Scott Pioli opens up about Jovan Belcher tragedy
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 30, 2013
One of the most horrific and heartbreaking football stories from last year was the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher in December.
After shooting his girlfriend, Belcher drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself in front of former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and former head coach Romeo Crennel. Pioli opened up about the event, and his ongoing emotional recovery, on The Dan Patrick Show.
"I don't know if you ever shake it," Pioli said. "You certainly don't forget it. ... It was awful. Especially somebody that you really care about, someone that you know. It was so much more complicated than that, because it was more than a suicide. There was the act that took place before."
It's impossible to imagine what Pioli went through, and continues to go through. He doesn't know if he'll ever be able to make sense of it, but he doesn't consider himself a victim. He knows there are people who lost even more that day.
Does he think about if he could have done anything different to possibly prevent it?
"Of course. Absolutely. If you're human and have a heart, have a consicencence, if you have a thoughtful mind, absolutely," Pioli said. "There's a lot gymnastics that your mind goes through. Second-guessing of a lot of things, and that's stuff I'll figure out in time. When you sign an NFL contract to do a job, or do any job, you never think you're going to go through something like that.
"Here's the way I look at it: I was not a victim that day. I saw something awful, but the reailty is there are victims out there. There are people out there, family members, someone lost their daughter, someone lost their son. There are people who have lost a family member and, unfortunately, this is a microcosm of what's really going on in our world today. That's what I've been trying to process.
"Unfortunately, I witnessed something horrific. The reality is, I'm not unique. This is happening all over our world, and that's the bigger picture. You've got to start looking at it as you try to bring closure to it."
Pioli was let go by the Chiefs before Andy Reid was hired and recently accepted a role with NBC Sports Network.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com