MLS has encouraged owners to not retain the rights to more than one team, but a league spokesperson said it has not mandated that the Hunts sell the Crew. Lamar Hunt was a charter investor in MLS and founded the Columbus and Kansas City franchises before taking over the Dallas franchise in 2003. Hunt Sports Group sold Kansas City three years later.Besides the two MLS franchises, the Hunts also own the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL.Finding local investors has been on the Hunts’ agenda for years. The team mentions only one local investor by name on its website, Columbus real-estate developer Ron Pizzuti. In 2010, Hunt Sports Group hired a Cleveland investment bank to sell a minority stake in the team. That effort came after a failed attempt in 2008 to sell a portion of the team to a group led by Las Vegas businessman Mark Noorzai.
But fans believe their eyes—this can be dangerous, as we’ve discussed—and so at least five teams have at least some portion of their fan bases calling for backups. Remarkably, two of them have winning records, another is leading its division, and the fourth is just one game back. Unfortunately, the outlier is my Kansas City Chiefs, who are currently undergoing a Q.B. controversy of the worst sort: neither option seems very good. Two weeks ago, a segment of Kansas City fans of indeterminate size inappropriately expressed their frustration with the team’s starter, Matt Cassel, by cheering when he was knocked out of a game with a concussion. Presumably, they forgot that the team’s backup, Brady Quinn, hadn’t so much as taken a snap in a regular-season game since 2009, the one season when he was Cleveland’s on-again, off-again starter.
Banners have been towed by airplanes pleading for Pioli to be fired. Crennel appears over his head serving as head coach and defensive coordinator. Right tackle Eric Winston made national news when he railed against Chiefs fans for allegedly cheering an injury to quarterback Matt Cassel, and now it appears there will be a bona fide quarterback controversy next week.
Crennel did a remarkable job of steadying the Chiefs when Haley was fired late last season, a big reason he was given the full-time job after a mediocre stretch as head coach in Cleveland.
The next 10 games may prove whether that was an aberration.
Six games into the season and the Chiefs, who play host to the Raiders a week from Sunday, have not taken one snap, or played one second with a lead. Research after last week’s loss revealed nothing like this — no lead six games into a season — has happened in the NFL since 1983.
“It makes the game a lot harder,” Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said.
The Chiefs’ 1-5 record matches the Browns for the NFL’s worst. In one sense, the Chiefs are fortunate to own a victory, a 27-24 win over the Saints on Sept. 23 in New Orleans.