Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 12/2/12
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For what it's worth, the Carolina Panthers made a point to tip their collective taps, as much as caps can be tipped when there's blood on the ground and tears in the air. Pro football is a fraternity, after all, brothers decapitating brothers. "They didn't look like a 1-10 team to me," Panthers tackle Jordan Gross offered after Carolina fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-21. "You have to play sometime. You're building up to Sunday. Maybe the best thing would be, like they decided, to keep things normal. It doesn't change what happened. I thought they did a nice job, too, with just doing the moment of silence (before the game), not dedicated to anybody in particular -- just recognizing it and moving on." Moving on? That was the hard part, a franchise's burden, a community's heartbreak. They played, just as they said they would. Sunday proved businesslike but awkward for both locker rooms, an afternoon in which football seemed almost trivial. A day earlier, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher had driven to the team practice facility, less than 1,000 yards away from Arrowhead Stadium, and shot himself in the head. This after reportedly firing nine shots into girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and leaving their daughter, 3-month-old Zoey as an orphan, the saddest victim of all. "I think the biggest thing, you know, is that little girl, their daughter, and that family," noted Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who has three young children of his own, including twins born just this past October 9. "Now she'll never have a Mom or Dad. I think that's the part that really deserves the most attention, you know, the pieces that get left behind." A reporter asked Olsen if he could've suited up, with a clear head, some 24 hours after a teammate had committed suicide, what he would do if slapped with the worst kind of hypothetical imaginable. "I hope I never have to worry about that," he replied. "You're right. I hope it never has to come up to worry about." At the same time, Olsen saluted the Chiefs for moving on. For playing. And not just for playing -- for coming out, eyes on the road, and stringing together their cleanest (zero turnovers, just one penalty), if not their best, performance of a 2-10 campaign. "You definitely feel for them -- what they're going through is tragic, there's no question about it," said Olsen, who caught a 47-yard touchdown in the first quarter. "But like you said, we have a job to do. Our job is to come here and prepare to win. And you know, there's no sympathy when the game starts." Sympathy, no. Empathy, yes. "Guys do try to look out for each other, when you're playing and when you're not playing," Carolina wideout Steve Smith said. "At the same time, it's an unforeseen tragedy. It's hard in these circumstances to know what the other people are going through. I'm not going to speculate and say, If was this, then I would've done this as a player rep.' At the end of the day, there are victims of this, and there are people who made choices. And, unfortunately, those choices cost people their lives." News of the Belcher case had reached the Panthers complex early Saturday afternoon, as they were preparing to board a chartered flight to Kansas City. Team officials were told to continue as per normal, even as the situation out on Arrowhead Drive -- police tape, television trucks -- was anything but. "I mean, you've got to be an idiot not to (realize that)," Smith continued. "We had New Orleans, several years ago, when (Hurricane) Katrina (hit), and we saw that. But at the same time, this is an emotional game, and guys draw from tragedy, or whatever the case may be. So, of course, guys spoke about it. The head coach spoke about it. So were not unprepared from the emotional aspect. "And we underperformed and allowed a team that was with a heavy burden and with a heavy heart... we allowed them to hang around. They made some key plays and they finished us off. And we were not able to answer." In Chiefs circles, this was a weekend in which answers were few and far between. Moving on? That was the hard part. It still is. You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at seanmkeeler@gmail.com
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

Gabby Douglas joining judges for Miss America pageant

Recruit decommits from Michigan after mail mistake

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Washington's Josh Norman speaks candidly about multiple NFL talking points

Derrick Rose: Knicks have chance to win every game

Ranking the MLB divisional races

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker