Many, if not most reading this, have "ex" horror stories. Many, if not most reading this have, perhaps, thought about the act as an outlet of revenge or anger. Some have even had their ex's make their lives a living hell.
But no one reading this has ever shot their spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/bearer of their child(ren).
Reading about Jevon Belcher is reading about a stereo-type of the college/professional football player.
Their bodies are their tools... their instruments. The expectation is that they will be 100% all the time.
I played football for a lot of years, never once giving a thought to the cumulative physical damage or emotional toll of a violent game.
No matter what element of society one considers, there will ALWAYS be those in that segment who are, essentially, damaged. Jevon's actions would tend to show that he was one of them.
I don't know for sure if his actions in this matter were a result of his involvement in football, but it may have had some impact. After all, over the decades the game has been played, how many of its players have ever done this? If football at this level was a proximate cause, you'd think it would happen with much greater frequency.
Many out there, looking for the cheap and easy fix of a way to explain his actions will undoubtedly make the claim. Drudge's headline puts a stereo-typical pro-football paint job on it:
Make no mistake: With the possible exception of wrestling with alligators or divorce lawyers, few sports are more painful... and fewer still have the life-long, crippling effects.
The joke of wondering why more players on the Chiefs don't off themselves given their utterly abysmal record of 2/10 aside, I was a tackling dummy for the Huskies for a brief time in 77 and that was as far as I got. But there was a lot of military ball, and park ball and flag and so forth. And I have leg whip scars on my shins, every finger on both hands has been broken (some, repeatedly) knees that should be left at Leif's Auto Collision for repair, a broken wrist, fractured collar bone, dislocated shoulder AND toes and at least 3 concussions.
That recitation of injury may seem a lot to those who don't play the game. But to those who do, it's a fairly standard, long term list... but it doesn't include much college or pro ball: imagine what those people have sustained physically; injuries amplified by the demands of the game and the team that you play hurt, even if by playing hurt you make what would otherwise be temporary injuries much more permanent and long lasting.
This discription, from The Bus, Jerome Bettis of the Steelers, sums it up:
During the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2000 season, Bettis rushed for 1,341 yards -- and did it despite playing with turf toe, a lump the size of a cue ball in his lower left leg, injured ribs and a bad left knee.
Saturdays weren't any fun, though. Even with the limited practice schedule, my knee would swell. So every Saturday a team doctor would come in and drain the knee. The needle was as long and thick as a No. 2 pencil. Think about that for a minute. Then the doctor would extract all sorts of pus, blood, and little pieces of cartilage.On game week I would only practice on Thursday and Friday, sometimes only on Friday.
Yeah, it hurt. Damn right it did. But if I wanted to play, that's what I had to do. Pain is part of the game. It's as much a part of the game as the crowds or the Miller Lite commercials or the TV cameras. If you can't endure pain, you can't play in the NFL.Much more... horrific... history of this one player and the price he paid.
But his price was not unusual. The expectation is that everyone is Jack Youngblood, who knowingly played... on a broken leg throughout the playoffs AND a SuperBowl.
Many readers and even some family members would cheerfully point to my average, long term injury list as the reason behind my writings and positions... that I've had enough head injuries to knock a screw or two loose... maybe even an entire hardware store.
But I've never thought about murdering anyone.
It's likely we'll never know for a certainty what caused this young man to snap. But to blame football?
How many times have we heard that violence on TV is one of the causes of gang violence?
Does that mean that watching comedy may cause you to unexpectedly break out in a stand up routine?
Which leans me to the NFL being stupid enough to play the KC-Jacksonville game... which SHOULD have been cancelled.
It's all about the messaging, you see. And the message they sent with this fiasco is that the wasted lives of these two young people meant nothing... and means nothing to them... playing up to THEIR stereo-types.
Neither of these teams are going anywhere this year, except home. Would it have killed the NFL to show a little humanity and cancel this game, or at least postpone it or something?
Of course not. Except, of course, it's ALLLLLL about the Benjamins. And these young men, who are frequently crippled as a result of the NFL's handling of this game, suffer that lack of concern for the rest of their lives.
As for that Costas moron:
The problem isn't Costas' babble. The problem is that Costas' spewing his fringe-left garbage during a football game isn't what we're watching the game for. Costas is a nobody. Sure, he's got a right to babble like the rest of the blithering leftists. But Costas' expertise is sports... not guns. I did not need or want his opinion on the subject. For me, the fact is that he's got no clue. He has no more idea about the firearms issue than he does fornication with a goat.
Blaming firearms for this tragedy is typical, leftist garbage... like blaming a spoon for obesity or a pencil for misspellings. Only morons believe Costa's tripe, and yes, he has the right to project it and those of us wise enough to verbally smack an idiot like that have the right to do the same.
A few days ago, a guy walked into a classroom and shot his father with a compound bow, and then proceeded to stab him, and himself, to death. Would Costa be stupid enough to indicate that it's the availability of knives, bows and arrows that are responsible for the deaths?
He's a leftist. Of course he would. Thus, the outrage. Using this tragedy to further the ultra-fringe-left agenda of NBC? He ought to get his testicles re-arranged for that alone... rhetorically speaking, of course.
This is a tragedy. And it's a tragedy likely to have happened with or without the advent of guns. And Costas' desire to expound on it is a minor tragedy in itself.