Chiefs Show True Colors During Toughest of Times

Posted Dec 4, 2012

Often times in sports, athletes refer to their game as a sanctuary from the reality of everyday life. That’s not to say the games, like the one played on Sunday at Arrowhead, are fake but for a little more than three hours, the players get to “escape”. They dress in uniform, are covered by a helmet and remain unapproachable by potential distractions.

No questions to answer, no emotions to disclose, they are free to focus on the game they love to play. However, when the game is over and post-game press conferences await, the team has to respond. It has to respond to defeat or to a victory… or to something greater.

The nation learned Sunday what the Kansas City Chiefs are all about, as they chose to begin turning tragedy into triumph.

Following the 27-21 victory, the first in front of the camera was the team’s leader, Romeo Crennel. Steady and focused but with feeling and a human touch, he spoke. The head coach thanked everyone for the prayers and support for his team, congratulated his players for their courageous efforts and then turned an unspeakable event into an unforgettable lesson.

“The thing that we have to understand, when any person has an issue or has problems, if they're not totally honest with you about their issues or their problems, you cannot give them the correct help. I think people have to be honest about what problems they have and how they perceive them and know people perceive things differently,” Crennel said.

Another leader of the team, LB Derrick Johnson, followed his head coach at the microphone and shared how the team is turning heartbreak into hope.

“This situation shows that we need to talk to each other more as men, not just as football players. Generally men don’t really show their feelings, we don’t talk about what’s going on and don’t show emotion. To have an act like this to go on that could have been avoided and as a teammate, we need to do more making sure the teammate is Okay,” DJ passionately shared.

Following Johnson was Chiefs QB Brady Quinn, who fought back tears to boldly speak from his heart, bringing glory to a gut-wrenching situation.

“The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people,” Quinn said.

“I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what could I have done different? When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth? 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.”

A little more than 30 hours after tragedy struck and an on-field victory was earned, three members of the Kansas City Chiefs family stood before the nation, wearing their emotions on their sleeves to turn the focus from bitterness to blessing-in-disguise, even if that disguise was deeply-hidden and often tough to uncover.

“There is no textbook on how to handle and to how to feel and there’s a lot of emotions and confusing emotions,” Chiefs C Ryan Lilja later admitted, but with the leadership and men in the Chiefs locker room and with a “Together is Powerful” mindset, the Chiefs will endure.

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