2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chiefs players pay respects to Belcher at service

By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH - Associated Press
    2012-12-05 19:25

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Heads bowed, somber past and present Kansas City Chiefs players turned out Wednesday for a memorial service for teammate Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend and then himself over the weekend.

Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at the Kansas City home they shared with their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. He then drove to the Chiefs practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed Belcher commit suicide.

The team moved up its practice schedule so that players could attend Wednesday afternoon's service at the nearby Landmark International Deliverance and Worship Center, where Belcher and Perkins worshipped. The media wasn't allowed inside.

Afterward, a coffin was wheeled from the building and driven away in a hearse.

Retired Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said Pioli and an uncle of Belcher's spoke during the service.

``It's done and over with and people need to get on with their lives, and the team needed to try to get forward,'' Bell said. ``It's tough on them. When you see somebody and play with them you're buddies, friends.''

Many of the players boarded coach buses after the service, but a few walked to their own vehicles with their wives and girlfriends.

``It was good,'' running back Peyton Hillis said of the service. He wouldn't comment further.

Defensive end Ropatisp Pitoitua, kicker Ryan Succop, and linebacker Derrick Johnson said they didn't want to be interviewed.

Before the service, veteran offensive lineman Ryan Lilja said he hoped the memorial would provide some closure for the Chiefs, who will try to win their second straight game Sunday at Cleveland.

``You got to try to deal with it however you deal with it, and grieve the best way for the individual,'' he said, ``and I think this is the best way for us as a team to get closure and move on and focus on football.''

Lilja said some players have taken advantage of counseling services that have been provided by the Chiefs and the NFL and that there's been a change in the atmosphere around the team building.

``There definitely is more, `How you doing? How you feeling? How you coping?''' Lilja said. ``There's definitely more of that, and people leaning on each other, and be an ear when they need it. Guys are going to deal with this on an individual basis.''

Pastor Sylvarena Funderburke, who serves at Repairers of the Breach Christian Center in Kansas City, said she was at the service to sing ``I Won't Complain,'' a song the Belcher family requested.

``It is an honor. We don't always understand why things happen,'' she said before the service. ``That's when you have to rely on your faith and just trust God to give you strength to make it through tough times.''

Karen Young, who belongs to the Landmark church and serves as an usher, said Belcher and Perkins went to the church ``practically'' every week until the baby was born but hadn't been seen much since then.

Larry Brown, who also attends the Landmark church, said Belcher was ``gentle'' and ``caring'' and Perkins ``a real nice person.''

``I believed that they were made for each other,'' said Brown, whose brother is the church's leader, Bishop John L. Brown. ``They didn't appear to be the type of people who just put on facades. They were very happy. She was very genuine. Every time I saw them, they were always laughing.''

The barber shop where Belcher was a regular is in the same strip mall where the church is located. Barber Lee Garron walked over to the memorial service to pay his respects.

``He was a good person,'' Garron said. ``He was. He was like anyone else. You don't know what they are thinking or what is going on in their head. It's like you or me. You just never know.''

Belcher's Chiefs locker remained full of his equipment and personal belongings Wednesday as players quickly showered and dressed in suits for the service. Some said they avoided looking at the linebacker's locker, while others were fine with seeing their teammate's things as he left them.

``I don't have a problem seeing Javon's locker over there,'' defensive back Travis Daniels said.

He said it was important for the team to support the families of everyone involved.

``We're definitely thankful we have the opportunity to see them one last time before they go home and everything,'' Daniels said ahead of the service, referring to relatives who traveled from out of town to attend. ``We definitely want to go and pay respects to him and his family.''

---

AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta contributed to this story.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Teddy BridgewaterSep 29 09:47p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 29. QB Christian Ponder worked with the first-team offense during practice.

Geno SmithSep 29 09:47p

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan publicly remained supportive of QB Geno Smith Monday, Sept. 29. He said he talked to the quarterback about his incident with yelling [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 29 09:23p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown and RB Branden Oliver combined for 42 yards on 29 carries in Week 4, and although head coach Mike McCoy bashed the running [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (toe) is not injured, head coach Chip Kelly said Monday, Sept. 29. 'He's not on the treatment list,' Kelly said. [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) had a 'positive mindset' Monday, Sept. 29, but general manager Trent Baalke said the extent of his injury is 'not fully known.'

Stevan RidleySep 29 09:13p

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley was on the field for just one of his team's seven offensive snaps in the first quarter Monday, Sept. 29, in the Week [ More ]

Roddy WhiteSep 29 09:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White said he expects the team to be involved in high-scoring shootouts all year, and head coach Mike Smith agreed to an extent. 'I don't [ More ]

David NelsonSep 29 08:13p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in Week 4, and the signing of WR Chris Owusu could be an indication Nelson's injury is significant. [ More ]

Frank AlexanderSep 29 08:03p

The Carolina Panthers reinstated DE Frank Alexander Monday, Sept. 29, after he served his four-game suspension. He won't count toward the 53-man roster limit for one week.

Patrick ChungSep 29 07:53p

New England Patriots SS Patrick Chung and RB James White were back taking kickoffs in pregame warm-ups Monday, Sept. 29, before the Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jarrett BoykinSep 29 07:23p

Green Bay Packers LB Sam Barrington (hamstring), DT Josh Boyd (knee) and WR Jarrett Boykin (groin) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29. LBs Brad Jones (quadriceps) and Clay Matthews [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonSep 29 07:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle) was limited in practice Monday, Sept. 29.

Chad GreenwaySep 29 07:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib) and CB Captain Munnerlyn (illness) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29. CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) was limited, while FB Jerome Felton (knee), [ More ]

Aaron MurraySep 29 07:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, WR Albert Wilson, DL Damion Square, RB De'Anthony Thomas, SS Eric Berry, RB Joe McKnight, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 4.

Aaron DobsonSep 29 07:13p

The New England Patriots have declared WR Aaron Dobson, CB Alfonzo Dennard, DL Casey Walker, OT Jordan Devey, OL Josh Kline, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, DE Zach Moore inactive for Week 4.

Chris OgbonnayaSep 29 07:03p

The Carolina Panthers will sign free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Browns).

Tharold SimonSep 29 06:53p

Seattle Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (knee) is making progress in his recovery from knee surgery and is a few weeks away from returning, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Luke WillsonSep 29 06:53p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson is expected to take over as the starting tight end while TE Zach Miller (ankle) is out.

Ray RiceSep 29 06:53p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice's (Ravens) appeal of his suspension will be heard by a neutral arbitrator after the NFL agreed to the change. The NFL and NFL Players Association [ More ]

Ropati PitoituaSep 29 06:43p

Tennessee Titans DE Ropati Pitoitua (knee) hopes to play in Week 5 after missing Week 4 because of a lateral collateral ligament sprain.

Bruce CarterSep 29 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (quadriceps) is considered day-to-day because of the quadriceps injury he suffered in Week 4.

Nick FolesSep 29 06:13p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles did not complete any of his 10 passes that traveled at least 20 yards down the field in Week 4, and two of those [ More ]

Chris ProsinskiSep 29 06:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Chris Prosinski and Washington Redskins LB Gabe Miller and DT Robert Thomas cleared waivers and became free agents Monday, Sept. 29.

Tauren PooleSep 29 06:03p

Carolina Panthers RB Tauren Poole was placed on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 29.

LeSean McCoySep 29 05:53p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy is not dealing with any injuries at this time, according to head coach Chip Kelly. McCoy rushed for only 17 yards on 10 carries in Week 4.

Josh NormanSep 29 05:23p

Carolina Panthers CB Melvin White has been benched in favor of CB Josh Norman.

Dee MillinerSep 29 05:23p

New York Jets CB Dee Milliner (quadriceps) could return this week, according to head coach Rex Ryan, who said he's confident Milliner will be able to play Week 5.

Jarius WrightSep 29 05:13p

Minnesota Vikings WR Jarius Wright said he created a solid chemistry with QB Teddy Bridgewater during the preseason, which is why he caught eight passes for 132 yards in [ More ]

Tommy BohanonSep 29 05:03p

New York Jets FB Tommy Bohanon (collarbone) has a fractured collarbone, according to head coach Rex Ryan.

Winston GuySep 29 05:03p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released SS Winston Guy Monday, Sept. 29.

Zach MillerSep 29 05:03p

Updating previous reports, Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) is only expected to miss two games after he underwent ankle surgery last week.

Marques ColstonSep 29 04:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston has struggled quite a bit during the first month of the season and seems to disappear at times. He had a late-game fumble [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group