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Kent Babb Talks About "Arrowhead Anxiety"

KANSAS CITY MO - AUGUST 27: A general exterior view of renovated Arrowhead Stadium prior to a preseason game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles on August 27 2010 in Kansas City Missouri.  (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY MO - AUGUST 27: A general exterior view of renovated Arrowhead Stadium prior to a preseason game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles on August 27 2010 in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
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Kent Babb of the KC Star talked with Nick Wright on 610 Sports this afternoon about Babb's Sunday morning story in the paper, "Arrowhead Anxiety."

This has been the topic of conversation in KC over the past day and a half or so and we've seen a number of questions about the story background, Babb's reaction, more details and things like that.

Babb answered a lot of those questions in his Q&A with Wright so I posted a few of his quotes below. The second one down, on the credibility of the sources, is probably one of the questions you're looking for.

On his reaction to Haley's paranoia about the working environment:

"I was astonished. I mean, blown away. This is an NFL head coach, one of 32 in the world, who believes a thing like this. So, yeah, I was absolutely taken aback.

"He was talking to somebody else in the media room in the press room where he does the press conferences and I had kinda stepped into the locker room and I was walking back to where our little holding area is and he followed me back. And that happens occasionally. They'll have something to say. or want you to know something, or want to yell at you about something.

"But this time was a little bit different. He was pretty high strung and said he wanted to talk to me. We walked over this way and over that way and into this conference room. And he said you'll get a call that will be from a number you don't know. And that's a call I haven't gotten but that's the way it goes. He was fired four days later. This was the Thursday before the Jets game."

On the sources that were just laid off being disgruntled and how many of the sources were fired and how many were current employees:

"The people who say that, that you can find people who are upset after being laid off, fired or left on their own, they're absolutely right. I have nothing to hide about that. But a considerable number of people I talked to for this story were current employees, people who worked there for a long time and people who worked there for just a little while. I talked to a broad range of people.

"I understand why people are saying, 'What else are they supposed to say if they're disgruntled and don't work there anymore?' But a lot of the people I talked to aren't disgruntled. They're aware of a different kind of working environment that some of these people just have a problem with. It's hard for me not to pay attention to that.

"When people who still work there -- and I won't say how many I talked to because I don't want to give more to their identity than I need to. I just think it's for everybody's own good that I don't. But I talked to more people and a considerable number who are currently employed there. I have no reason to doubt what they say. I took a pretty extra filter to make sure with the people who had been let go from there weren't saying wild and crazy things."

On whether others besides Todd Haley were worried about the same things:

"I don't know if I would say worried but certainly something people think about a lot of the times. And one of the things I came up with when I was reporting the story was a lot of people told me, 'I'm just not sure what to believe.' And I understand that it's a wild accusation that it sounds like Todd Haley made and I get that and I've digested that myself. And people have asked me, 'Do you believe that?' And I don't know. I mean, that's the question.

"Obviously the Chiefs have adamantly denied that and based on their body language and very determined words I think they mean it. But I believe that Todd Haley believed it. And to me that can be troublesome if the head coach of an NFL team thought things like that."

Even if it's not going on, is it a problem that people that work there believe it could be going on?

"I think that's probably the biggest question that will come out of this thing. I think it's a reasonable question. I probably won't get into that just because I don't know the answer to the question. But I think that is going to be the lingering question to come out of a story like this and learning that people who do and have worked there think these things.

"Does it have an impact there? People have told me that they believe, how could you be productive in that environment, if you're so pre-occupied with whether you're being chased by ghosts or whether your phones are being looked at, whether it's true or not, are you being as productive as you can? I just simply don't know the answer to that question. I have my opinions but I'll leave that to other people. But I think it's absolutely a legitimate question."

What was your relationship like with Scott Pioli before the story was written?

"I've always liked Scott, really. I don't know that I'd call him a friend because we had a working relationship. I talked to him before the Green Bay game and had a very plesant conversation with him. I saw him after the Denver game but he was tied up with another conversation so I didn't bother him. I feel like I've always had a good relationship with Scott. We've talked a pretty good number of times.

"I feel like I've had a good working relationship with most of the people who work for the Chiefs. The people I encounter I like an awful lot, and I still like them an awful lot. I don't know how they'll think of me after this but that's fine."

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