The Darkside of Bill Polian


Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I offered up my opinion on who I think the Chiefs should take with their first round pick, Matt Barkley. I got some positive responses, and I got some negative responses. I clearly expect that to happen again with this post, especially after the editor of Arrowhead Addict, Patrick Allen, wrote about the rumors that have been cycling around about the possibility of former Bills, Jaguars and Colts General Manager, Bill Polian, being a likely candidate to land in Kansas City if current Chiefs GM, Scott Pioli, is let go after the season.

This is what Allen wrote about the possibility: “Hiring Polian would be a brilliant move by Hunt. He’d be getting an experienced executive and personnel man but at the same time, he’d be getting the younger Chris Polian as well. Polian senior was 69 when the Colts fired him in January. He likely won’t be with the Chiefs for long but he certainly could stick around long enough to get the franchise back on track.”

The responses in the comments section were mostly positive to this idea, as I figured they would be. When first considering GM candidates this season when it became clear this whole Scott Pioli thing wasn’t working out, Bill Polian was one of the first guys that came to my mind. After all, he’s taken two different teams to five combined Super Bowls, winning one. He’s won multiple Executive of the Year Awards, and it’s hard to deny the sustained success he was able to achieve with each team he managed.

Then I started to remember some rumblings coming out of Indianapolis when Polian, and his son Chris, the GM, were fired. While many other fans of many other teams seemed shocked that Polian would be fired because of one bad season missing his star quarterback and after maintaining such a high level of success over the years in Indy, I remember Colts fans not being that shocked. In fact, many of them, if my memory served me correctly, were ecstatic that Polian was gone. After spending a few minutes on Google, I found articles supporting my memory.

The first article I found was from the Colts’ SB Nation Blog, Stampede Blue, and titled: The Polian Reign of Terror Ends. As the article goes:

“I couldn’t get out of my head the unbelievable culture of fear that the insecure, violently paranoid Polians used to keep control of the organization. And I won’t lie. I’m glad Polian and his equally odious son were fired.

Not reassigned. Not ‘allowed to resign.’ Fired.

It was a fitting end to two people who simply lacked the ability to treat others decently and respectfully, especially if those others worked under them…

… I don’t wish plague or ruin on the Polian household, but I am glad that their silly little game of playing dictator is now out of Indianapolis.”

Those are some pretty strong sentiments. And the blogger is not alone. Here is another story, this one from the IndyStar, which documents some of Polian’s dictator habits including arrogance, openly ignoring employees, a God-complex, and overall douchebaggery. And yes, I know what you’re thinking: that sounds like Scott Pioli.

And this is exactly why the Chiefs and Clark Hunt should stay as far away from Polian as they possibly can. Just because we’ve become accustomed to one dictator is no reason why we should hire another one. Think of this as GMs think of coaching changes. When one coach is fired, the most common thing to do is hire another head coach with a near opposite personality/coaching style as the one just let go. Think Herm Edwards to Todd Haley and then Todd Haley to Romeo Crennel. Call it an over-correction, but this is just something teams and management tends to do.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired of the whole dictator thing in Kansas City, and that sound like exactly what the Chiefs would be getting. True, what Patrick Allen wrote earlier highlighted Polian’s positives, and admittedly there are many. And I will also admit that winning hides the flaws that losing brings to the surface. But I don’t know if I can support another General Manager/whatever Bill would be that would cause anymore anxiety at Arrowhead.

Been there, done that.