Back to the little things…
Echoes have filled the imposing Arrowhead Stadium since it’s conception in August 1972. Arrowhead is one of the opposing players most feared places to visit and one of very few National Football League venues which offers a true home field advantage. Many denizens of Kansas City, Missouri would offer a tale about a visit to Arrowhead as it is Kansas City’s most visited place; however, no story can match the magnitude of the one which occurred on December 1st, 2012. The first of December was meant to be a day riddled with college football drama. It was championship week for the college football world and intensity was as apparent as Paul Ryan’s widow’s peak. People anxiously awaited the Big 10, SEC, ACC, and (pretty much) Big 12 championship games which were scheduled for the day. Drama was sure to abound as Alabama (ranked #2 in the BCS) was facing Georgia (ranked #3 in the BCS) for an implied (and accepted) position as Notre Dame’s opponent in the National Championship. Alabama defeated the Bulldogs in one of the all-time classics, but it was overshadowed by a tragedy which sends out a reminder of how transient and impossible life is.
Welcome to the life of Javon Belcher. Belcher attended West Babylon High School in West Babylon, New York. At West Babylon, he played four different positions (linebacker, offensive tackle, nose guard and fullback) and was an All-American selection for three years in the sport of wrestling. He wasn’t recruited by any of the major D-1 colleges and chose to attend the University of Maine…home of the Black Bears. He started out as an outside linebacker with the Black Bears, but transferred to Defensive End at the beginning of his junior season. This shift wrought an incredible transformation in the professional hopes of Belcher. He was a second-team and first-team All-American as a Defensive End during his junior and senior years at Maine. Projected as a sixth round pick and perhaps the finest of all non-FBS players, Belcher ended up becoming an undrafted free agent subsequent to the 2009 NFL Draft. He signed with the Chiefs in 2009 after failing to be selected in the April showcase. Throughout his Chiefs’ career, Belcher competed strongly for a starting niche and was granted the opportunity during the 2010 season. During the 2010 campaign, Belcher recorded 84 total tackles, not a mediocre mark for an outside linebacker. He started every game of the 2011 campaign, but saw his figures drop as he recorded only 87 tackles in more starts. Nonetheless, Belcher entered the 2012 season as the starter for the Chiefs, a popular sleeper team for a playoff berth. The Chiefs have been miserable this season; looking worse than my first attempt at a souffle. Without any warning, Belcher committed a heinous act on December 1st: a murder/suicide. He took the life of his girlfriend Kasandra M. Perkins and proceeded to venture to Arrowhead. The venue, which had hosted Belcher as the starter since 2010, soon became Belcher’s final memory. Blecher was approached by Kansas City Chiefs’ officials including Head Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli as he held a firearm in one of Arrowhead’s parking lots. The officials pleaded with Belcher to set down the gun; however, Belcher proceeded to turn the pistol on himself and inflict his own persona with a malignant wound. Javon Belcher committed suicide in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium on December 1st, 2012. With his death comes a message of life which no one can afford to ignore.
Life is such a fickle thing. One day you may be experiencing the climax of your existence and but a few days later be so depressed life seems worthless. Life plays with human emotion so much we might as call our emotions Monopoly…no? Anyway, the death of Javon Belcher provides a little insight to just how difficult life truly is. Belcher was a starter in the National Football League and likely made his fair sum. He was likely financially stable and had nearly no reason to believe his life was worthless. Belcher then took his own life on Saturday December 1st. Imagine, an NFL player can find life fruitless; how then does an average Joe meander through this cruel world without realizing what a bitter existence this is? It is a miracle if one receives 70 years to make the most out of life. 70 years mat seem infinite to youngsters, but the elders of this time peer at that integer with apprehension and dismay. Life will soon conclude for many. How is one supposed to attack life with such vigor? How does one back life into a corner when everything is so transient? You see a young man who strikes himself down the prime of life…how does one continue on knowing how futile it is trying to persevere through the years? The answer is simple, my friends. Drake may call it YOLO, John Ploehs may call it the Grail, and the rest of us might simply refer to it as happiness. Life is a seemingly endless routine of attempting to overcome obstacles which seem both perilous and indomitable. Imagining the real world is scary for a young person in today’s society. The economy is absurdly awful and the odds of acquiring employment right away is nonsensical. With these two facts, destiny screams failure for the bulk of the new generation. In the end, happiness is the only factor which can keep someone going through this hodgepodge of depression. Without the feelings of glee and joy, how would one be able to escape the acrimonious facts of life? What it all comes down to in this world, and what we need to rest our laurels on, are the little things of life. Seeing a young niece, nephew, or child crawling across the room towards you, hitting a game winning shot in a pick-up game of basketball, or sharing a beer with the close friends which one has made throughout the years are examples of what I speak. Everyone has a different idea of the little things: whether it be family or self related. Some people may appreciate the taste of a nice Skyline Cheese Coney or the smooth flow of the vented wide mouthed Coors Light cans. Some others may get pumped by a phenomenal grenade kill in Halo or a comeback victory in Super Smash Bros on N64. No matter what one’s “little things” incorporates, the importance of these “little things” is undeniably ineffable. If one stares to intensely into the big picture, he or she will discover that life is seemingly rubbish. Ten years following one’s death, who will remember? Javon Belcher was a man who meant absolutely nothing to 99% of the world. Even following his death, very few consider Belcher to be a significant totem in thier lives; however, the lesson which comes with Belcher’s death is one which is invaluable and cannot be ignored. The lesson Belcher’s death preaches is to realize one’s life is something which may or may not hold any meaning to the rest of this Godforsaken planet. Billions of people are unaware of your existence, but it does not matter. All that matters is the little things in life which bless us with happiness and comfort. These little things aid us in forgetting just how transient life is and provide us with an impenetrable force field against the negativity which hopes to imbue itself into our very beings. Remember the little things which provide happiness to your life, because without those things one may lose sight of why he/she is meandering through this wasteland.