Sports, Death & Dignity: Javon Belcher & Hector Camacho

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.


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.

Share Button
About The Public Professor 79 Articles
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: (