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Chiefs pay last respects at Belcher funeral service

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Heads bowed, sombre past and present Kansas City Chiefs players turned out Wednesday for a memorial service for teammate Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend and himself over the weekend.

Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at the Kansas City home they shared with their three-month-old daughter, Zoey. He drove to the Chiefs practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed Belcher commit suicide.

The team moved up its practice schedule so players could attend the afternoon service at nearby Landmark International Deliverance and Worship Center, where Belcher and Perkins worshipped. The media wasn't allowed inside.

Afterward, a coffin was wheeled from the building and driven away in a hearse.

Retired Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said Pioli and an uncle of Belcher's spoke during the service.

"It's done and over with and people need to get on with their lives, and the team needed to try to get forward," Bell said. "It's tough on them. When you see somebody and play with them, you're buddies, friends."

Many of the players boarded coach buses after the service but a few walked to their own vehicles with their wives and girlfriends.

GSP wants Silva: coach

SEATTLE -- Georges St-Pierre wants to meet Anderson Silva in a super-fight, according to his coach.

"He told me yes," said Firas Zahabi. "But I think there's a lot to be negotiated. I don't know much more than that."

Zahabi says he gets more questions in Canada about GSP facing Nick Diaz than Silva, the current middleweight champion. In the U.S., the questions are about GSP-Silva, he said.

St-Pierre is back training after a holiday following his successful welterweight title defence last month against Carlos (Natural Born Killer) Condit at UFC 154 in Montreal.

He recently tweeted a picture of himself after a training session in Paris.

"Georges is doing a more relaxed form of training," said Zahabi. "After a fight like that (against Condit), he needs time off... But Georges' hobby is martial arts, so for him it's a pleasure what he's doing."

B.J. Penn, who meets GSP training partner Rory (Ares) MacDonald on Saturday in a televised UFC card, says he would pick Silva if the super-fight happens.

"GSP, as great as he is, Anderson Silva is very hard to bet against at this moment," said the Hawaiian, who has lost twice to St-Pierre.

Seahawks without Browner

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks are about to find out how much losing at least one of their top cornerbacks means to their defence.

Brandon Browner has dropped the appeal of his suspension for using performance-enhancing substances and will miss the final four games of the regular season, the league announced Wednesday.

Browner's loss leaves the Seahawks without a Pro Bowl cornerback whose size and physical play has flustered wide receivers for much of the past two seasons. Walter Thurmond, who was a starter for a short time during the 2011 season before suffering a leg injury, will take Browner's spot.

Browner will be eligible to rejoin the team on Dec. 31 and will be able to play in the post-season should the Seahawks make the playoffs.

Harvin on injured reserve

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have placed ailing wide receiver Percy Harvin on injured reserve.

The move was announced Wednesday afternoon after Harvin missed another practice because of a severely sprained left ankle that has kept him out of the last three games.

After an outstanding first half, Harvin's season deteriorated quickly. He was hurt at Seattle on Nov. 4. Now this, meaning he won't play the rest of the year.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2012 D4

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