The End Comes


So much crow.  So many people.

“Pioli and Haley’s relationship is fine.”

“No chance Haley gets fired.”

“These guys play their hearts out for him.”

“Todd Haley is a great coach.”

There is a lesson here.  Allow your personal feelings to influence your judgement, and you risk a shaming.  Those who thought Brodie Croyle had a golden arm?  Shamed.  Those who thought Glenngarry Glenn Dorsey was going to be a “beast”?  Shamed.  Those who thought Thom Jones was a good addition to this team?  Double-shamed.  And those of us who thought Haley was a good coach?  Looks like we’re officially shamed as well.

We all want good things to happen for the Chiefs, but what we want has no bearing on the reality of the situation.  If being a Chiefs fan has taught us anything, it’s that.  We have to recognize the difference between what we want to happen, and what we think will happen.  Because they aren’t the same thing.  With this team, they usually aren’t in the same ball park.

When reading Paddy’s Haley piece last week, I was struck by a remarkable difference between his positives and negatives.  The negatives (immaturity, blowout losses, ridiculous preseason “freshness” strategy, love of awful running backs) are all remarkably clear.  They cannot be argued.  Many have tried.  All have failed.

His positives, on the other hand, are extremely debatable.  The “master motivator” label, which was always dubious, became more laughable with each blowout loss.  Yes, when gifted the NFL’s easiest schedule in the league’s easiest division, Haley led the team to a division title.*  Norv Turner did that three times in five years and nobody is saying he should keep his job.  Last season was fun, no doubt, but backing into the playoffs and getting exposed right off the bat is not a justifiable reason to keep a head coach for another two years.

*The same could be said for Matt Cassel.  Does that make him a good quarterback?

more after le jump:

The thing is, I still didn’t really want to see Haley fired.  And my reasoning has very little to do with him.

There are two things that scare me about next season:

1) A fresh round of excuses-  “Time for a new coach.  You know what that means: we’re rebuilding!  See you guys in three years.  We’re gonna be awesome then.”

2) A clean slate for Pioli- Do we really want to let Scott Pioli off the hook for this debacle?  Because thats what we’re doing if we close our eyes and allow him to scapegoat Haley.  Pioli gets to use his underlings to subtly float the message that his plan was the correct one, that he did everything right, and Haley messed it up.  Lord knows Haley has made mistakes, but Pioli is at least as responsible for this mess, and probably more so.

Those of you you who enjoy seeing team president Mark Donovan angrily lie are in for a real treat these next few months.  And hey, if thats not enough for you, there’s always Josh Looney.  Check out this snippet from his post-game wrapup:

"The Good6) Thomas Jones compiled 12 rushing yards at the N.Y. Jets to give hime10,450 career rushing yards. He bypassed Eddie George (10,441) and Tiki Barber (10,449) for the 22nd-highest total in NFL history."

Thats right, Thom Jones gaining 12 yards on five carries is a positive.  I don’t mean to pick on Looney here, as I doubt he even decides what he writes.  Being an “insider” for a bad, cheap, dishonest team must really suck at times.  Looney is just a pawn in the sick game this organization plays with their fan base.

My point is, we’re about to see some really gross stuff from this front office.  On the record, Pioli will praise Haley.  Off the record, he will skewer him.  In fact, I think it’s safe to say the Chiefs’ front office will be predominantly concerned with self-preservation and spin for the next several months.  It’ll be interesting to see Pioli attempt to navigate around the fact that it was him who hired Haley.  “Yep, I did my job perfectly, but this idiot coach messed it up.  But it was still the right call to hire him, because, uh……hey look over there!”

Not to worry, Addicts, your boy Big Matt will be here to call these goons out on their bullshit.  I’ve got nowhere else to go, and nothing better to do.  True story.

I’ll miss you, Todd, in my own weird way.  All things being equal, I would’ve preferred that you stuck around.  But I’m not gonna fool myself into thinking you deserved to.  At some point, results have got to speak for themselves.