Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/3/12
As the Kansas City Chiefs stepped onto the field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon, they were preparing for more than just a football game. Peyton Hillis was well aware of that reality, gathering his teammates in the locker room before the game and using the bible as his guide, as NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington noted on Monday. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” That was just the beginning of the excerpt he read from the book of Ephesians (chapter 6, verses 10-20), using the words of God to enlighten and motivate his teammates in their most trying hour. At 1-9 on the season entering Sunday, the Chiefs understood what it was like to lose. But not like this. Barely 24 hours before taking the field, maybe 100 yards from where the Chiefs players now stood, their teammate, friend and brother had died. Jovan Belcher‘s tragic death was still far too fresh to understand or internalize exactly what had transpired, and yet there was work to be done. Behind Hillis’ motivational words and head coach Romeo Crennel‘s leadership, the Chiefs marched onto the field and made a statement in their 27-21 win against the Carolina Panthers. The result, which included a standout performance from Jamaal Charles and some unexpected success from quarterback Brady Quinn, marked more than just a win for the Chiefs, though. What they accomplished on Sunday wasn’t merely playing a game. It was much more than that. In the face of such tragedy, felt by both the organization and the city of Kansas City, the Chiefs stepped up and showed their true mettle and grit. They lifted the spirits of the more than 60,000 fans inside Arrowhead Stadium and left an unforgettable impression on the football world, and the world in general. Belcher’s death, and the gruesome circumstances leading up to it, is a reality that goes beyond just the NFL or the world of sports. It’s something that hits home for some, frightens many and that all can empathize or at least sympathize with. It’s far greater than any single game or sport, and such a grand tragedy sometimes calls for an even greater response. And on Sunday, Hillis and his teammates answered that call in the best way they knew how. Many questioned whether the game should’ve been played in the first place, but in seeing what resulted and the impact that game had on those players, there wouldn’t have been a better place for them to be or a better way for them to cope. Sunday’s are for football in Kansas City, just like everywhere else around the United States. But on this Sunday, the game itself took a back seat. Rather it was about paying homage and the emotional triumph associated that took center stage. And maybe — although under different pretenses — that’s how it should be more often. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rob Manfred: No significant rule changes in 2017, blames MLBPA

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

NFL 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

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

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