Amy Donaldson: To play or not to play after tragedy?

Published: Sunday, Dec. 2 2012 8:00 p.m. MST

Before the game Sunday, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel explained why he thought it was important that the team play.

"As far as playing the game, I thought that was the best for us to do because that's what we do," Crennel said after the Chiefs beat the Carolina Panthers 27-21. "We're football players and football coaches, and that's what we do, we play on Sunday."

Maybe it's because they're football players that pressing forward seems silly. If they were firefighters, police officers, soldiers, even teachers, we would admire their commitment. We'd appreciate their determination.

But the games entertain us. They offer us a chance to lose ourselves in fun and frivolity for just a few hours.

Maybe there are days when we should not try to lose ourselves.

Maybe there are moments that require us to give up something we love in order to feel, to learn something important.

This seems to me to be one of those moments.

Rather than offer a moment of silence for victims of domestic violence before the game, maybe these admired and beloved professional athletes could make a bigger statement by helping those victims on game day.

But for the players, they hoped their effort made a statement, offered a tribute.

I think most of our actions make a statement, and I worry that the statement is that we'll play at all costs. We won't stop long enough to consider whether there are other ways we can offer a tribute. It's part of proving our tenacity, our toughness.

Hopefully some good comes from the decision to play. Quinn offered wise words after the game. He said the incident caused him to wonder if we really meant it when we asked a friend how he or she was. Did we want to dig deeper? Did we really want to know?

He hoped people would take from the tragedy the ability to be more genuine to engage each other with more depth.

And then Quinn said, "You don't feel like you can win in this situation."

class="end-note-text">Twitter: adonsports Email: adonaldson@desnews.com

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