December 12, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli speaks during the press conference where Romeo Crennel (not pictured) was named as interim head coach at the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

K.C. Chiefs: What's A Guy Gotta Do To Get Fired Around Here?

At One Arrowhead Drive things are hopping. Owner Clark Hunt has stepped in and fired head coach Romeo Crennel. Next, he states that general manager Scott Pioli is still under review before a decision is made about him.

Then Hunt states, “No final determination has been made on the future of General Manager Scott Pioli.


While I’m miffed about that development I’m all the more puzzled about why Scott Pioli still has his job and wondering: what’s a guy gotta do to get fired around here?

GM Scott Pioli’s record over the past four seasons: 4-10, 10-6, 7-9 and 2-14 ought to do it but, for some reason Clark Hunt wants to take a closer look. I don’t know… 23-39 should be enough in the minds of most fans… you would think. Wins on a graph looks like this:

The fifth black dot you see on the left represents the 2008 record of the previous regime who only won 2 games that year. Obviously, the Kansas City Chiefs have returned to that same level of epic failure. The minimum standard for any organization should be to at least win nine games, a winning season. “NINE TIMES”… (to quote the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)… we just want to see the Chiefs win at least nine times, c’mon man! The Chiefs have only had one of those in the past four years and it should be noted that the Chiefs have only had one winning season in the past 6 seasons… and that is on Clark Hunt.

Some will say that the win-loss record is on the head coach and not the general manager. Common thought prior to the 2012 season was that the Chief had one of the best rosters in the league and some even believed that they would compete for the AFC crown (the Lamar Hunt Trophy). However, even with the supposedly good roster the Chiefs had, Mitch Holthus has referred to this year as, “The worst season in Chiefs history.”

The proof is in the pudding and it’s more a case that the truth is in the team the Chiefs are putting on the field. A team that spent half a season without leading in any quarter of any game. How can you expect the everyday Kansas City Chiefs fan to desire to continue to spend their recessionary dollars on that kind of “entertainment?”

True, this is just entertainment and some of us who cover the Chiefs, including myself, take it way too seriously. However, if “entertainment” is your standard… this TV show would have been canceled at mid-season.

I get that you can’t compare the Chiefs to a TV show but, this season has been more dramatic than any reality television production… and not in a good way. What the Chiefs are needing… as well as fans of the organization… is a fresh start.

Clark Hunt can attempt to sort out the specifics of how the team has been managed but, nothing is more clear than the fact that the team needs a fresh start.

A number of events or perceptions about the Chiefs have become… well… unpleasant:

  • Hog tying his coaches on the decision of whether or not to start QB Matt Cassel,
  • The candy wrapper incident,
  • Pioli’s mismanaging three head coaches under Pioli (Edwards, Haley and Crennel). Edwards- why keep him around for more than five minutes? Haley- why hire him to begin with? Crennel- why revert to your NE roots to make this blunder?
  • Pioli’s mafia media style (if I told you I’d have to….).
  • Four out of five Pro Bowl players on the Chiefs current roster were provided by the previous regime
  • Draft failures in the first round (Tyson Jackson and Jon Baldwin).

In this age of hyper-techno-fandom in which we can access information about teams, owners, GMs and players deeper and faster than ever before, we have come to over value players that are actually may not be very good. I did this with John Baldwin. He may yet come around, depending on who gets hired as the Chiefs next head coach and while no one notices when I make a mistake evaluating a player… it’s not easily forgivable for a GM to make that blunder.

However, when it comes to Scott Pioli, 2 out of 3 years of making such a mistake… and possibly four (see Dontari Poe)… is the very mistake that can force any organization down the rabbit hole and never to return.

Now, we don’t want Clark Hunt to be like Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, who would make a coaching move because he doesn’t like the way the coach trims his sideburns. And… we don’t want Hunt to be like Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys,  who makes coaching moves as soon as he discovers his coach doesn’t think exactly like he does in every single way.

At 2:00 PM today Clark Hunt has announced via 810WHB that he’s changing the reporting process and he will now place the GM and the Head Coach on the same plane as far as reporting to the owner. Hunt has also stated that “one will not be answering to the other,” referring to the GM and he Head Coach, which means they will both be reporting directly to him. Clark went on to explain that, “The Chiefs had the third highest payroll this season and considering the results, I’m not very proud of that.”

Hunt also apologized AGAIN and said he wants to assure fans that he’ll do everything in his power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

A key part of this interview was his statement about the importance of chemistry between the new head coach and the GM. So, if Hunt, who will be the only one interviewing possible head coaches, finds his man and that man isn’t a Pioli guy… it could be a hint that Scott Pioli may be moving on.

Having heard all that… you can tell that Clark Hunt would rather not fire Scott Pioli. However, he did say he won’t let anything stand in his way of putting a winner on the field in 2013.

Since that’s the case, why not just go ahead and bag the GM who obviously can not hire a good head coach? Hasn’t that been half the job description for a GM? Take that responsibility away and what does a GM have to spend his time doing all day? This is truly going to redefine the “War Room”… because it will truly be a… War Room!

I said it before and I’ll say it again… what’s a guy gotta do to get fired around here?

Then again… maybe Hunt can find someone else to completely run scouting and signing players and still keep Pioli around as a token ______… uh… a token ______… uh… a token ______… that’s it… A TOKEN.

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  • Danny W

    Hey Ladner
    Good points Sir. I’ve wanted Pioli gone for a while now. I cannot for the life of me reason why he is still around. I would say the rumors at the beginning of the year about a contract extension are probably true and it was signed. I would say for Pioli to be gone it would cost Clark maybe 15 or 20 million perhaps. Either way it’s sad and a joke. The way I would have done it is let Crennel stay and let the new GM decide if he want’s to fire him or not. (Of course he would have) but for continuity sakes left him alone. Hunt said he hoped to have a decision by early Feb. Thats what I want to do is wait until two months before the draft to pick a new GM that way he’s ready to draft for my team needs! What a joke. A sad, sad state of affairs is Kansas City right now.


      I can’t for a minute think that Hunt would be that foolish to have signed Pioli to an extension as was talked about after the start of 2012. At that point the season was a dumpster fire, and we all knew where the team was headed. I can’t believe that Hunt was that bad of a business man.

      • Danny W

        I get what you mean but at the beginning of the season when we got Routt, Boss, Winston, and Hillis, I don’t know too many people who didn’t think we would be solid. I would gamble Clark included and went ahead with an extension then. I would say it leaked later. Just a hypothesis, I hope I’m wrong I want this guy gone.

  • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

    Makes you wonder. Is Pioli the new Matt Millen?

  • ArrowFan

    Clark is not the sole owner he is head of the board I’m not sure if he has absolute power? I have heard from different streems that the brothers and sister have been fighting over $$$ ever since Lamar passed.

  • chiefridgy

    Clark Hunt is clueless….

  • jimfromkcj

    I think Clark has already made up his mind to keep Pioli and is just dragging his feet in order for the kool aiders to come up with the excuses to keep him.In a couple of months people will tire of the subject and move on with their lives and Pioli will work out his contract, and if the new head coach turns things around he will get an extension. If you listened to Clarks remarks today, it was very hard to nail him down on anything pertaining to Pioli. And I already see where on the Pride that they have posters suggesting that Pioli deserves another year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they start Cassel for another year after the furor dies down.

  • tm1946

    Want a list of reason Clark keeps Pioli? Try There are lawsuits that will need Pioli being on Clarks side, older employees Pioli ran off, remember. Also there is the money due Haley. All need Pioli on Hunt’s side. Then there is what it takes to pay off Pioli, Crennel, and coaches. Apparently several have multi year contract and that will cost money. Does Hunt want to pay big bucks to Pioli also? Now who wants to play in KC? Chiefs free agents will go for the money, no hometown discounts for Clark. New staff and coaches also will require extra to get them to come here. There will be millions to be paid out and keeping Pioli for a year or two will ease the Hunt burden.
    Basically it was pointed out Clark still needs Pioli here, there will be big amounts of money fans ignor to just get a team on the field in 2013. Lastly the famed Hunt frugalness is widely known and no one is lining up to work for this team. Supposedly, Clark will go for a big name HC to try to shut up the fans while keeping Pioli, is that enough to satisfiy fans??

  • Chiefswatch

    Only a fucking moron or a complete asshole would keep Pioli on board. This is the WORST Chiefs team in history. The simple fact that Pioli was hired on after a two win season and now so many years later is at 2 wins is more than enough for any person to fire this clueless arrogant prick. I am honestly thinking that Hunt keeps him on and thinks that he will appease the fan base by saying that he has changed it so that the GM has no control over the coach. WHAT THE FUCK? Does he think we are all retarded? The problem with Clark is he never spent one breath as an average person. He really thinks we are so fucking stupid that we would say “oh well at least Pioli has no say in anything.” Guess what Clark; we are not rich but that does not mean we have an IQ in the low 30s. Christ almighty how many reasons could there be for the firing of that shit bag Scott Pioli? He did not fire him today and I do not think he ever will. The fact that we are interviewing Coordinator projects instead of Bona Fide NFL men is more than enough proof of that. WHO IS SUCCEEDING RIGHT NOW CLARK? IS IT THE FORMER COORDINATORS or is it the fucking brains of the NFL such as: FOX AND DEL RIO WHICH ARE IN OUR DIVISION AND ARE ON THEIR WAY TO A SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!! Man I cannot understand why I follow this inept football organization. Its like a chick that sticks with an abusing husband….makes no sense at all. Never have I been so disgusted with a year of the Chiefs. AND ON THE LAST DAY OF 2012 WHAT DO WE GET? Notification that the fucking out of touch idiot Clark Hunt has fired Romeo but not the ACTUAL CAUSE FOR ALL ILLS OF THIS PATHETIC TEAM: ONE DOUCHE BAG POMPOUS ASSHOLE KNOWN AS SCOTT PIOLI. He probably told Scott Pioli he has the job going forward but he needed to spoon feed us bullshit before he cannot announce such. Prepare for another rebuilding project with unproven coaches and overall pathetic play. Prepare for another wasted year for Jamaal Charles and every other player that was duped into extending with this shit team. Poor poor JC. I love that kid. He doesn’t deserve this shit. Fuck em all. I hope Clark reads this: FUCK YOU!

  • Chiroubles

    If Pioli must be kept in the organization, then make sure his duties are limited to non-football areas. He can be in charge of ticket sales, marketing, groundskeeping (HA!),whatever; but there should be no way that he is allowed to have any contact with the product that goes on the field. In short, the only way he should be allowed to stay is if his testicles end up in a jar of formaldehyde on Hunt’s desk….

    • tm1946

      Would you like to go to work every day, 24 hours, with a rattlesnake wandering around the workplace? Oh, a snake with no power but just slithering around checking out every move by everyone every minute of every moment anyone is there?
      Yeah, let’s keep Pioli wandering around the tunnels of Arrowhead.