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June 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Brady Quinn: A class act in the aftermath of the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide

This post is about Brady Quinn, but it is not about Brady Quinn, the NFL quarterback. It is not about how he would fill in if Russell Wilson missed time, and it’s not about his career up until this point. It is simply about Brady Quinn, the person, and how he handled an incredibly difficult situation in Kansas City last year.

Quinn, as you know, played for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was the team’s backup quarterback going into the season. He gained the starting job when Matt Cassel had to miss time with an injury. It was a disastrous season for the Chiefs on the field. They became the first team since 1929 — 1929! — to not hold a lead at any time in the first eight games of the season. They were beyond awful.

I know. I’m from Kansas City. I watched.

But as bad as it might have been on the field, that means nothing to what happened off it. You know this story, too: Jovan Belcher, the team’s linebacker, murdered his girlfriend by firing multiple bullets into her. He then drove to the Chiefs’ training facility, where he turned the gun on himself in front of coaches and the team’s general manager.

It was a horrific story and one that was extremely hard to grasp, especially in Kansas City. Things like that don’t happen in Kansas City. That’s not to say there’s not murder or violence, and that’s not to say bad things don’t happen there. But it’s a city that feels safe and secluded from much of the craziness in the world. Those things happen elsewhere. Not in Kansas City. I remember feeling that as soon as I heard about the Belcher story.

And that’s where Brady Quinn comes in. He was the quarterback of a team that everyone in Kansas City hated. They despised that team: the quarterback, the coach, the general manager. They all had to go, and they all did. They also hated the way Brady Quinn played — he went 1-7 as the starter — but he earned plenty of respect for the way he handled himself in the aftermath of the Belcher situation.

And he earned it for a simple monologue that showed compassion, awareness, understanding and maturity. It happened before he took questions from the media in the aftermath of the murder-suicide. He had something he wanted to say first.

I don’t know if Brady Quinn can play quarterback for the Seahawks. History shows that he can’t play at a high level. But this isn’t about that. This about a quote, which is as important today as it was when he said it. Here it is:

“We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us. Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”


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