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Intense Vs. Relaxed: The Subjective Nature Of Sports Media

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KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 12:  Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on August 12, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 12: Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on August 12, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
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I had to laugh within the last few minutes of checking the ole' Twitter feed. Writing some articles this afternoon over at SB Nation KC and planning out the week's content, and I realize that I'm hearing conflicting reports over today's first practice for the Kansas City Chiefs -- the first after Friday night's 25-0 shutout at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The conflicting reports started when Bob Gretz sent out the following on CBS Rapid Reports:

Three players have left the field due to injuries in the first 90 minutes of what’s been a very intense practice Sunday. NT Anthony Toribio (left knee), LB Eric Bakhtiari (head) and DL Amon Gordon (unknown) have sought treatment.

A few minutes later, Bob Fescoe writes via Twitter:

This practice is as dreadful as the game Friday. No intensity #chiefs

 

Now, which is it? Are the Chiefs having a very intense practice or is there no intensity. Well, as a fan, you're going to walk away with the point of view that you happened to read in the one minute you were checking the phone. And depending on what time it was, you will make a judgment call based on whoever happened to send out the right message at the right time.

The end result is to think one of two things. First, you can believe that the Chiefs training camp is too lackadaisical this year and the loss on Friday and today's practice is a matter of a coach playing it safe out of fear. Secondly, you think Haley is doing an about face after Friday's loss and is now getting his players injured by going all out. Two completely different points of view. Two completely different reports. Both made within a few minutes of the other from two members of the Chiefs approved media there to watch the same exact practice.

Therein lies the problem with taking his word for it -- "his" referring to really anyone, AP included. Thus far, the Chiefs have made all the right moves in the AFC West to stay on top, and they've also moved too slow in free agency compared to other teams. Some have declared them winners, others have labeled them losers of this last off-season. Depending on who you read, you're either loving Scott Pioli or wondering what the heck he's doing. 

The fact is that we all pay so much attention because we love it. It's fun to read rumors of what possible free agent the Chiefs will sign or what possible trade Pioli might make. It's exciting to hear what player might be the next diamond in the rough, and it's the same level of emotion to debate the merits of Branden Albert vs. Jared Gaither at left tackle. So it's all well and good that we have so much access 24/7 on our favorite team.

But it's also important to realize that, in the end, all of this has occurred in the off-season. "Off" is the key prefix there. The Chiefs made their last official statement with the loss in the playoffs to the Ravens, capping a surprise season with 10 wins and an AFC West title. That's the last real thing, the last objective fact, you can count on. Everything else is subjective.

The Chiefs might or might not have filled the holes on their roster. The Chiefs might or might not have improved through the draft and free agency. The Chiefs may or may not have a much more difficult schedule this season, and even today, the Chiefs might or might not have had an intense practice.

In the end, the only thing that truly matters is waiting for the Chiefs on September 11th in the form of the first regular season game. That's the objective reality that Todd Haley keeps bringing up in every press conference and what he's trying to get his players to realize. Until then, it's all just guess work.