A brief History of Chiefs Head Coach John Mackovic

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy), was a philosopher, essayist poet and novelist. 


My mind was wandering as I was contemplating the Chiefs precarious current position of being 0-2 after having been to the playoffs and losing in the first round the prior year. Reading numerous opinions on Arrowhead Pride my mind went from ownership, coaching, team play, management and back through the juggernaut of the aforementioned when I decided to start contemplating on previous Chiefs teams I remembered. Maybe it's a sign of my old mature age in that I tend to come to a point that I begin to take a step back. Maybe it's a sign that I get tired of the self-inflicted diatribe.

I'm sure there are some here that remember John Mackovic and even more that don't. When I started thinking about him, I began to remember similarities to the current Chiefs situation. Then again, "memory" can be a thing that changes as time passes so I decided to do a bit of research.

Was it how I remembered? Why am I having "deja vu all over again"? (Yogi Berra-ism)

So let's take a brief look at Coach Mack otherwise this will turn into a much longer post than I intended. Maybe I'm the only one to see the correlation in some aspects of player/coach relations as well as attitude, and if the reader finds I'm way off base then so be it. I'll concentrate on some of the troubling similarities.

John Mackovic (born October 1, 1943)

Mackovic had his first HC Wake Forest from 1978 to 1980. Mackovic led his teams to a 14–20 record.In 1979, he was named the Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

In 1981, Tom Landry hired Mackovic as assistant head coach and quarterback coach with the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he spent two seasons before accepting a head coaching job with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1983. Mackovic would later name himself his offensive coordinator, a position he held all four seasons in Kansas City. Mackovic's first three Chiefs teams missed the playoffs. In his final season, the Chiefs made the playoffs as a wild card, their first playoff appearance in 15 years and only their second since the AFL–NFL merger. However, owner Lamar Hunt fired Mackovic only days after they were eliminated in the first round due to a lack of chemistry.[2] The catalyst behind Mackovic's dismissal was a meeting between Hunt and eight of the most prominent Chiefs.[3] Mackovic's record with the Chiefs was 30–34.

The thing that stuck out with me was the reference to "the meeting" and remembering the players being involved. I guess the correlation in my mind was the supposed exchange between the Haley and Waters which stuck out (22 guys off the street).

Here are some snippets that stood out from this article. If you get a chance to read the whole article, it is a very good read by writer Mike Fish.

Mackovic has long been known to tick off players and even his own coaches with his snide, biting comments. The man isn’t red-faced and vulgar. Rather, it’s his air of aloofness and superiority that tends to make the blood boil....

...The last time Mackovic's players protested his actions, some 16 years ago, Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt sided with the players and fired him. Hunt probably had had enough of Mackovic, anyhow.

....I come with the perspective of having been part of the Kansas City newspaper’s coverage of the Chiefs in 1986. That season, which was Mackovic’s fourth in K.C., the Chiefs improved to 10-6 and made their first playoff appearance in 15 years. But days after a playoff loss to the New York Jets, Hunt drove to the home of place-kicker Nick Lowery for a meeting with him and seven other players, including Pro Bowlers Deron Cherry, Art Still and Albert Lewis.

...Within hours of huddling with the players, Hunt fired Mackovic and handed the job to Gansz.

Behind his back, some K.C. coaches referred to Mackovic as Mouse-ovic. They spoke of him as being whiney and unwilling to take blame when the offense, his specialty, faltered.

Which reminds me of his words after his undoing in Kansas City years ago: “It was a surprise, I think that’s a safe thing to say."

Well folks, you can come to your own correlations here, if you see any. Personally I was a bit taken aback by earlier comments this week from Coach Haley about the offense as well as some of the written (true or untrue) articles/comments about his disagreements with other coaches/players on his staff historically. I won't go through all of them since most AP'ers already are well aware of the debates.

If anyone has any additional memories of Coach Mack, chime in. The correlation is just how I see it. I'm not saying that Haley and Mackovic's paths and responses are identical, I'm just seeing similarities that you might be able to conclude....or maybe not.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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