I wanted to refrain from commenting on the Jovan Belcher situation, because it was pretty messed up and gallows humor, while hilarious, doesn’t really fit here, so soon after the incident.

But jeez, with the Josh Brent incident it’s basically impossible to ignore one of the worst weeks for player deaths in history. So I drew this image, mostly because I couldn’t think of a tasteful way to make a comic about it without offending too many people.

On Jovan Belcher: His final hours have been analyzed, his conversations and actions picked and pried over in an attempt to understand his death. His death is a weird thing: he committed a horrible act, then committed another right in front of his coaches. It’s hard to not be mad at the guy for that. Did he really have to kill his girlfriend? On the other hand, this was the action of a mentally ill individual that by most accounts seemed perfectly fine. Something was clearly wrong. Maybe it was a long build up, maybe it was just a single incident, but we are never going to find out what was going through Belcher’s head besides that bullet. It’s hard to know how to feel about it. He shouldn’t be completely vilified,  but he also shouldn’t be praised or considered faultless. The best we can do is shake our heads and hope for the best when it comes to his daughter, Zoey.

As for Josh Brent, things are a little clearer. Josh Brent drove drunk, got in a wreck that killed his teammate and good friend Jerry Brown. It’s beyond sad. Do not drink and drive. You can also blame him for being an idiot and not calling a cab (Football players make obscene money, HIRE A CAB YOU MORONS), but at the same time, most of these players grew up in poorer situations and the culture of the sport makes them feel invincible. The NFL needs to institute some learning programs for these young guys. But I have very little sympathy for Brent. However, I also do no endorse hating on the man too much. No matter what other people say, he made a dumb mistake that directly lead to the death of his best friend. He has to live with that for the rest of his life. Nothing anyone says will do any good, because if he doesn’t learn his lesson for this he’s doomed.

I also want to give a mention to the Browns employee from a week ago who hung himself. I don’t know what that was about, but it kind of got glossed over because Belcher the day before.

Last but not least, on a morbid note, this makes 3 teams that have benefited from the “Tragedy Bump” that I mocked in a comic a couple months ago.