Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel came to the defense of Chiefs fans today when speaking with the media.
Well, it’s about damn time.
The Chiefs organization has allowed its fans and supporters to be trashed and dragged through the mud on both national and local levels, following RT Eric Winston’s angry tirade after he heard a small percentage of fans cheering when embattled QB Matt Cassel went down with a head injury last Sunday.
“I think the majority of the Chiefs fans are not going to cheer a player getting hurt. I think the majority of Chiefs fans support the Chiefs. They want the Chiefs to win,” Crennel said. “Are they frustrated? Yes, they’re frustrated, just like we’re frustrated.”
“Historically, the Chiefs fans are some of the best fans in the NFL. You can go back and you can look at that and you know that’s the case,” Crennel said. ”I’ve come here and played here as an opposing team, and I can verify that. They’re supportive of their team.”
I’m glad someone from the team stepped forward to try to put an end to the onslaught of negative press being heaved upon a group of people who largely had nothing to do with what Eric Winston was upset about.
On the flip side, it shouldn’t have taken this long. Crennel didn’t say much on Monday during his press conference. Eric Winston stood by his comments, though he did point out he wasn’t talking about all Chiefs fans. Still, he didn’t come to their aid either.
I’d feel better about Crennel’s words if I didn’t feel like they only came because the national media forced the organizations hand. ESPN showed up in Kansas City today to cover Crennel’s press conference and it wasn’t to ask him about Kendrick Lewis’ shoulder injury. Judging from this column, it looks like Fox Sports may have been in the house as well.
There are only two ways the Kansas City Chiefs are going to get attention from the national media:
1. When stupid crap like this happens.
2. Winning. A lot.
This mess isn’t the fault of the fans. There are a few drunken morons at every stadium in the NFL.
It is time for GM Scott Pioli to stop hiding behind his desk at Arrowhead and get in front of the cameras to answer for the disaster he helped create. People may not like what he has to say but at least they’ll respect the fact that he is manning up and not pretending everything is coming up roses.
In fact, I can even help him out with a prepared soundbite, like the one I wrote last night for Eric Winston.
Here you go Mr. Pioli. Feel free to use this as you see fit:
“I want to apologize to the fans of the Kansas City Chiefs for the way our team has performed so far this season. I haven’t done a good enough job. Our coaches haven’t done a good enough job. Our players haven’t done a good enough job. The buck stops with me and I take full responsibility for our team’s performance thus far this season.
I owe it to the fans and to Mr. Hunt to do everything in my power to turn this thing around. The results so far are unacceptable and I will be working around the clock to do everything I can this thing fixed.
Our fans deserve better. We will try to be better.”
Pretty easy, eh, Scott?
For all the media manipulation the Chiefs try to do, I’d imagine a statement like the one above from Pioli would go a long way with Chiefs fans. They know Pioli’s job is tough. They’re rooting for the GM, the head coach and all the players to succeed. They just don’t want to be talked down to, ignored, patronized and most importantly, they don’t want to be embarrassed by the very players they pay to watch every Sunday.
Good will begets good will.
Regardless of their motives, today was a step in the right direction for the Chiefs. Let’s hope that momentum carries through to Sunday.