John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
So, yesterday, there was a protest. It wasn't about war in Southeast Asia or the Middle East. It wasn't about unfair wages or political oppression. It wasn't about rights or freedom. It was about a football team. I don't point this out to demean or belittle what happened. It's just context. The fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, who used to be known as the best fans in sports, showed their true colors.
And under all those black shirts and brown bags, those colors are the same as they ever were: Red and Gold.
Those fans who participated and even those who didn't proved that they still have what made them the best fans in sports. They proved they still care. They care about the uniform, the men who wear them and the holy building in which they play. They proved they want to make a difference in the quality of the product on the field. It's no different than being loud when the opposing offense has the ball. The message is different, but the voice is the same.
Personally, I am not a member of this movement. I do not contribute to airborne banners. I do not put grocery bags on my head. I do not wear black to Chiefs games. However, I respect the passion of those who do. My refusal to participate isn't because I think it's pointless. I don't. It isn't because I'm too cool. I'm not. It's not because I'm old and stuck in my ways. Even though I am.
It's because I hope this movement fails.
I love that I live in a country where people not only feel free to express their opinions but also get motivated to organize a collective scream from the highest mountain. I'm proud every time I see my countrymen exercising their rights. I root for them to overcome those who attempt to suppress their voices. But, not every protest has the right goals and not every protester deserves to get their way.
The goal of what happened yesterday is for the fans to send a message to Clark Hunt that we hate the direction this team is going. We don't believe in the leadership. We think it's time for change. And that Clark needs to fire those responsible. I agree with all of that. I want the same change most of you want.
I want Cassel fired because he isn't good at playing football. I want Daboll fired because he isn't good at getting the most out of the talent he does have. I want the rest of the coaches fired for not doing enough to prevent this team from looking like they don't care as much as the fans do. I want Romeo fired because he isn't qualified to do this job.
I want Donovan fired because, in his time on the job, ticket sales are down. Partnerships are being under-utilized. Revenue streams are drying up. Community involvement is decreasing. PR has been a never ending mistake-a-palooza. And the team is being sued by multiple former employees for discrimination. Most of the embarrassing off-field issues of the past few years are on him. He must go.
I want Pioli fired for all of the above. If a GM only does two things right while on the job, those two things need to be finding a franchise QB and hiring the right head coach. Everything else is secondary. Pioli is a catastrophic failure in these two areas. He took over the worst team in football. Four years later, we're still the worst team in football. It doesn't even matter that I believe the man is a control freak. The stories about him being a horrible boss don't matter. The stories about people not wanting to work with him don't matter. You know what does matter? Results. Results freaking matter. We're a punch line. We're the least likely team in football to fight back. We're 1-9. Fire this man.
So, then why do I want the fan movement to fail? It's pretty simple really. I want Clark Hunt to be smart enough to do the right thing without having to be told by his customers. I want him to look at the results on the field and know that everyone should be fired. I want him to look at the reputation of the team and know that everyone should be fired. I want him to look at the way we were blown off by Peyton Manning and know that everyone should be fired.
I want him to remember that this organization used to be the one that other teams modeled themselves after. I want him to remember that being the Chiefs used to mean more than just winning or losing on Sunday. It meant player charities and pep rallies. It meant tailgating and family gatherings. It meant being the envy of every other team in the league.
This organization is a shell those ideals. We're obsessed with importing the Patriot Way or the Steeler Way. We're trying to be something we're not. I want Clark to look around and realize that the reason we haven't won a Super Bowl in almost half a century isn't because there is something wrong with our corporate culture. It's because we haven't turned over every stone possible to find a franchise QB.
So, keep wearing your black or your bags and calling into your talk shows and flying your banners and making your voices heard. It's the American way. Power to the People. And hopefully, when this is all over, everyone will be fired and you'll feel like you made a difference.
I just hope it isn't true. My hope is that when the dust settles and all the bags are packed, the underlying truth is that Clark tuned it all out and did the rational thing. I hope he fires these men because he knows they deserve it. If he does it because you told him to, then we're probably doomed to repeat this history.