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View Full Version : Chiefs Rufus Dawes takes one final parting shot


Count Zarth
01-07-2009, 11:37 PM
Anonymous my ass. That reads like Rufus.

http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/another-view-of-cp.html

Another View of C.P.
January 7, 2009 - Anonymous |

This posting comes from a reader to the site, a long-time Peterson watcher who has communicated with me for many years. He sent this piece unsolicited and I found the quality of the writing to be such that I wanted to post it. It took some convincing, but the author finally agreed, with the proviso that I not include his name. Thus, the post comes under Anonymous. I think it’s worth your time. There have been plenty of views of Peterson’s time with the Chiefs on this site in the last week, both positive and negative. I think this piece does a good job of walking down the middle. Enjoy!

The big band leader Artie Shaw, who outlasted most of his contemporaries, once asked a columnist rhetorically, “how do we know Mozart’s any good?”

Replied the columnist: “Because he’s lasted.”

When a piece of music endures 200 years, we know it has value. Shaw pointed out that his recordings still sounded good after 60 years, which isn’t bad for something as ephemeral as pop music.

The life of a football man and his work is far shorter. A championship season and the guy or guys who brought it to you are quickly forgotten if the team stumbles the following year. It follows the old Marty Schottenheimer dictum: “It’s not what you’ve done for me lately, it’s what are you going to do for me next.”

Carl Peterson was with the Chiefs franchise for 20 years as president and general manager, one of the longest tenures for a man in that role in the National Football League. He exited the stage yesterday to little fanfare. There’s something remarkable about Peterson’s years in Kansas City. Crowds jammed the stadium for the most part; fans bonded with popular players he brought here – most of them anyway with the exception of some of the quarterbacks – and a populace at large fell in love with professional football after almost two decades of embarrassing play.

Lasting in this sense is a better substitute for loving. There never was much love from the media for Peterson.

When Peterson took over the Chiefs it frankly came as a surprise because local media could never believe that Jack Steadman who had fronted the franchise for so many years and had a warm personal relationship with team founder Lamar Hunt would ever leave. When I later listened to Peterson’s opening remarks at the time of the announcement of his hiring, which I had picked up from a cassette belonging to a local reporter, he spoke much in the manner of IBM’s boss Lou Gerstner, who famously said, “that the last thing IBM needs right now is a vision.”

Indeed, despite continued reports to the contrary, Peterson gave nothing approaching the visionary except to say he was studying the situation and would make moves in due time. The media questioning was no less vague, mostly concerned with the future of then-head coach Frank Ganz. In all his remarks there was no mention of any five-year plan he later was accused of issuing. The truth is GM’s get into trouble by setting overly ambitious objectives such as a Super Bowl, then in trying to meet them they compromise long-held beliefs. If the media and fan base were anxious, if not a little bit skeptical, given the franchise’s nearly 20 years of failure, Peterson showed none of it himself.

Brought on board only a month before the disastrous 1988 season concluded, it’s doubtful he had enough insight to craft a detailed plan or an in-depth strategy or a five-year anything. But he certainly should have had a clear idea of what he believed, the key issues that he was going to be focusing on, and some form of organizing framework for the key actions he wanted to take.

What helped Peterson was that he had the clarity and fresh perspective of an outsider. Longtime habits and perceptions can blind a man to inefficient process or misplaced assumptions if he is elevated from inside an organization. Without even realizing it, he can fall victim to the “that’s not how we do things around here” trap, which cuts off the possibility of doing things differently. In time, Peterson brought in a whole new staff, many of whom went on to assume leadership positions at other franchises, a fact he never forgot to mention when their new appointments were announced.

Compared to most NFL GM’s, slash, presidents – and there aren’t any left in the NFL who hold that dual role anymore – Peterson’s career trajectory is enviable. That he managed to stick around for as long as he did at the same place in the same role is impressive. No other GM can claim that, much less match his won-loss record which many of the locals dismiss today as somehow poor. That he survived all these years with at least his national reputation intact is more than amazing. An awful lot of that can be credited to his attitude. He was different than most GM’s in that he acted in a role that was more than just acquiring players. He had an interest on the business side of the franchise when most NFL GM’s couldn’t tell you the price of their team’s tickets.

Some leaders operate, like Thomas Jefferson said, through the “feints of other men” or, as it was said of Martin Van Buren, that he “rowed to his object with muffled oars.” But Peterson, from the day he came to Kansas City until his last days when he was being daily vilified by an angry fan base and vengeful media, steamed toward objects with flags and horns blowing. GM’s are largely unknown figures compared to the A-list of head coaches and owners. Peterson was front-and-center in everything the team did up until his final year and that probably had something to do with his unpopularity. He was never bashful in his public appearances and he seemed to be everywhere, especially in those early days.

From the outset, he took no guff from Al Davis, which anyone in town could admire after a decade of getting pushed around by the Raiders strong man. He made no foolish trades; quite the contrary he pursued blockbuster ones that landed a franchise that few outside of Missouri and Kansas cared about on the front page of national magazines and other publications. He had his share of flops, but signed three of the most prominent unrestricted free agents in league history in Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and James Hasty. He talked to the press when he wanted, it seemed, and changed everything about the team from what was a bland game day experience to include a tail-gate atmosphere that was the equal of any major college football program. He prowled the parking lots, interacting with fans, spoke to groups and business organizations, did a live radio show. He played and dressed the part of a business executive.

But the minute you start hailing his in-your-face attitude, you run up against someone for whom that’s the chief obstacle. Accusations of arrogance abound in local coverage over the years although the reports never indicate exactly what they mean. I think most of these reporters or columnists are indulging in what a psychologist would call displacement; if you’ve spent your whole career attacking everyone and everything teams attempt to do, the strains are bound to show. In reporting on the troubles of any team, there’s no minimizing the psychic effects of regularly consuming a world-view rooted in laying blame, much of it on the man who heads the organization.

I’ve often wondered what it was that turned the media off. He had come to Kansas City with more than a reasonable reputation for openness from Philadelphia, a city known for its tough fan base and skeptical media. Newspaper articles from the City of Brotherly Love, the nation’s fourth largest media market, clearly indicate that and his hiring as president/general manager of the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars, for example, was emblazoned in War-ends-in-Europe type in one of the local sports pages I went back and read. But in Kansas City the press repeatedly described him as a man who was tough-minded, especially with player agents and the public bought into that charge as if anyone should care. If Peterson even talked about drafting, signing or re-signing a player it was red meat to any local reporter.

This and other charges against him were repeated so often they became clichés. Like most clichés they tell us more about the people who use them than about the state of affairs they were supposed to describe. One of them, perhaps the most bizarre, was the accusation that all he cared about was filling the stadium, not winning. As late as 2006, a Kansas City Star columnist could write “in more than a few fans’ eyes, Carl Peterson cared about winning,” stated in a context that it was somehow surprising that any team official of his status would suddenly care about such matters. My goodness, what GM didn’t believe you had to win to sell seats?

But no accusation carried more sting or more truth than his tenure lacked a championship. Indeed, his teams only came close once but what is perplexing is the idea that most people believed the teams he and his head coaches built – and he always insisted that it was the effort of a staff not one man – had the personnel to make it there. If they believed that the players were on board, that the home field advantage was set for a trek to the conference championship, and it was many times, how did it then fall to the GM, whose job at that point ended when the team took the field? Shouldn’t the head coach shoulder some of the blame?

The truth is there is every indication that Peterson saw his role, no matter his outward presence, as a collaborative one. He routinely gave to his coaches what they wanted in players whether it was old established vets that Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil favored or youngsters that Herm Edwards believed in. He stood by his coaches even when it meant the dismissal of a favored player that he loved like Donnie Edwards. The idea that was suggested that he struggled with Marty Schottenheimer over control had no foundation. Since he left the Chiefs Schottenheimer has never publicly uttered a negative word about Peterson to this day.

And yet few locally in the media would buy it. In fact the argument in the media that Peterson must go proceeded with rancor and picked up steam, with each participant becoming more personal in his attacks and always keeping an eye out to see if any of the others in the community would have the temerity to actually defend him. The media eventually settled into a comfortable spot on the ideological spectrum, talked to the same like-minded sources and colleagues, and eventually became predictable and stale. The local newspaper kept a feature on the home page of its web page implying that 2008 could be the year that Peterson was dismissed. Likely more wishful thinking, the editors kept it on the front page for months. That’s how it was when covering Peterson.

As the decade of the 2000’s wore on, the signs in the stadium started appearing and the blogs upped the vitriol. No one can doubt the sincerity of the fans’ reaction. But reactions do not make it any less repellent that too many people have swallowed wholesale the vocabulary of the worst sports talk fan on record, a depressing enough prospect. But when it came to Peterson they fused it with the brutish vulgarity of modern sports culture to create a horrible mutant: aggressive idiocy resembling the worst elements of the British soccer fan.

His final years at the helm were the least of his work. With the team flailing, he changed direction with a new head coach and went with a youth movement that was unlikely to do him any good reputation-wise since he was admittedly in the final years of his time here. He hadn’t been served well by everyone on his staff and he likely stuck too long with some of the old veterans and older cronies. Watching some of his more favored players limping around the field while pulling down significant sums of money was sometimes more tragic than it needed to be. His drafts were a mix of the good and bad and he was ill served there in the period between when Mark Hatley left and Bill Kuharich arrived.

In time, most of the myths about him became self-perpetuating, repeated so often that they became common knowledge, difficult to overturn from the sheer certitude of their acceptance. The disturbing point about this is not that Peterson has been portrayed in such a negative light, but that so much of what he did and who he was has been lost.

It’s easy looking back to take for granted how large a figure Chiefs football cut on the Kansas City scene. But it’s important to recognize that in the context of the ’70s and ’80s, fans had come to a point where the team barely evoked much interest at all good or bad.

Whoever takes up Peterson’s reins now will likely never achieve all that Peterson did given how poor a shape the franchise was in when he got there, but if his successor can get the team to a Super Bowl, and here’s hoping that he does, will it dim whatever accomplishments Peterson can take credit for? Will it really take anything away from the fun and excitement we’ve had from the Chiefs most of these past two decades?

The truth is Peterson lived an all too human existence, fraught with the usual dilemmas and decisions that would challenge the sturdiest NFL boss. He handled some situations well, others with error. Never did he turn away, however, and even his sharpest critics could not question his steadfastness. He could be as self-serving as any of us, but was just as likely to go out of his way to do things for others without anything in return. People I know who know Peterson closely have told me what a generous and loyal friend he was especially when they were in dire straits.

As people examine Peterson’s time here and, believe me, it will be examined and reexamined from the perspective of what those who come after him achieve or do not achieve, it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs without him. Anyone undertaking that task, however, will need to face reality: it’s a lot tougher for anyone to be an NFL general manager today than it was twenty years ago. Expectations of what an out-in-front public figure like Peterson can accomplish have escalated dramatically.

In time, history will judge them all.

Fat Elvis
01-07-2009, 11:51 PM
As people examine Peterson’s time here and, believe me, it will be examined and reexamined from the perspective of what those who come after him achieve or do not achieve, it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs without him.


Not really.

Count Zarth
01-07-2009, 11:54 PM
Seriously this is really pathetic. It's like the Chiefs wouldn't let him put it on the official site so he limped over to Bob's blog. What a joke.

GO AWAY CARL

Fruit Ninja
01-07-2009, 11:57 PM
once i heard, because he's lasted. I couldnt read any further. If the next GM wins a Superbowl for the Chiefs in the next 5 years, then CP will be forgotten.

J Diddy
01-08-2009, 12:00 AM
once i heard, because he's lasted. I couldnt read any further. If the next GM wins a Superbowl for the Chiefs in the next 5 years, then CP will be forgotten.

hell the next one's got 20 years....

Darth CarlSatan
01-08-2009, 12:22 AM
it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs without him.


In the wake of Carl's departure, I'm learning a few things about him that I wasn't aware of until now.

It's late, and I'm not going there tonight, but I plan on revisiting this tomorrow.

Darth CarlSatan
01-08-2009, 12:23 AM
once i heard, because he's lasted. I couldnt read any further. If the next GM wins a Superbowl for the Chiefs in the next 5 years, then CP will be forgotten.

I disagree, and per my post a minute ago, I'm going to outline why.

KCChiefsFan88
01-08-2009, 12:27 AM
Bob Gretz is the most pathetic pile of shit in the entire galaxy.

Period.

Guru
01-08-2009, 12:30 AM
I just could not bring myself to read past the first couple sentences.

Crush
01-08-2009, 12:36 AM
Hard to imagine the Chiefs without him? :whackit:

Miles
01-08-2009, 12:41 AM
I just could not bring myself to read past the first couple sentences.

Yeah after scrolling down to see how long it was I was the same.

Ultra Peanut
01-08-2009, 01:12 AM
Matt Millen lasted 8 years.

Ari Chi3fs
01-08-2009, 01:15 AM
I just could not bring myself to read past the first couple sentences.

Yeah, my sentiments EXACTLY

J Diddy
01-08-2009, 01:17 AM
Yeah, my sentiments EXACTLY

i read it all and am none the wiser

InChiefsHell
01-08-2009, 06:29 AM
Yeah after scrolling down to see how long it was I was the same.

This.

...I mean, seriously. How pathetic is that?? They fired Gretz from the sidelines, he shouldn't even be writing on the website any more...if the Chiefs are cleaning house, he needs to go too...

...right. He just got this from a Chiefs fan who is a Peterson watcher...what the hell ever...

kc rush
01-08-2009, 06:57 AM
I got about half-way through and decided it was a waste of my time to go any further. There is no doubt that this is Rufus, and another in a long line of virtual BJ's for Carl. Gretz, Rufus and the rest are nothing more than parasites who need Carl to survive and they will no-doubt show up wherever and whenever Carl lands his next job.

Otter
01-08-2009, 07:08 AM
Seriously this is really pathetic. It's like the Chiefs wouldn't let him put it on the official site so he limped over to Bob's blog. What a joke.

GO AWAY CARL

Then you posted it here you self contradicting half-wit.

donkhater
01-08-2009, 07:22 AM
I found it interesting that one of reasons he loved the hiring of peterson is my reason for letting him go:

What helped Peterson was that he had the clarity and fresh perspective of an outsider. Longtime habits and perceptions can blind a man to inefficient process or misplaced assumptions if he is elevated from inside an organization. Without even realizing it, he can fall victim to the “that’s not how we do things around here” trap, which cuts off the possibility of doing things differently.

This franchise hasn't won a playoff game since 1993. Only Detroit and Cincinnatti have gone longer.

Chief Henry
01-08-2009, 07:24 AM
Milli Vanilli had its day too Rufas...

Tuckdaddy
01-08-2009, 07:44 AM
Enough already. He's gone and I thank him at least for the 90's but the bottom line is he should have been canned at least 4 years ago and we never won the SB in 20 years of his tenure. That's what people will remember.

Agent V
01-08-2009, 07:51 AM
Whoever takes up Peterson’s reins now will likely never achieve all that Peterson did given how poor a shape the franchise was in when he got there...
ROFL

Otter
01-08-2009, 07:53 AM
Bob Gretz is like one of those Japanese soldiers you would run into around 1947 who was left to guard some remote outpost on a small pacific island that everyone forgot about.

Meanwhile the rest of the team is trying to rebuild the city and burying the dead.

petegz28
01-08-2009, 08:02 AM
once i heard, because he's lasted. I couldnt read any further. If the next GM wins a Superbowl for the Chiefs in the next 5 years, then CP will be forgotten.

This!

I stopped obviously at the same point you did.

Mr. Laz
01-08-2009, 08:45 AM
so does this mean that Gretz really in Dawes?

or

did Carl just called upon Gretz for one last BJ so he could print one last article?

Brock
01-08-2009, 08:46 AM
Likely the most ridiculous Rufus article of all time.

MahiMike
01-08-2009, 09:05 AM
"His final years at the helm were the least of his work. With the team flailing, he changed direction with a new head coach and went with a youth movement that was unlikely to do him any good reputation-wise since he was admittedly in the final years of his time here."

See, that's the deal. Just because he doesn't claim to have proposed a 5 year timeline, doesn't mean he wasn't stuck with it. I think maybe Carl saw our perception of him and felt he couldn't rebuild totally at an earlier date. Instead, he kept trying to plug and patch. Had he attempted a rebuild, and done it completely and quickly, he may still be around. But what we were stuck with was a constant above-average team that always fell short when it mattered most. That's why fans kept coming. They kept thinking, "THIS year!". Until finally, we ran out of "THIS year's". And so did Carl.

DJJasonp
01-08-2009, 09:06 AM
You know...

THis is really pathetic....and it shouldnt fire me up as much as it does. But after thinking why....I realized that this is just another in a long list of reasons why the fans of the chiefs organization have been getting a giant FU "Deal with it" for the past 10 years....and how it took a 2-14 season and a 1/2 empty arrowhead the last couple games....to get Carl out of town.

If Carl spent half the time analyzing/devising ways to build a championship team the past 10 years that he spent on "media paranoia" - we may have actually had a winning team on the field the past 5 years.

It's human nature - where in my opinion no profession is untouched by this - that people dont have the same drive and motivation to perform in the 10th and 20th year...as they had in the first decade of a job. To be even more specific, when you're the master planner, and you've spent 10 years on a "5-year plan"...you start running out of ideas. And that leads to hiring friends and people that you would enjoy working along side going after your mission. Additionally, with the media paranoia setting in full-force, you start making decisions based on arrogance and not based upon what's best for the team. And then, when things go wrong, you fail to make the tough hard-line decisions that are necessary to right the ship (not blowing up the roster in Herm's 2nd year, etc. etc.).

Again, it shouldnt get to me anymore cause the man is gone, but it bothers me how "low-rent" this organization has become by allowing things such as:

1. Rufus
2. Bob Gretz
3. Posting of "let's justify all our actions" stories on our organizations website
4. Firing a head coach over the internet
5. Handling of John Tait's negotiations
6. Manipulating the media to handle player negotiations
7. Just about anything you viewed on "hard knocks" when it came to professionalism and decision making (watch the cowboys version and it's night and day compared to us)

I could go on and on.......I guess I'll let this go as soon as both Carl, Herm, and Gunther, etc. are all gone.

This organization needs an enema.

petegz28
01-08-2009, 09:08 AM
To even compare Carl to Mozart is ****ing insane. One was one of the best in history at his craft....and it wasn't Carl.

Since CP never even got to a SB, let alone win one, this is just hooey and Gretz should be ashamed of himself.

jspchief
01-08-2009, 09:08 AM
It's also hard to imagine Drew Bees' face without that giant mole on it, but that doesn't mean everybody is glad it's there.

IMO Peterson could have left after 10 years and perhaps left a bit of a legacy. What the Chiefs became in the 90s was certainly a positive thing. However, after another 10 years of stagnation, he sullied any good will he had earned. Most GMs don't get the opportunity to see eras like the Marty era and the Vermeil era in the same stint, because most GMs wouldn't survive over a decade that contained only 2 play-off wins.

petegz28
01-08-2009, 09:11 AM
The fact that he "lasted" says more about the owner than it does CP.

chiefsngop
01-08-2009, 09:42 AM
He'll be remembered because he "lasted" ? Really ? Really ?

How many people are still talking about Sadam Husein ? Not very damn many.

Just because you're an insane tyrant and the people around you are dumb enough to leave you in power for far too long, does not mean you'll be forever remembered.

Now if we have to string Carl up and hang him from Arrowhead's third deck at 2 am, and then release a grainy cell phone video of the event, just to shut Gretz and Rufus up, well.... I'm in.

Rufus : you, Gretz, and Carl can all GTFO and take your fail with you !

It's real real easy to look at football history and tell who will be, and how to be, forever remembered. It's called unbelievable success, especially in the face of great odds. Mr. Peterson is void of this. Plain & simple.

petegz28
01-08-2009, 09:45 AM
If Carl is Mozart, what are coaches like Billichek who have won multiple SB's? Are they God status?

Bootlegged
01-08-2009, 10:01 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Gretz

jettio
01-08-2009, 10:35 AM
I think Peterson did a good job up until the 2003 season.

After that year, he led the Chiefs parading around Honululu as if they had just won the Super Bowl, and like the would win it in 2004 just because they finally jettisoned Greg Robinson.

Then Peterson showed his true dumbazz by proclaiming his undying public love for George W. B*sh and Dick Cheney.

You have to figure that when an NFL GM starts spouting off about how much he admires the leadership of the most incompetent lying sacks of Raiduhs in our nation's history and invites them to team banquets and training camp when most of the NFL players are African-american and capable of figuring out that B*sh and Cheney are incompetent lying sacks of Raiduhs, you have to know that team is headed nowhere.

Herm Edwards biggest failing is that he does not practice the team hard enough and the team accepts losing under his leadership.

Herm Edwards' history mimicked Peterson. In 2007, when the Chiefs were a surprising 4-3 going into the bye week, Edwards gave the team the week off to celebrate being 4-3 and then Edwards made the rounds of national talk radio braggin' about how good a job he was doing coaching a team that everybody thought was horrible based on the Hard Knocks episodes.

Since that victory tour, Edwards has gone 2-23. If Edwards is fired, the team will pick up 5 wins automatically because they will practice harder and have a greater fear of losing. Under Edwards, the Chiefs players did not work hard enough at practice and did not fear losing enough to try their very best.

Darth CarlSatan
01-08-2009, 10:38 AM
In the wake of Carl's departure, I'm learning a few things about him that I wasn't aware of until now.

It's late, and I'm not going there tonight, but I plan on revisiting this tomorrow.

Okay, here's the deal. The first thing you gotta' do is take football completely out of the equation. One Derrick Thomas signing in 20 years does not buy you the easy ride Peterson has enjoyed at our expense. So forget the personnel, and forget the game itself.

In my pre-teen years, I grew up in the massive suckhole that IS Oklahoma. In the mid to late 70's, the majority of the kids were Dallas and Pittsburgh fans, with the occasional Dolphin goof-tard thrown in for good measure.
I can tell you right now that I, and the rest of those kids didn't know or care that Kansas City had a football team. If someone would have said "KC Chiefs", they would have been met with a complete and utter "Ruh"?

When I got to KC in the winter of 87, you could say practically the same thing. NOBODY wore Chiefs swag; NOBODY.

So Carl and Marty come along and the franchise starts improving, eventually leading to the number 3 slot for most team swag sold. The Chiefs are, mostly anyway, a good time again instead of a "who gives a fuck".
People are cooking in the parking lot, and Arrowhead earns it's reputation as the toughest place for an opponent to play.
Players become part of the community, and the Chiefs are responsible for netting big $$$$ for charities and foundations.

So basically, all I'm trying to say here is that Carl should be remembered for resuscitating the corpse, establishing the tailgating atmosphere, and bringing very effective philanthropy to Kansas City.

Does this excuse the bullshit, bad moves, ego, and all of the other negatives that Carl can claim as his very own? No. He overstayed his effectiveness, and we are now paying the price for it.
But what he DID bring that made the Chiefs a better place prevents me from straight-up hating everything about the man.

So that's it, and that's all.

Chiefnj2
01-08-2009, 10:47 AM
It must have been very hard for Peterson to alienate himself from the press. I mean, the guy resurrected the franchise and made Arrowhead a fan friendly place and a great home field advantage. The media should have been lapping his balls.

shaneo69
01-08-2009, 11:46 AM
Quote:Rufus: "I’ve often wondered what it was that turned the media off."


Well, it's been widely reported that he constantly cut out articles from the Star and sent them to the newspaper writers with his corrections of their "mistakes". That may have something to do with it.

This is my favorite comment about the article on Bob's website...


January 7, 2009 - shaneo69 says:
Why not give Rufus his due instead of posting this under “Anonymous”?

Carl really failed on that 5 year plan. That’s what I’ll remember the most about him. Well, that and the propaganda site he called kcchiefs.com.

Bob, will you be joining Carl in Miami?

kc rush
01-08-2009, 12:53 PM
It must have been very hard for Peterson to alienate himself from the press. I mean, the guy resurrected the franchise and made Arrowhead a fan friendly place and a great home field advantage. The media should have been lapping his balls.

He didn't have to alienate himself from the press. He would have been better off ignoring the press and spent all of his time working on making the team better, instead he was thin skinned and played hard ass with the media setting up an adversarial relationship. Carl has no one to blame but himself regarding his relationship with the press.

In turn, the media has no obligation to "lap his balls". They have an obligation to write/report news, break stories and provide opinion on the operation. If it is positive it is positive, if it is negative it is negative.

Carl did some good things early in his career with the Chiefs, but whatever goodwill he built up early disappeared for multiple reasons most of which are his fault.