Peter King responds:
PIOLO DESERVES THE SCORN. Was Scott Pioli treated harshly in exiting? Perhaps, although that's partly why they get paid big-boy money. More importantly though, he built up exactly ZERO goodwill here in his time in KC. He played Patriot-type stonewall with the media. He said virtually nothing publicly during the last two horrible seasons. It appears he made few close associations at One Arrowhead Drive. So in a case like that, when the spit hits the fan, it's hardly unexpected to see what occurs. Sometimes, for better or worse, you reap what you sow. And in Pioli's case here in KC, he unfortunately didn't seem to sow much in the way of relationships or people to support him through tough times.
-- From Tim Goodheart, Kansas City
All good points. He should have been more transparent with such a trusted public treasure. And he failed to move the franchise ahead, which you would have expected with a guy who was considered the best GM prospect in football four years ago. As I said yesterday, you'll get no argument from me about the failure of the three big decisions he made as GM. What I'm talking about when I defended Pioli yesterday is the level of personal attacks and vitriol that filled my Twitter timeline were -- and I'm not exaggerating -- as if people were talking about a hardened criminal, not a general manager who failed to deliver the consistent winner the community was hoping for. That's what I don't get.
MORE PIOLI RANCOR. Your claim that Scot Pioli was treated unfairly in Kansas City just doesn't wash. Sure, the three major decisions you noted (Matt Cassell, Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel) were all terrible, but they don't come close to explaining the fan's vitriol toward the man. He used first round draft choices on Tyson Jackson and Jonathan Baldwin. He never brought in a credible backup to Cassel, let alone a legimate contender for the job. Why do you think Kyle Orton had no interest in staying in KC and instead took a backup job in Dallas? He let Brandon Carr go to Dallas and replaced him with Stanford Routt. He created a culture of secrecy and suspicion in the Chiefs organization. The reason people thought Todd Haley's claims were credible was because they were entirely consistent with the culture Scot Pioli created. The Chiefs were generally tens of millions under the salary cap after local taxpayers paid over $200 million for stadium renovations (the Miami Marlins were crucified in the national media for essentially operating the same way). Oh, and they finished 2-14, the same record that got his predecessor fired four years earlier. Pioli's record as a personnel man may be pretty good, his record as a GM is indefensible.
-- From Glenn, Wichita, Kans.
My point, Glenn: I'm good with booing. I'm good with angry letters to the editor. I'm fine with a plane flying overhead urging Clark Hunt to fire Pioli. Bags over the head? Okay with me. All's fair in love and football. But what does it say about us as a people that when Pioli walked on the field before a game this year with his daughter, a cascade of F-bombs and lewd catcalls from fans greeted him so loudly that players nearby were embarrassed?