I don’t claim to know the plight of the Kansas City media. I have only been writing about the Chiefs on
Arrowhead Addict since December. Living in New York City, I don’t have the opportunity to apply for press credentials to cover local team events. I did cover the draft but that access was granted by the NFL. As a result, my opinion is that of an outsider.
I do, however, understand the media’s need for access. A reporter’s job is to get the story and if a story is harder to get there is obviously going to be some frustration involved.
But it is not a reporter’s job to create a story when there isn’t a story to tell.
That is what Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star did yesterday.
You may remember on Wednesday I told you that the Chiefs had moved their morning practice indoors. The indoors practice was closed to the media and fans.
Per NFL rules, all training camp practices must be open to the media. Practice would be defined as the players wearing pads and helmets and hitting each other. The rules do indicate that the team may close out the media if the practice is a “walk through” or a very light practice where the players are not wearing pads.
Teicher claims that Kendrick Lewis said that the closed session was a “regular practice.”
Yesterday, in an article on the “Red Zone” blog, Teicher called in to question whether or not Todd Haley was trying to pull one over on the media.
Todd Haley again said that Wednesday morning’s workout closed to fans and the media covering the team was a walkthrough and not a regular practice.
In a walkthrough, players generally wear little or no protective equipment and run through plays at a pace far less than full speed. NFL policy says NFL teams must open a regular training camp practice in its entirety to the local media covering the team.
Rookie safety Kendrick Lewis had said the workout was a regular practice.
”It was a walkthrough,” Haley said. ”Whatever anybody chooses to believe, that’s everybody’s prerogative.
Teicher concluded the article by mentioning that he asked Haley to review a tape of the practice and that Haley had agreed but not yet delivered.
A few hours later, Teicher posted a much, much shorter followup.
The Chiefs showed me video of a workout they said was the one from Wednesday morning and it was indeed a walkthrough. Players, as Haley said, wore no helmets or other protective equipment.
This whole thing makes Teicher and the Kansas City Star look a little ridiculous. Is Teicher trying to win over the Star’s readers by uncovering some great Chiefs training camp practice conspiracy?
Teicher’s moves here reek of “Gotcha Media.” It doesn’t come off as hard-nosed, investigative reporting but as vindictive, bitter journalism. Even Teicher’s admission that the practice was indeed a walkthrough, comes off as disbelieving.
The Chiefs showed me video of a workout they said was the one from Wednesday morning…
Here Teicher seems to indicate that even though he saw the video with his own eyes, it is possible that the Chiefs showed him video from a day other than Wednesday.
Come on Adam.
Do you expect us to believe that the Chiefs lied and showed you a tape from earlier in training camp? The only times the Chiefs have even been in the indoor facility was when it was raining.
Perhaps Pioli called the team in late in the middle of the night to get some footage of them practicing in shorts with no pads to prevent you from getting to the bottom of his true evil plans to practice plays that are not for media eyes.
I have no problem with the media watching out for their readers and holding the folks they are writing about accountable, however accountability is a two way street.
If reporters like Teicher continue to appear more interested in catching the Chiefs red handed for a small infraction rather than reporting on actual stories of interest, the Star is going to have a hard time reeling in readers. A quick review of the comments of Teicher’s post shows readers are annoyed with Teicher’s tactics.
Here is a sample:
Hopefully Teicher and the other media, who been antagonistic to Haley since day one, as opposed to the softballs they lobbed to Vermeil and Herm, get a big dose of humble pie and start being more even handed towards Haley and Pioli
The press is suppost to cover news not create it and you are crossing a huge ethical line as a journalist for your own ego’s sake.
Upon further review, the call on the field stands. Adam Teicher is a loser!
The Scott Pioli regime has not broken any rules. They have followed all NFL policy in regards to media access as far as I can see, since taking over in Kansas City. The fact that they are not as open with sharing information as the Carl Peterson regime should not open them up to unfair attacks and speculation from the folks at the local paper. The Chiefs and Scott Pioli are perfectly entitled to run the team as they see fit as long as they work within the rules of the NFL.
If Teicher really had reason to believe something was up, he should have gotten the whole story before he started talking about it. If he had asked Haley to see the tape and Haley said “no,”I could see him writing about it. But Haley didn’t say no. He said yes.
Yet less than 24 hours later, Teicher ran with the story before the Chiefs even had a chance to show him the footage. Had he waited to mention the situation until he either viewed the tape or it became clear that the Chiefs, despite their promise, weren’t going to show it to him, he could have avoided creating smoke where there was no fire.
As for a lack of access at Arrowhead, I can’t say I sympathize too much with the local reporter’s plight. I run Arrowhead Addict from across the country and I manage to post useful information and opinions multiple times a day. I have interviewed current and former Chiefs players over the phone and in person. I have done all this with little to no help or access from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Perhaps with a little hard work, the local guys can start bringing us more worthwhile material instead of phony “Practice-gate” allegations.