Fumbles In The Front Office Cause Fumbles On The Field

As you can tell, I have not written anything in a while. I don’t know what to say other than writing regularly appears to be more difficult than I anticipated. Some of this has to do with this time of year not providing a lot that I’m interested in. Granted there are some topics like NFL playoffs, or Tebowmania that I could have written about…but for whatever reason I never developed the energy to do so. However, I’m still going to pay for this domain name, and write whenever I feel like it.

Be careful, The Chiefs are probably tracking you.

It goes without saying that today appears to be one of those days. My favorite NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs are once again making national headlines. Not because they hired Romeo Crennel as the Head Coach as they did last week. Or that Crennel will also be the Defensive Coordinator. No, the Chiefs are once again making headlines for zany stuff that occurs in the front office. The ruckus started with this article by Kent Babb in the Kansas City Star titled Arrowhead Anxiety. It’s about the toxic atmosphere in the Chiefs front office. You can read the details for yourself. This article has been the subject of sports radio in Kansas City the past two days. It has been commented on by Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback (#5 in Ten Things), and Mike Florio has mentioned it on the ever popular ProFootnallTalk.com.

Before I get to what I really want to say. I agree with Florio and King. If Haley thinks his phone was tampered he needs to talk to the proper authorities or keep his mouth shut. He might have talked to the authorities, but I don’t think he would be talking to the media if there was an ongoing criminal investigation. I want to set the potential legal ramifications aside for a moment. That’s not what I find compelling about this story. I’m not interested in debating if these allegations are the result of disgruntled employees who were let go in the midst of a regime change. Regime changes happen all the time in the NFL and we don’t hear about stories like this. There is enough smoke coming from 1 Arrowhead Drive that you have to believe that the environment in that office won’t be winning any awards in the leading Human Resources publication. The question fans should be concerned with:* Does any of this impact the product on the field? I contend that it does.

From this fans stand point. My first concern is if the General Manager is spending his timew worrried about trash in the stairwell, and the positions of the window shades. How much time is he spending on scouting players, and getting ready for the draft? I’ve never been a GM for a professional sports team. But I have been in jobs where there was more to do than there were hours in the day. General Manager of an NFL team seems like a job where there is a lot to do. When I was working that I job I had a hard time worrying about when to eat, there could have been an alligator in my stairwell and I’m not sure I would have noticed. But like said, I’m not too keen on the daily schedule of an NFL General Manager so I’ll give Scott Pioli a pass on this one.

What really concerns me about this situation is the front office’s retention of talent. I don’t mean to say that because of this situation the Chiefs will have trouble finding people to work in their front office. The NFL is King of America, and there are only 32 NFL franchises. People will put up with a lot to be a part of that. However, in all industries not just the NFL, people who are exceptional at their jobs will have options on where to work. The reputation of the working environment in the Chiefs front office is sure to scare off top talent in coaching, scouting, or talent in any function that is required in an NFL front office. Even if the Chiefs bring in someone and develop their own talent in these areas they may not stay there. This may seem like a reach, and may seem like something small. But this is the NFL, and often it’s the small things that make the difference between winning and losing. Is the front office’s reputation keeping the Chiefs from hiring a decent offensive coordinator?

Maybe I don’t know anything. What I do know is there are a lot of teams who have won a playoff game since I was collecting baseball cards. And those teams don’t have articles like this written about them.

*=Don’t take that to mean I’m not concerned if there were any laws broken. If that is the case I want those resposible held accountable.

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