Today, and every Wednesday we will look at the most important/controversial/interesting of these connections and examine how it may effect the game or at least may be a storyline worth following.
This week's Chief Connection is the second matchup between former colleagues Todd Haley and Chan Gailey. If Round Two is anything like Round One, we could be in for another gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking Sunday afternoon.Most of us know the backdrop of this story, but let's quickly review:
- Todd Haley is hired as the Head Coach of the Chiefs, despite Primetime's call for Chan Gailey to be hired.
- Haley bucks conventional wisdom and decides to keep Gailey on as Offensive Coordinator for the 2009 season. There is immediate speculation as to whether this is a good move. Two men who are used to calling plays, and mind you, the Sporting News had just ranked Gailey as the league's 2nd best OC. But deep down, everyone knows Haley wants to call the shots and the plays (a proposal AP was very much against)
- After an entire offseason with Gailey as the OC, on August 31, 2009 Chan Gailey was relieved of his duties just days before the start of the season.
- Haley calls the plays for the 2009 season, and the Chiefs double their win total! (to 4)
- Gailey gets paid to watch said season, and indicates that he let Haley know from the beginning that the differing philosophies of offense would be difficult.
- January 19, 2010 Chan Gailey is hired as Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills.
- October 31, 2010 becomes a big date on the schedule as Haley-Gailey I will take place. Trent Green says, "It's going to be personal for Chan, definitely."
- Despite a strong and spirited showing, the Bills move to 0-7 as the Chiefs escape with a 13-10 OT win.
- September 11, 2011: Haley-Gailey II
Let's not pretend like we know the specifics of the relationship of these two at this point in time. Having coached sports and worked briefly at the collegiate level, it is just human nature that Chan Gailey wants to destroy Todd Haley any chance he can get. We know Haley to be a man who wears his emotions on his sleeve, but rarely seeks out controversy unless he feels wronged. But while he has 1,000 things on his mind, deep down he also realizes he will always get Gailey's best effort. Beneath all of the cryptic talk that Haley uses during press conferences and the openness that Gailey uses lies, in my opinion, a deep-seeded dislike between these two men.
Thus, aside from being a huge Opening Day matchup, what we have is one of the few coaching faceoffs where there is some genuine bad blood. Forget Rex and Belichick, Rex heaps praise on Hoodie all the time. It's a storyline that should not take away from the game at all, but it is certainly an interesting one and one that should be followed every time these two teams face off.
Therefore, the rematch between Todd Haley and Chan Gailey is our Week 1 Chief Connection and hopefully Haley will improve to 2-0 against his new rival. And for the record, I am glad Chiefs Brass did not listen to Primetime, because we got the better coach and long-term leader.