Jibber Jabber


By Chad T. Jones Public Affairs Officer

I have never been a fan of Brady Quinn the football player. He’s too good-looking, overhyped, and worst of all, he spent too much time at Notre Dame.

But after last weekend, I am a fan of Brady Quinn the man.

Quinn, 28, hasn’t had much of a career since being drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Browns in 2007. And this season, he certainly hasn’t been the right quarterback to keep Kansas City from being one of the worst teams in the league.

However, on Sunday Quinn proved to be the right man to lead the Chiefs through one of the worst moments in the franchise’s illustrious history.

As most of you probably heard, on Saturday former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher allegedly killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, then committed suicide in front of team officials outside Arrowhead Stadium.

The tragedy left the couple’s 3-month-old daughter orphaned, their families devastated, and the Chiefs organization distraught yet obligated to play a game the next day.

Enter Quinn, who had a career day — completing 19 of 23 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns — in the Chiefs’ 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

After the game, when the quarterback embraced Romeo Crennel, Chiefs coach and witness to Belcher’s suicide, it was obvious what Quinn’s performance on the field meant to the team.

Brady’s compassion and clarity during the post-game press conference is what meant most to me. http://wapo.st/UC2Wka

In barely five minutes, and in front of a global audience, Quinn captured his team’s feelings – a near impossible feat considering the conflicting emotions in the team’s locker room: The natural elation that comes with victory, the devastating lows associated with the death of a teammate, and the disgust and anger linked to that teammate’s deplorable acts.

“It’s an eerie feeling after a win because you don’t feel like you can win in this situation,” Quinn conceded in the press conference. “When it happened, I know I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what could I have done different?”

There are people on Fort Meade who have asked that same question.

As you may know, Fort Meade has had six reported suicides in the past 14 months, and as much as we may want to avoid it, we’ve had cases of domestic violence as well.

In every case there have been family members, friends, co-workers and acquaintances who were left to ask, “What could I have done different?”

To paraphrase Quinn, the answer is to be involved and genuinely engaged.

“We live in a society of social networks. …That’s fine and stuff, but we have contact with our work associates, our families, and our friends, and it seems like half the time we are preoccupied with our phone,” Quinn said during the press conference. “When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back, are you telling the truth?”

Well, can you answer yes to those questions? I know I can’t. Not always. But I think I’m going to try, and I’d encourage you to do the same.

Also, take Quinn’s lesson and “try to actually figure out if someone is battling something different on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”

Team Meade already has things in place to help us get attuned.

The military has Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which brings awareness to the issues tied to domestic violence and educates the workforce about the resources available for its victims. Advocates can be reached at 240-688-6918.

In addition, our Community Readiness Center at 301-677-9014; the Fort Meade Military Family Life consultants at 410-916-7354; and our Behavioral Health Care Service at 301-677-8895 also are available.

We have outstanding programs like Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. ASIST teaches anyone interested in learning the signs of suicidal behavior and what to do when you notice them.

The next two-day seminar is scheduled for Dec. 19. For more information, call 301-677-4231 or visit livingworks.net/profile/2871.

We are working with our partners to develop a Wellness and Resiliency Campus that will tie together the numerous resources available both on and off the installation.

But most of all, as Quinn eloquently shared, we have each other.

If you have questions on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil. … GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY!

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