, Port Arthur, Texas


December 20, 2012

Jamaal Charles focused on strong finish

KANSAS CITY — KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles said Thursday that he’s focused on finishing the season strong after coming back from a devastating knee injury and then dealing with a murder-suicide that hit especially close to home.

Charles tore his left ACL early last season, causing him to miss the entire year. But he’s returned to be one of the few bright spots for the Chiefs (2-12), running for 1,230 yards and four touchdowns for one of the league’s worst offenses.

“My knee has been holding up pretty good,” Charles said Thursday in his first interview in weeks. “I’m still rehabbing, getting stronger. I feel like it’s getting better, too. It’s been a long season, but I’ve been taking care of it the whole year, too.”

What Charles has overcome physically in the past year, however, pales in comparison to what the running back has dealt with emotionally over the past few weeks.

Three weeks ago Saturday, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot to death his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then drove the short distance to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in the parking lot as coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli watched on.

Perkins was the cousin of Charles’ wife, Whitney, and Charles helped to introduced her to Belcher. Perkins and Belcher had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.

“I don’t even want to talk about that,” Charles said, when asked how difficult the past few weeks have been. “I just want to talk about football.”

On the field, his performance never wavered.

Just one day after the shootings, he ran for 127 yards in a 27-21 win an over the Carolina Panthers. He followed it up with 165 yards at Cleveland, scoring Kansas City’s lone touchdown when he took the opening handoff 80 yards for the score.

Charles has made himself scarce in the locker room the last few weeks, and has declined to speak when approached by reporters. He was spotted at a memorial service for Perkins in Texas the week after the shootings, but hasn’t missed a practice or a game.

Now, with two games left, he needs 237 yards to match his career high set in 2010.

“When I first touched a thousand yards for the season, in my mind I was like, ‘Wow, I really made it there, and I still have five more games,” Charles said. “I was like, ‘Man, I can really gain some more yards.’ I still have two more games and I’m trying to push my team, my linemen, let me finish strong. I want to at least have 1,500 at the finish.”

Charles also will know Wednesday whether he’s been selected to his second Pro Bowl, and he said it would “be the best feeling I’ve felt this whole month and this whole year.”

But he also said he wouldn’t be disappointed if he’s passed over in the voting.

“I wouldn’t be disappointed because last year I didn’t play football at all,” Charles said. “This year I got to play football again. That’s the most important thing for me.”


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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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From the Fieldhouse blog