Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

December 7, 2012

No excuse for senseless Belcher tragedy

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — As somebody who favors true crime stories anyway, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the murder-suicide perpetrated by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher last weekend.

I've been thinking a lot about what might have driven Belcher to shoot the mother of his child NINE TIMES (!) before driving to the Chiefs' practice facility and shooting himself in the head IN FRONT OF his head coach and general manager.

I can't think of any more monstrously selfish thing a fellow can do that kill the mother of his child (with HIS mother in the house, no less). That baby will never know her parents and will be wondering for the rest of her life why her daddy killed her mama.

Moreover, witnesses to the suicide will have that image in their minds for as long as they live. They will be lucky if the stress created by those memories doesn't shorten their lives.

On top of that, Belcher refused to face the judicial music for his horrible act and took the coward's path by offing himself. Now you could say, "Great. Dude saved us the money it would have taken to lock him up, probably for life."

I think by the time he got to the practice facility, he knew his life as he knew it ended when he pulled that gun on Kasandra Perkins and squeezed the trigger the first time. Never mind the next eight.

But, by choosing to end his own life, reportedly as police were closing in, he denied those who loved he and Kasandra the chance to find out why he acted as he did on that fateful Saturday morning. Moreover, Javon Belcher's final moments give people like me the chance to incessantly speculate about what he might have been thinking.

Belcher's last words to Kasandra were reportedly along the lines of "You can't talk to me that way!"

Given that Belcher reportedly spent the night in his car outside a girlfriend's home AFTER an argument with Kasandra related to how late SHE stayed out, I don't know what else he would have expected.

(I don't even want to think about what the mother of my children would have said in a similar situation.  God rest her soul, she was a great mom, but you didn't cross her!)

Furthermore, who gives a rat's hind end what Kasandra said to him? Nothing, nothing, NOTHING (!!!) justifies getting shot for verbally laying into someone who probably deserved a tail-chewing to begin with. In fact, she didn't deserve her fate even if she was wrong.

Now, dear readers, Dr. Bill has his own theories on why Javon Belcher felt like it was time for Kasandra to pay for her "disrespect."

(Forget about city slickers like Bob Costas who think the gun might have been the problem. He just doesn't know any better.)

Theory A centers around the entitled attitudes of people with a marketable skill, particularly entertainers and professional athletes. Mopes like us, the general public, facilitate those attitudes by such acts as seeking autographs and exhibiting other fawning behaviors.

Theory B is that Belcher was a product of the thuggy culture that objectifies women and encourages misogyny, and he was conditioned by that culture to be overly sensitive to how the women in his life, with the probable exception of his mother and other relatives, spoke to him.

Now before you hypersensitive types start thinking that I'm stereotyping any particular group with the reference to "thuggy culture," I am only so happy to remind you that there's plenty of folks of all races with those idiotic attitudes who are influenced by the same music, same video games, etc., etc.

As a sports fan, I'm trying to forget that a turd like Javon Belcher ever played professional football, a sport that I have followed for 45 years. But the totality of his acts last Saturday are making that hard.

Real hard

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.