No More Straws
This story originally published on WarpaintIllustrated.com
Photo Credit: John Reiger USA Today Images
Photo Credit: John Reiger USA Today Images
Warpaint Illustrated Columnist
Posted Dec 21, 2012


As rumors are adrift of real change, this is it…the final thing, the end of the decision tree, the last straw. Last Sunday, we witnessed the statistically worst game of the season dropping the Chiefs to 2-12. If this game doesn’t make the decision rather easy for Clark Hunt, then I’m not sure what else it’ll take.

Despite the emotion, anxiety and bereft that has affected this team; there is no way to explain away what hasn’t happened on the field of play. As far as what’s happened off the field, I feel bad for the organization. These are the toughest of things that humans can experience.

My day job has been filled with these experiences for nearly thirty years. The profundity with which humans deal with these experiences can only be dealt with through discussion, introspection and professional therapy for most people.

All of this being the facts, the organization cannot stand still and allow the depth of despair to continue to affect the product on the field. As the song goes, “the heart will go on”. And with rumblings that both the General Manager and the entire coaching staff my exit at seasons end, maybe there is a silver lining ahead.

The Chiefs are still tied with the Jaguars for the worst record in football, but statistically are still the worst. 32 of 32. No offense and very little defense. The ship is sinking fast and the hole is only getting bigger. The likely record for this team will end up being 2-14.

Our friend Todd Haley walked in the door the year after the last 2-14 record proclaiming 22 guys off the street can win two games. It sure looks like it from my perspective. I never thought I’d say that…

Listen, folks, this team is in BIG trouble. If the powers that be refuse to recognize that (and maybe there are by the PR spin disputing reports of the ousters on Wednesday), then they would be the only ones in Kansas City. Pulling the blanket tighter over the eyes doesn’t change the view outside.

Obviously the decision is going to wait until the season ends and the book is closed. Surely Clark will blow it up then, wouldn’t you think? I’m not so sure. Based on all current indications, some might think Hunt is willing to give Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel a second (or third or fourth) chance.

I fear for the Hunts. I really do. I believe that Clark, for some odd reason, has refused to see the forest through the trees. I apologize for the cliché-ridden sentences but they seem so appropriate based on the current state of the Chiefs. But let’s hope I’m wrong.

I can’t, in good conscience, defend anything the operations side of the Kansas City Chiefs Football Club has done for the entire season. I don’t believe there has been one good decision that would have made this team perform at the level they were expected to prior to the start of the season.

Bad management equates to bad football. I may be stating the obvious but it sure seems that many in the organization aren’t seeing the obvious. If I’m the one who has to illustrate that to the management of an organization reportedly valued at nearly $1 billion, then there is trouble in River City.

This season has been especially hard to witness from a journalist’s perspective. We are required to report and opine based on our role. Mine is to opine and my opinion is worth just as much as anyone else’s. What has been particularly hard for me is finding the silver lining.

One shouldn’t have to work as hard as we have had to covering the Chiefs this season. There should be some bright spots or glimmers of hope. We know Jamaal Charles is the real deal. He’s the real deal on a team that is really bad. Dwayne Bowe is the real deal. He will be gone next season (thank you Scott Pioli).

Do you see where I’m going?

All of this discussion leads to a path of decisions. Those decisions will determine the future of this team. If Clark Hunt cannot make the correct decisions that will bring good fortune to this team, then maybe he needs stronger advisors at his side or turn operations over to someone else.

I look to the 2012 AFC West champions and this is what I see. Pat Bowlen hired John Elway as the executive vice president in charge of football operations. Elway only answers to Bowlen. The remainder of the staff from the GM to the head coach report to Elway. Bowlen has given Elway the authority to make the hard decisions. Elway fired Brian Xanders after getting hired. Elway found a way to get rid of Tim Tebow and get Peyton Manning to sign on the dotted line.

Say what you will about Elway and the Broncos but you know what? They’re 11-3 and the AFC West champions.

If only Clark Hunt was willing to find a guy who would do the dirty work, he could keep his hands clean, kiss babies and walk through Arrowhead much like his father, Founder Lamar Hunt.

There are a few candidates out there and I’m sure everyone reading; can name them all. Those are the guys that are needed in KC. Scott Pioli had a chance and he blew it. He hired the wrong coaches and he didn’t stock the team with quality players.

Pioli was a product of Bill Belichick and by extension, Bill Parcells. Without them, he doesn’t have a shield against the kryptonite. Left to his own device, he is unable to conjure the magic.

The lesson is simple. Stick to what you know and who you know. If Pioli is let go after the season, he will return to New England of that I have no doubt. With all the tools he is used to dwelling in place, lightning could strike twice for the Patriots.

But it will still just be raining in Kansas City until Clark goes out and finds the sunshine. And let’s hope that the reports that circled the NFL about changes ahead are indeed true, so we don’t have to write anymore of these articles and we can get back to loving our football team again.


WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
It appears Clark Hunt may indeed be ready for real change in KC.


For all the news, notes and quotes on the Chiefs, visit WarpaintIllustrated.com



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