Sports, Death & Dignity: Javon Belcher & Hector Camacho

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Mom, Gloria & Cynthia… Cynthia wore her Hector on her sleeve… or shirt.

 

THE MORTUARY – Last week I wrote a memorial for boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, who caught a bullet in the head while snorting coke in Puerto Rico.  A sad ending to the former champ’s disheveled life was followed by a pathetically comical sideshow at his wake.

Macho Man’s funeral ushers.

As hundreds of people had filed past Camacho’s casket last Tuesday, several fights broke out.

The main event was a cat fight among his various lovers vying for posthumous recognition.

I am the actual girlfriend of Macho, and those who don’t like it better not bring it,” said Cynthia Castillo.  She then planted one on Camacho’s cold lips, got herself a plate of food, and moved to the area reserved for family.

But another one of Camacho’s girlfriends, Gloria Fernandez, was having none of it.  Fernandez was backed by Camacho’s sisters Esther and Estrella, and apparently the threesome “brought it.”  Castillo had to back off, retreating with some scratches, her plate of food upended.

On the under card, Camacho family member Jorge Lozada sparred with former bantamweight champ Wilfredo Vazquez.  The spark?  For reasons that are unclear, Lozada allegedly tried to separate Vazquez’s wife and Camacho’s mother as the two women embraced.  Vazquez went at him for it.

The judges ruled this one a draw.

Vazquez: Saving it up for Friday night. And funerals.

Vazquez: Saving it up for Friday night. And funerals.

But of course Macho Camacho wasn’t the sports world’s only gun fatality of late.  On Saturdcho Camacho wasn’t the sports world’s only gun fatality of late.  On Saturday, Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend/mother of his baby, drove to team headquarters and  in front of police and various KC staff, blew his own head off.

The murder and instant oprhaning of the baby are of course quite tragic.  But since no one other than hard core KC fans had ever heard of Jovan Belcher, the NFL ordered the Chiefs to play yesterday’s 1:00 P.M. game against Carolina, as scheduled

I have to ask: Would the game have been delayed so people could grieve if it were Quarterback Matt Cassell who had Jackson Pollock-ed his brains all over the team’s offices?  Star RB Jamaal Charles?  Pro-bowl WR Dwayne Bowe?

I can’t help but think that Belcher’s relative anonymity made it easier for the NFL to order everyone in KC to butch-up.  It seems that as far as the league is concerned, Belcher’s life is not worth as much as those of the team’s stars because his contract wasn’t either.

Mourn or condemn? Let’s go with both.

And then there’s the other NFL suicide from Saturday that’s hardly getting any press at all.  That’s right.  Not one, but two NFL employees offed themselves this weekend. On Saturday morning, Browns officials found the corpse of a long time grounds crew worker at the team’s practice facility in suburban Cleveland.  It has been ruled a suicide.  A team spokesman called the man a “friend” and good employee.

That’s it.  No moving television coverage, no league-wide moment of silence.  Not even an name.  Nothing.  Only about 200 words in an Associated Press article.

An undrafted, free-agent LB on a sh!tty team gets some attention, but his violent death doesn’t delay the league promptly raising its curtain for show-time the next day.  And a poor schnook working the grounds crew?  A quick blurb on the news wire, nothing more.

The show must go on.  The owners must get paid.

I’m left to wonder if this league’s ruling oligarchs are nothing more than a shameful collection of money-grubbing lowlifes.

When I’m gone, all that will remain is your memories of me. That, and Bob Costas’ saccharine, sanctimonious eulogy.

Honestly?  I’m of a mind to send Cynthia Castillo and the Camacho sisters over there to teach them a thing or two about honoring the dead.  I’d rather have those hot-tempered dames tend to my finalities than the NFL.  They may be a laughingstock, but at least they care.  They might embarrass you, but at least they’re not embarrassed by you.

Truth.

West Coast Craig looks like death warmed over after his mud run, but that won’t stop him from rinsing off an spelling Grote2DMax tomorrow.

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Mattville's George Plimpton, The Public Professor, is indeed a real, honest-to-goodness, legitimate professor at a major Maryland university. But because he doesn't have a cell phone or cable, he's crazy enough to be with us. A member of Angry Ward's Urban Spur Posse, the terrorized Bronx graffiti artist's by correcting their grammar. His loves? The Yankees, Knicks, NY Rangers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also has a real website: ThePublicProfessor.com (http://www.thepublicprofessor.com/).
  • DannyBax

    Disgusting the way the handled this. MLB didn’t make the Cards play against the Cubs when they found their pitcher had died in his room – and that was in Chicago! Goodell acts like he’s a man of morals and then pulls this. But the Chiefs won, so that’s the spin that gets played. Here’s what Brady Quinn said:

    “When I walked in the locker room, I didn’t look toward his (Belcher’s)
    locker. Then, as I sat down when I first got in, I looked
    across and I saw his jersey hanging up, his locker was still filled with
    everything, and that’s when it kind of hit me. It was kind of tough to
    step back and gain focus, what the task was in front of us, and more
    than anything else, as a player, we just wanted to try to come together
    as a team and bring some good to this situation, bring glory to the
    situation whenever you can.”

    • Cam_James

      my best guess is if this happened week 6 they postpone the game. But this late in the season with no bye weeks left they had no ability to postpone the game. Not necesarily because they could make the playoffs but because they will play teams that will and the NFL cant afford to have the playoffs compromised. I think goodell did what he had to do. In baseball there are 162 games and plenty of off days to reschedule one game or play a doubleheader. This was unfortunately different.

      • http://twitter.com/JunoirBlaber Junoir Blaber

        Frog off Cam. When Ulster lost Nevin Spence, their game that following weekend was postponed. If you don’t know the story go over to Rugby Wrap-up. Back to my point. You do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Do you think players would have complained about a game being pushed to Tuesday or something. There are ways it could have been done and I assure the NFLPA would have backed it. Gooddell is a Knute of the highest order!!

      • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

        They have pushed games because of weather. They could have pushed this one until Tuesday, no?

        • Cam_James

          weather hasn’t pushed a game. Acts of god have. Hurricane’s shut down an entire stadium. that’s different because the game physically cant be played. Let us not forget outside the families of the victims the city of Kansas city would lose millions if the game was on Tuesday and not Sunday. the chiefs even as bad as they are are all KC has left. Everyone goes out. This is the same reason why the NCAA did not put the death penalty on PSU. not because what happened wasn’t heinous but because by enacting those sanctions you would be penalizing innocent business owners.

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      And then Quinn goes out and wins the game. That’s something. But a brutal situation.

  • http://twitter.com/CheesyBruin Cheesy Bruin

    Fantastic points and so very true, Professor. Don Henley’s ‘Dirty Laundry’ came to mind as I was reading this.

  • bosoxbruins04

    Camacho is Macho even in death. Women fighting over kissing his corpse! That’s impressive.

    • http://ThePublicProfessor.com The Public Professor

      Most of us only have creditors fighting over us after the big kiss off

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      That is a great thought. If we should all be so lucky!

  • Sam’s-A-Fan

    The Prof. gets the Johnny Van de Meer award for bringing pitching brilliant back to back obit columns while on LSD. I probably have to check my facts on that last part, but two brilliant posts two times in a row with tough subject matter!

    Kudos.

    • http://ThePublicProfessor.com The Public Professor

      For the record, it was mescaline. Doc Ellis dropped acid, but I gotta do my own thing.

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Agreed. Tough subject matter, great read and now the wait for the “too soon” comments…

  • WestCoastCraig

    What would it take for a major corporation or business to take a day off…if a guy leapt from his window, what level of an exec would he have to be to get everyone the afternoon off? This is just what the NFL needs right now…I wonder how much of that tau protein will be found in this guy’s brain.

  • Johnny Rox

    Are you guys kidding me???
    Jovan Belcher didn’t get hit by a bus while helping an old lady cross the street, or die of some horrible disease! He off’d himself, after murdering his Wife (and Mother of his Child!!!) You guys want the NFL to memorialize HIM??? WTF? Am I just an insensitive Pr*ck, or did the entire World all of a sudden turn into one giant bunch of pansies? If Belcher thought life was too tough being a Husband/Dad, and making Millions to play a child’s game, he should’ve seen what the rest of us have to do! AND I’m a Jets fan!!!

    J…

    • Randy Levine

      Pr*ck

      • http://ThePublicProfessor.com The Public Professor

        Yeah, pr*ck.

        Seriously though, I’m certainly not calling for a memorial, and I don’t think anyone else is either. What I’m saying is, when someone goes postal, you close the post office for a couple of days so the cops can come in and do their thing, so the janitors can clean the blood and brains off the wall, and so that all the lunatic’s co-workers and almost-victims can have some time to get themselves together. It’s not about respecting Belcher. It’s about respecting his co-workers who survived (and in some cases witnessed) his murder-suicide spree.

  • Downtown

    This is best take on the KC tragedy I have seen.

  • AngryWard

    There was nothing to be lost by postponing the game a day or two. Jeez, at least let them clean out the guy’s locker. Thanks for the shot of Camacho’s corpse. Finally I have closure. I will never understand the open casket concept.

    • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

      Yeah.. right (on the open casket)??? Score another one for the Jews. We don’t do that sh*t.

    • http://ThePublicProfessor.com The Public Professor

      AW: When you go, we’ll be laying you out on a block of ice and chipping off it to get rocks for our bourbon.
      CC: I don’t care what that husband mad you do; you’re about as Jewish as I am Puerto Rican. Of course, now that I think of it, I do like salsa music.

      • AngryWard

        That’s it. You’re executor of my estate.

      • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

        I’m Jewish AND Puerto Rican. I get extra points.

  • vinnyfrombrooklyn

    jets were exciting for a whole quarter yesterday.

    • Cam_James

      the first half was the ugliest 30 minutes of football in a decade. it was like watching an elderly couple try and make love.

  • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

    The tragedy is that this guy killed someone else (and wrecked the baby’s life) before taking care of himself.

    Another tragedy is that I didn’t make plans to stay in NYC the other night and share a 2nd Bulleit rocks with Angry Ward.

    • B Cox

      Cookie – Wrecked the baby’s life??? He saved the damn little piece of coal from a life of dealing with F’d up parents like your kids do.
      With Love, B Cox

      • Sam’s-A-Fan

        Is it really a return of the infamous B Cox?!? This is indeed a momentous day here on MtM (Praise Yim!)!

        But we need a little more of your delicious racist bile before I’ll believe you’ve really returned to us. Can you give us just a taste?

  • Baseball Lifer

    This is going to be a last possession game. Come on Skins!

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