After the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers a few weeks ago, head coach Todd Haley took an opportunity to thank the fans that showed up, even if there were a lot of terrible towels in the crowd.
"I was really impressed with our fans and the environment that was created. I thought it made it difficult for the Steelers to operate at times. I want to take my hat off to them and thought it was an outstanding performance by our fans."
Today, as the pressure builds of a possible blackout if not this Sunday then next, Haley said he can't be concerned with a blackout right now. The normal line, 'I'm just concerned about the Buffalo Bills" came out but he followed that up acknowledging that the Chiefs will have to start winning to bring the fans back.
"I said at the beginning we were going to have to earn the fans back," Haley told reporters today.
"I understand there hasn’t been a lot of winning going on around here and this year one [win] at home and two on the road isn’t enough to earn that back. But that’ll come as we have success. I know the fans will be on board and I know from past experiences that this is the toughest place as far as I’m concerned to play on the road."
I know he said he's not concerned with a blackout right now, and he's probably not, but ultimately he needs the fans, I think. That last line about Arrowhead being a hard place to play? The fans make it hard to play in and Haley knows that their presence can be a major competitive advantage.
History has proven that even a winner won't bring the crowds in some cities (See Jacksonville, Cincinnati) but an even slightly competitive Chiefs team will bring the crowds back and also bring back the competitive advantage 75,000+ fans create.