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Tribal Warfare
09-08-2009, 07:27 PM
No Promises At Kickoff Luncheon (http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/no-promises-at-kickoff-luncheon.html)
September 8, 2009 - Bob Gretz |

The annual Chiefs Kickoff Luncheon was held Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center.

Many times in the past this affair has been a time when the Chiefs players, coaches, administrators and owners have talked of Super Bowls, playoffs and winning.

Not so for the 2009 version. GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley never used the words Super Bowl or playoffs as they spoke to the assembled crowd.

They promised only that they and the team would work hard and become mentally tough.

“I don’t know when we are going to win, but we are going to win,” Pioli told the group in the Regency Ballroom. “Until the time that we win, you are going to get nothing but hard work. That’s the only thing that we can promise.

“We are going to work hard, the coaches are going to work hard, the players are going to work hard. Right now we have a group of young men here who know what hard work is about. We are going to continue to work until the job is done. There is no other option. That’s what we can promise Kansas City.”

Haley spoke of the pain that change can bring, and the process his team has undergone.

“Losing close to 800 pounds is not pleasant, it’s not easy,” Haley said. “Having the toughest training camp in the National Football League is not easy. But it all has a purpose. At the end of this, we are going to be a mentally tough team.

“Every one of these 53 that end up playing for us will be a mentally tough group. If you are mentally tough, you are physically tough; they go hand in hand. They will be a smart group and will be a well-conditioned group. That we know will give us the best chance to win week in and week out.”

Both Pioli and Haley thanked the crowd and the people of Kansas City for allowing a smooth transition for them and their families, although the winless pre-season did not go unnoticed by daughters and classmates.

“My oldest daughter Taylor is 13 and she came to me the other day and she said ‘You know Dad, they haven’t been bad to me considering what’s happened’,” said Haley. “So I want to thank everybody for that.”

Pioli told a story about his six-year old daughter and a boy who sits next to her and has been teasing her about the Chiefs winless pre-season.

“I promised my wife I wouldn’t give this kid’s name up,” he said. “So we need to get a little winning done here to get the heat off my daughter and he takes it easy on her.

“But I do know where he lives and I know his parents,” Pioli added.

Couldn’t tell whether he was kidding or not.