn started that game against Carolina at quarterback and had one of the best outings of his NFL career. For that, he was selected Wednesday as the AFC's offensive player of the week.
Joe Thomas Rips Peyton Hillis from ESPN
Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas once blocked and did all he could to protect Peyton Hillis from harm.
On Wednesday, he steamrolled his former teammate.
With Hillis coming to Cleveland this weekend as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Thomas unloaded on the bruising running back, saying he didn't always play hard and accused Hillis of putting his contract situation ahead of the team.
Thomas felt it was selfish behavior.
Cleveland Browns Host The Kansas City Chiefs: Who Will Win And By How Much? (Poll) from The Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Cleveland Browns play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Browns Stadium.The Browns are 4-8; the Chiefs, 2-10. The Browns are coming off a 20-17 win over the Raiders in Oakland. The Chiefs won at home over the Carolina Panthers, 27-21.
Kansas City at Cleveland from CBS Sports
Cleveland, though, has held opponents to 65.7 rushing yards over the last three games, winning 20-17 at Oakland last Sunday for its second straight victory. That may have eased the pressure on embattled coach Pat Shurmur.
"I don't want to talk about my future, OK?" he said. "I'm trying to get our team ready to play the Chiefs and then after that and so on and so forth. I don't look at it that way. I'm not taking any half-swings here. We'll just play it out and see what happens.
"I feel good about where we're going, we've just got to keep going."
NFL Game Picks: Predicting Every Week 14 Contest from The Huffington Post
Kansas City will probably not be able to sustain the emotional wave that carried them to a win in grief last Sunday. That's a shame, because the offense came together and played far better than in recent memory. QB Quinn completed 19-0f-23 for 201 yards, two scores and zero interceptions while Jamaal Charles came up with 127 running yards. Defensively, Romeo Crennel's squad gave up more yards to the Panthers than their offense scored, but they squeaked out the win when it came to points.
Cleveland has scored four more points and given up four fewer points than the Chiefs over the last three games.
Prediction: Browns by one over the emotionally drained Chiefs.
AFC West Stock Watch from ESPN
Crennel might not be the Chiefs coach in a month. Right now, it doesn't matter. Crennel deserves so much credit for leading his team to a victory Sunday over Carolina in an unfathomable situation. Arguably, no NFL coach has ever faced the emotional game-day challenge Crennel did Sunday. A day after he watched starting linebacker Jovan Belcher take his own life after killing his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, Crennel rallied his team for its second victory of the season. Crennel is a good man, a strong man, and it was on display Sunday.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses For Week 14 from NFL.com
Browns defense vs. Kansas City Chiefs: While this unit has been inconsistent overall, the Browns still have a pretty respectable defense from a fantasy perspective. In fact, I'd start them against the Chiefs in what is a very favorable matchup. Opposing home defenses that have faced this offense have combined to score the second-most fantasy points this season.
Is Rookie QB Class Greatest Ever? from FOX Sports
Kansas City at Cleveland: Quite a week for Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn. The subject of widespread scorn and ridicule for years, he was eloquent, honest and brave in his postgame press conference comments after Sunday's 27-21 win over the Panthers. Quinn's toughest critics have always been in Cleveland, where he struggled in his three years as a Browns quarterback. Even the Cleveland fans had to be impressed with his efforts - both on and off the field. He'll play well this week, but I'm taking the suddenly "hot" Browns.
The Pick: Browns 23, Chiefs 17
NFL Honors Brady Quinn from ESPN
Buried as a backup, Brady Quinn probably wondered if he'd ever get a chance to be a starting quarterback again on more than just on an injury-replacement basis.
Being the top dog for a week? Well, that probably was out of the question.
Yet, it is Quinn who is at the top of the AFC quarterback heap, at least for a week.
Kansas City is one big barbecue biosphere. The scent of wood smoking permeates our neighborhoods, barbecue sauce runs as thick as Brush Creek, and Kansas Citians can't hold a gathering without putting fire to meat.
This summer, filmmakers Martin Diggs and Kevin Fossland, the pair behind Burnt Ends Media, set out to understand why that's the case, capturing footage at barbecue competitions and raising money for their untitled documentary, which they hope to release next fall. Diggs sat down with The Pitch to explain how the project came about and what they're shooting now.
KC Star Photo Gallery: Jovan Belcher Memorial Service
KCChiefs.com Photo Gallery: Kansas City Chiefs Family Attends Service Held For Jovan Belcher
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Romeo Crennel
KCChiefs.com Video: Inside The Locker Room: 12-5-12