Perkins was a young girl whose eyes could smile a bad day into better. Outside of that, I don’t know all that much about her since she wasn’t a starting linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Maybe it’s just an obsequious strategy on our part- to hero worship complete strangers, based entirely on statistics and on field heroics. Hey, when the home team wins, the hard wrought remains of a day seem to go down just a little bit easier, right?
Playing football on weekends may not grant you impunity, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. If Jovan Belcher wasn’t a starting linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, would we be hearing all these testimonials on his behalf after he gunned down his girlfriend in cold blood?
A lot of folks I follow and admire have turned this tragedy into a gun control soapbox. I’m sorry, but this isn’t the time nor the place to posture and politicize for amendments that weigh on the future without any consideration for the present.
Here’s the thing. Gun control legislation isn’t passing into law tomorrow. But the relevant issue here is the one we should be talking about and moving on. Today.
That was my first thought when I read about Kassandra Perkins. And I gotta admit, it was frustrating to read the headlines on this story, one piled on top of the other . . . about how Jovan Belcher just ‘snapped’ in a fit of jealous rage.
Yeah. Just like OJ Simpson once ‘snapped’. OJ Simpson worked football weekends too. He got the benefit of most doubts as well, mostly because he wore a jersey and a million dollar smile. And he ‘snapped’ after countless years of the worst kind of trying. Technically, that means he was earning his stripes long before he ever wore them.
Now, I didn’t know Jovan Belcher, but I do know this much. As far as human nature is concerned, ain’t much happens that hasn’t happened without much practice happening first. Most every sin we commit, has an antecedent cousin tagging along. I may be wrong on this particular assumption, but let history throw a hashtag on me if so.
My heart aches for Kassandra Perkins. She’s the one I’m praying for tonight. Harder only, for her baby. The last time I looked, being a mother may not bring the multitudes together. It doesn’t entail the keeping of scores and ratings systems and fantasy league formulas. But all the same? It’s a pretty big deal.
And touchdowns aside, this baby of hers is a keeper.
Zoey has her father’s grimace, which seems a wickedly cruel joke until you consider those eyes of hers. Those eyes can loose a million dollars free of a miser’s hand, amazing as they are. Her mothers eyes.
If anyone lost more than Zoey, it was Kassandra Perkins. Because, thanks to Jovan Belcher, she will never see her daughter grow up. She’ll never collect her first tooth or walk her to kindergarten or get all awkward on that birds and bees chat, or argue with her over her misbegotten choice of a boyfriend, or take pictures of her in her prom dress or watch her graduate from high school and then college, or see her get married.
Kassandra Perkins will never hold her grandchild. Which is a damned sight worse crime than the loss of a linebacker on Sunday afternoons could ever bring. So, I’m thinking there is a lesson inside that holy revival they had going on at Arrowhead Stadium yesterday for a friend and altogether great guy.
Choose your heroes wisely.