I haven't missed a Chiefs game in a few years. Without fail every single sunday I'm watching the game somewhere. I've been to every Chiefs/Charger game in San Diego for the past 5 years, and I even made the trip to Arrowhead a few weeks back for the Steelers game.
Sadly, every game I've ever witnessed the Chiefs play in person, we've lost. Ironically enough, the most entertaining and competitive were the ones led by lifetime backup quarterbacks in Tyler Thigpen and Tyler Palko. Even stranger, they share the same first name....
Year in year I out I spend money on my football team because I love them. It gives me something to cheer for, something that I can relate to with other people, something that can make for pretty good conversation in most of the country. Sadly, I've grown so use to losing that it isn't even really uncommon for me to feel emotions anymore.
I was asleep peacefully in my bed at around 8 AM this morning. I had work at 12, so I had a few extra hours to sleep in. My door opened up and my roomate just stands in the doorway looking at me. He stayed the night at his girlfriend's last night, and I was kinda surprised that he was waking me up so early.
Me: "What up man..." (still half asleep mind you)
Him: "Man I'm sorry I just heard the news"
Me: "What news? What are you talking about?"
Him: "Oh...you haven't checked your phone this morning have you?"
Immediately I reached for my phone, and saw the text from ESPN. Yep, Todd Haley had been fired. What a wonderful way to start my monday.
That's sarcasm. I'm not one for firing a coach midseason, let alone a coach that helped lead the biggest team turnaround in history. That being said, I'm not here to harp on about the decision to fire Haley. Did I agree with it? No. I didn't. However, I trust Scott Pioli and there were obviously issues in the locker room that we don't, and may never, know about.
Typically rebuilding starts with cleaning house. We did this a few years back when Carl Peterson stepped down. Thank God. I'm grateful for everything he did for the city and for the team, but his time had obviously come. The owner evaluates his general manager, coach, etc. Then he fires them. Sometimes the coach goes first, other times the GM. You get the point. Clark Hunt was able to reel in former Executive of the Year in Scott Pioli, a coveted front office man who helped the Patriots Dynasty.
When Pioli decided to let go of Herm Edwards, he didn't have too many options to choose from. Shanahan would never be able to work with him. Cowher wanted both GM/HC responsibility. This was Scott Pioli's first rodeo at actually hiring a headcoach, which is why I'm not blaming him as much as I feel I should.
The Haley years were up and down. The first year was horrible. Tyson Jackson? Really? Regardless, we saw Todd Haley bring out the best in some of our players. Jamaal Charles explode onto the scene, and Brandon Flowers step his game up to a top flight cornerback in the NFL. We saw Dwayne Bowe end his eat anything drop everything phase. Hell even Derrick Johnson decided to become a pretty damn good linebacker.
Most importantly, we got the most out of these guys, we signed them to long term deals (Bowe is coming; hopefully), and we set the building blocks for the next guy. The progress that has been made in the past few years has been tremendous. We may have a difficult time seeing it now, but in a few more years we can really take a look at this team and see something special being built.
Maybe Todd Haley wasn't what the Chiefs Brass expected. Maybe their egos couldn't work together. Maybe we just got it all wrong and we just need a fresh start. Regardless, I don't think we're rebuilding anymore. We're just adding a new room to the house.
I know that the Chiefs fanbase was split today. There were a lot of Haley fans that were pretty upset, myself being included. I liked the guy personally and as a coach. As a player I would love a coach that shares his emotions with his team. I wasn't happy with the flag yesterday but it shows that he is human and is prone to playing with the same emotions as his players.
Whatever your opinion is, within the next few months things will once again be changing in Kansas City. We're going to have a new coach, we're going to have a lot of new players, and we're going to have a lot of new rules. It's going to be interesting, and when July rolls around we're all going to be drooling of the idea of Chiefs football.
"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."