Jeff Herr, a finalist in the 2011 Big Gig Contest on 610 Sports Radio, was born and raised in Kansas City. Following the Chiefs, Royals, and Jayhawks all his life has led him to blog about all three extensively at the-jeff-report.blogspot.com. He has also spent time covering the Royals for the blog site kingsofkauffman.com as well as serving for a period as the lead editor of throughthephog.com a blog covering the Kansas Jayhawks. When not writing about the local sports scene, he pays the bills by serving as an accountant.
Jeff Herr: Chiefs are a joke
by Jeff Herr,posted Oct 15 2012 11:36AM
All I found myself asking on Sunday was “how many more ways can I say that this is a joke?” It’s time for a change here and I don’t see one coming. The fans disdain, which should mean downward pressure from Clark Hunt to Scott Pioli, only seems to have strengthened their relationship. Instead of demanding better from his GM, Hunt and Pioli have banded together, “it’s us against the world, Scott!”
Nevermind that this GM has failed to follow through with any of the promises he made in 2009 when he arrived. Nevermind how he hired a head coach he couldn’t get along with and the tried to remedy that by hiring one to be a puppet.
No, none of that matters as we are all treated to yet another reason why Hunt is so far out of touch with the fanbase of the team he calls his own. With the rumors surfacing that Pioli has “been offered” a contract extension, the disconnect only continues to grow.
The unrest among the fans continues to grow as well. The denizens of Kansas City continue to wonder: where is our all-star GM? At the time Pioli was hired, conventional wisdom would have you believe that he was the architect behind Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s historic run in New England. There were those out there even suggesting that, of the triumvirate of Pioli, Belichick, and Director of College Scouting for the Patriots Thomas Dimitroff, that Pioli was the most valuable.
Dimitroff left in 2008 to go to the Falcons, Pioli a year later to Kansas City, and Belichick stayed in New England. Since 2009, Demitroff and the Falcons are 38-16, Belichick and the Patriots are 40-14, and Pioli and the Chiefs are 22-32. While things aren’t always simple, that’s pretty clear evidence for the case that Pioli was the least valuable piece of the Patriots front office dynasty. Especially when you consider the Falcons were just ravaged by the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal and in worse shape than the Chiefs when Dimitroff took them over.
It doesn’t take a genius to see the what the difference is, the Patriots have Brady who you could argue is the best QB in history and the Falcons have Matt Ryan who has stepped up to become one of the top tier QBs in the NFL. The Chiefs paid franchise QB money to a 7th round pick career backup hoping to get lucky. While hindsight is 20/20, it turned out to be the same as buying a lottery ticket and quitting your job before the drawing even happens.
What followed is quite possibly a series of decisions that may have set this organization back more than it moved forward. With Cassel an offensive minded coach was hired to help him along in Todd Haley. After supposedly being the right man for the job, it quickly came out that Haley couldn’t get along with Pioli. To hopefully assuage this relationship Pioli brought in Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennell, seemingly without consulting Haley.
Haley and Weis couldn’t get along either, leading to Weis bolting after just one year (Cassel’s only good year as a Chief). Without Weis the following year, Haley struggled, the relationship became untenable and Pioli fired him. Crennell is installed, the players respond and he earns himself a head-coaching gig for 2012.
Problem here is that Cassel is still the quarterback. With a defensive minded head coach and no Weis, there was only one true option, put as much talent around Cassel as possible, get a shut down D, and hope for the best. Essentially, they purchased another lottery ticket to hedge their first one. Maybe they’ll get lucky, maybe they’ll even get lucky twice, but the odds are against them both ways.
To the surprise of precisely nobody, both those lottery tickets struck out. The Chiefs are now possibly the most embarrassing franchise in the league. A once proud organization, whose founder’s name resides on the AFC Championship trophy, has once again become the punchline of late night monologues.
Lamar Hunt, as an owner, hated losing. His strong loyalty at times got in the way, but when things got really bad, he pushed the buttons that needed pushing. At his heart, the senior Hunt was a sports enthusiast, a competitor who wanted to win.
His son appears to feel differently. While I don’t know Clark Hunt as a person, and he rarely speaks, I can only base my opinion on the evidence I have in front of me. That evidence would lead me to believe he is a businessman and not consumed with winning.
Why else would he allow what’s going on to continue and actually reinforce a toxic atmosphere that is more concerned with perception than results? You see, a businessman cares about making money. An inferior product isn’t a concern if it still sells. If you can hire somebody who makes things just good enough to get people to keep coming around while making you more money, you’re going to keep him around. Why do things well when you can cut corners and nobody calls you on it?
This is where the Chiefs are currently. This season is six feet under and the dirt is being shoveled on top. What makes this a laughingstock is that Hunt and Pioli are the ones doing the shoveling. A shovelful of Cassel, another of Crennell, another of a contract extension for Pioli and next thing you know, it’s completely buried.
It’s past the point of being saved this season. Something needs to be done. It’s not just a quarterback or a GM, either. There are fundamental flaws of this organization. The Chiefs are looking for the easiest and cheapest way to build a winner and make money. This is why they keep hoping to be the Steelers or Patriots. Instead of spending the time, effort, and failures that go with figuring things out for yourself, they want to do what everyone else has done. The only problem is the NFL doesn’t work that way.
As far-gone as things are, it’s not an easy fix. I don’t even know if it’s as easy as cleaning house and getting a new regime in town. The Chiefs, and specifically Clark Hunt, need to look in the mirror and decide what kind of organization they want to be. The fans here are sick and tired of what’s happening. For the first time in a long while a full-scale fan revolt could be in order. If Hunt’s not careful, this could soon hit him right where it hurts, in the pocketbook, which just may be what this organization truly needs. It can always get worse.
Unfortunately, this looks like it will get worse before it gets any better.
Chiefs Parody of "I Will Follow You Into The Dark"
The Chiefs have LITERALLY become a joke... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPIx2isnNJo
just plain sad
what is a chiefs fan suppose to do? what am i suppose to teach my children? "hey kids these are you're kansas city chiefs: they are going to be horrible for the next 2 years at least and thats only if they actually get a decent qb. hey kids theres clark hunt boarding his G6 private jet back to dallas...no lil johnny he doesnt live here. he doesnt really like football. johnny i dont know why he owns the team since he doesnt care but thats the way the world works. im a lawyer so as long as you live longer than i do you get to inherit it. no i dont care if you dont go to law school you will get complete control of my firm and you will run it into the ground...because thats the way the world worx when you are a chiefs fan. but you kids should really learn to love this team. theres nothing like going out to arrowhead on sunday...until the chiefs take the field then we can leave so you dont get embarrassed and you can play with your toys."
I agree with you they are a bad joke, I think all chief fans must stop going to games even if it is free,stop buying chiefs products,maybee that will get Hunt's attention,the lost of profit might open his eyes. T.Gafrey...
Just thinking back
I totally understand the disconnect and ill feeling Chiefs fans have right now. I think Pioli and Crennel need to move on down the road also. Cassel was a good QB for the system he was in and all the wonderful tools he had around him while in NE. However, things like that hardly ever translate to being good with another team. Hailey may have been a tad bit unorthodox, especially in the last year or so of his tenure, but I'd say he was just trying whatever he could in order to operate within the "rules" that had been given him. Now we make it to Clark Hunt.
Most everyone you hear on the radio or who writes a blog or newspaper column bashes Clark Hunt while treating his father like some kind of saint. All you here are comments saying how this would be totally different if Lamar Hunt were still here. How the elder Hunt always had winning in mind. Well, remembering back a bit, I remember the late 70's/early 80's sitting in Arrowhead Stadium with only maybe three to four thousand other people to watch a Chiefs team that could only be described as awful. Pretty much like the Chiefs of recent. I did get to see some records broken and watch some good football though...from the teams that came to visit. Lamar did try to make things a bit better as time went on. He only did this because of the money bleeding out of his copher due to the poor teams thrown onto the field in the years previous. And he did keep Carl Peterson around for much longer than he should have. Carl did just enough to make it look like something good was going to happen. Was Lamar Hunt a leading proponent of the old AFL and hugely instrumental in shaping football into what we now watch on Sundays? Was Lamar Hunt a football god? The answer to all of these questions would be a resounding, "YES". But that doesn't mean he did a great job of running the individual team he owned.
And I know I'll get blasted for this, but how good have the Chiefs ever really been? They won a Superbowl...back in the late 60's. Yes, they've been to the postseason, but were they really ever that competitive and did anyone ever really believe they had a shot to "go all the way"? If you would really be honest with yourself, the answer would have to be "no".
The NFL in general had a huge ground swell of popularity back in the early and mid 90's. That's when you started seeing the seats filling up out at Arrowhead on Sundays. Yes, the team did get a tad better. But it wasn't that much better than before and I don't recall very many thinking, "Man, those Chiefs sure are good and headed to the big game this year!" People just started coming out because the NFL had gained momentum; not because the Chiefs had all of a sudden became a great football team.
So, why is everyone so surprised that the Chiefs suck? Why does everyone think Clark Hunt is doing such a poorer job than what Daddy did when he owned the team? Why does anyone think that it's going to get any better in KC when it comes to the Chiefs...and the Royals for that matter, but that's a rant for another time.
Make it a real "Blackout"
I have so many things to say...where to begin. First, since this is a business, I think the only thing that will help turn things around is a real "Blackout"--fans need to boycott the games. Don't go! When it hits Clark Hunt's pocketbook, maybe, just maybe, he will finally take notice. But honestly, I don't think that he has the passion for football that his father did. I think that he's trying to preserve his father's legacy, but really is only mildly interested in the results. I do not know Clark Hunt, but just observing from a far, he does not appear to get any joy from his Chief's obligations. I'll probably be considered a traitor but I think Clark Hunt should sell the team to someone that actually cares about it and is willing to put the money into it to make it a winning team. John Elway was recently interviewed and commented on how the Bronco's owner does everything necessary to allow them to put a winning team together. It is clear that that philosophy is not prevalent in the Chief's organization. I think that since Pioli has taken over that there is less connection with the fans. The "Red" Curtain is up. "As if" any other teams want our losing secrets. How embarrassing! Everyone is laughing at us. I used to mourn the end of football season, now I refuse to wear any Chief's wear, put out my flag, or in any way, let anyone know what team I support. I barely even watch it on TV. I may start with the TV on but it doesn't take long before I'm back doing the things I need to do. Again, it's just downright embarrassing! Crennel's announcement did absolutely nothing to give hope to any of the Chief's fans. They did nothing about the Offense and that is the biggest issue and has been for years. P.S. Crennel did well those last 3 games because Kyle Orton was the QB and knows how to do it correctly. And,I'm not a Cassel hater. However, I didn't realize how much we were missing until Orton started throwing and the other players were able to catch the ball. Cassel is not a great QB but it's hard to develop someone into at least a consistent, good QB when he spends his whole time scrambling, and the receivers aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing. I hold my breath when the ball is thrown to Bowe. Reminds me of Clifford Franklin in the movie the Replacements. I'm going to stop now. Like everyone else, I have so much to say about the State of the Chiefs. To re-cap, boycott the games. Don't give Clark Hunt your money. The fans need to protest!
After being a season ticket holder for over 30 years I will not renew as long as Pioli is still here. Clark, you should remove the Chief's pin you wear on your suit immediately!! I don't know if Clark is incapable or greedy, either way he hasalso failed the organization and fan BOYCOYbase. I WILL NOT purchase any chief's gear or give any more money to the Hunt family.