After yesterday's 16-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Todd Haley publicly thanked the Kansas City Chiefs fans for their support in his opening remarks to the media. This morning, Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star suggested that Haley was told by someone to "shill for tickets" in his post-game press conference.
"Yes, sir," Whitlock wrote, "the refs flagged the Bills for three penalties on Sunday —- two holdings and one pass interference. Buffalo clearly lost its composure inside thundering Arrowhead Stadium. You might think a noise-rattled team on the road would jump offsides or blow timeouts, but you don’t understand the "process."
"Or you don’t understand Kansas City’s ticket-selling "process." It’s founded on gassing up gullible fans with poorly timed, poorly delivered platitudes. Haley sounded like Eddie Haskell."
Haley was asked today if anyone told him to thank the fans following the game yesterday.
"Anything I say in here is me speaking," Haley said in response to Nick Wright of 610 Sports' question. "I sincerely felt the fans did a great job for us. The fans have been a group that I have talked about since my first day on the job, you know, how excited I was to be part of this fan base. I know we have to give them more to cheer about.
"Anything that I say is what I feel. I'm assuming that the question is being asked for a reason so something's up."
Wright didn't directly say he was talking about Whitlock's column but I think it was pretty clear why he was asking the question. Wright then explained that there was some talk that the head coach was told to thank the fans.
Haley responded with a little more vigor this time.
"Anytime someone questions me," he explained, "like you questioning me right now because if I said something or someone else told me to, that's going to get conviction out of me. Period."
Haley followed up saying, "I'm assuming you asked the question for a reason. I'm not that dumb."
"I don't read anything," he continued. "I saw one thing on TV yesterday and it was by accident and that was enough for the week. I'm trying to find the Chargers/Cowboys game and put it on an unnamed channel, and listened to an unnamed sportscaster pretty much bash the Chiefs as much as he possibly could, which is fine.
"That's enough for me. I don't read or look at anything. I've given explicit instructions to my experts surrounding me that if it's something I have to know about then you can tell me...and that includes wife, friends and any other family."
Who was the sportscaster? I'm not sure. I know of one NBC Action News reporter that takes a no-holds-barred approach to his criticism of the Chiefs but, for the most part, I think a lot of reporters are fair in their criticism.