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Old 01-05-2013, 11:17 PM  
KCChiefsFan88 KCChiefsFan88 is offline
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Mellinger: Pioli has time to reflect on where it went wrong

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/01/05...-headline.html

Pioli has time to reflect on where it went wrong

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

The truth set in at some point in Philadelphia. There is no way to get inside a man’s mind, of course, but Scott Pioli likely came to know his time in charge of the Chiefs had expired outside of a conference room at a Philadelphia airport. It must’ve been there that Pioli understood he was still the Chiefs general manager in technical terms, but no longer in practice.

Behind the closed doors in front of Pioli, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt ate up the biggest chunk of a nine-hour meeting alone with Andy Reid. If there was any remaining doubt about who would be in charge, it died in those hours. Pioli used to be the one in that meeting, the one asking the tough questions and making the big decisions.

Now, though, he was left sitting outside, waiting. Like everyone else.

Pioli – part of a five-man traveling party with Hunt, Chiefs president Mark Donovan, vice president Ted Crews and Hunt Sports Group executive Ryan Petkoff – got some facetime with Reid. But it was clear to everyone involved who was in charge. Hunt took the time. Hunt asked the important questions. Hunt would make the decision. Pioli waited to be told.

The first major football hire done without Pioli’s input would also be the last one done with him as an employee. Pioli was professional, but nobody could ignore the awkward setup. He sat outside, researching on his phone or computer, working on contingency options in case Reid did not agree to come to Kansas City – just like the others who would not be making the decision.

The next day, on Friday, the Chiefs announced what they called a mutual decision for Pioli to walk away from the biggest job of his 20-year career in professional football. The Chiefs went 23-41 in his time in charge, the worst four-year stretch since Hunt’s father founded the team in 1960.

Pioli, seen as an egomaniac by so many, left the Chiefs humbled. He thanked Hunt for the opportunity, and told people he was sorry for failing. One of the most dramatic, tumultuous, miserable, and at times tragic eras in franchise history ended in a thank you and apology.

The announcement of the inevitable end to Pioli’s rule included a short statement from both him and Hunt, but Pioli has not spoken publicly. Nobody knows for sure what is next for him, but indications are that he’ll take some time off. Right now, he is resting. Decompressing, as one person put it. It’s a lot to take in.

Pioli and his wife have a young daughter and a home in Nantucket, which he bought years ago in steps – first the land, then the construction – after an old football friend told him everyone in the business needed a place to stay after being fired.

The consensus among NFL people is that he won’t have trouble finding another job whenever he wants one, perhaps even another GM position in the future though, as one friend of Pioli’s put it, “he obviously made some mistakes and will learn from it like we all do.”

The friend made it clear that Pioli wanted to make it work with the Chiefs, even after this awful season, saying Pioli had grown to love Kansas City. He made friends here, many of them outside of football, and became involved in the local arts scene and an organization that promotes women’s sports.

What turned out to be the worst year of Pioli’s professional life began with such promise. He lost about 30 pounds in the offseason, enough that he had to buy new clothes, and in training camp publicly welcomed higher expectations. And why not? Four years into the job he had what he considered his best roster. He hired a new coach. Sports Illustrated, among other national outlets, picked the Chiefs to win the division.

But the bad news started, literally, as soon as the season did. Tamba Hali was suspended for the first game and Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez, the Hall of Fame tight end Pioli traded shortly after arriving in Kansas City, dunked the ball through the goalposts after a touchdown in a blowout loss to the Falcons. The next week, Dwayne Bowe – the recovering knucklehead – pointed to the back of his jersey in another blowout loss that turned fan frustration from code orange to red.

Meanwhile, Pioli was dealing with personal stress. There was a report that he was offered a contract extension, which a source close to the Chiefs adamantly denied to the Star. He was deposed at least once in an age discrimination lawsuit stemming from ongoing intra-office drama, much of which was detailed by the Star. In what would later be seen as a tragic prequel, a team employee killed a woman and then himself.

Then, of course, Pioli was face-to-face with Jovan Belcher in the parking lot outside the Chiefs facility one morning, a few steps away when Belcher knelt behind a car and shot himself shortly after murdering his longtime girlfriend.

Pioli has always been fiercely private – even innocuous quotes would usually be given only off-the-record – but seemed to keep relatively good spirits until the end was imminent.

If his final season is remembered as the worst in franchise history – and it is – his final days will be remembered for confusion. Hunt announced Romeo Crennel’s firing on Monday, which led to many inside the Chiefs’ offices to wonder about Pioli’s. But Hunt is one of the few men more private than Pioli, so team employees expecting a fresh start had to wait.

That included Pioli, who by all accounts handled his final few days of employment with class, even amid an air of inevitability that he would soon be gone.

Pioli came arrived in Kansas City with the Chiefs in a terrible place. They had just gone 2-14, fans fed up with years of falling behind. The new coach Pioli hired unwittingly set a new hard tone when he told a respected Pro Bowler he could win two games with “22 guys off the street.”

Four years and four drafts later, the Chiefs again won just two games. A rough, overly dramatic, and ultimately alienating time ends with the team in the exact same spot, accomplished men on all sides left to reflect on what went wrong.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:19 PM   #2
Kyle DeLexus Kyle DeLexus is offline
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:23 PM   #3
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:25 PM   #4
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:25 PM   #5
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****ing AWESOME EVEN BETTER better than fireing him on monday. He had to sit his ass outside the meetings with his thumb up his ass Ha HA!

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Old 01-05-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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Who cares? I hope this was Clark to Pioli--

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Old 01-05-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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Where did it go wrong?

1. Stubbornly sticking with Cassel despite the obvious and completely ignoring the QB position.

2. Creating a culture of fear and intimidation within the franchise, alienating former players, current staff, and ultimately the fans.

3. Two horrible head coaching hires.

4. Losing Brandon Carr, missing on Routt, and using Arenas, who he gave up a legend to draft.

5. Blowing the '09 draft.

6. Horrible FA acquisitions.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:32 PM   #9
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:32 PM   #10
Ace Gunner Ace Gunner is offline
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"Scott Pioli likely came to know his time in charge of the Chiefs had expired outside of a conference room at a Philadelphia airport"

awesome.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:34 PM   #11
GloryDayz GloryDayz is offline
Good luck KC Chiefs...
 
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I'm thinking March 31, 1965. It was a bad day for the planet earth!

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Old 01-05-2013, 11:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryDayz View Post
I'm thinking March 31, 1965. It was a bad day for the planet earth!
I'm sure you mean June 30, 1964.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaChief View Post
Where did it go wro
1. Stubbornly sticking with Cassel despite the obvious and completely ignoring the QB position.

2. Creating a culture of fear and intimidation within the franchise, alienating former players, current staff, and ultimately the fans.

3. Two horrible head coaching hires.

4. Losing Brandon Carr, missing on Routt, and using Arenas, who he gave up a legend to draft.

5. Blowing the '09 draft.

6.
Horrible FA acquisitions.
mostly this ....
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:37 PM   #14
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I have been in two board meetings when someone was asked to wait outside for awhile. It always ended badly for the excluded party.

But it's one of the most hard-ass things you can do in business; look a grown executive in the eye and tell him to give you some time alone with the "important people" and watch him slink out the door with his buttocks clinched like a fist.

Clark has a mean streak in him, I'm telling you. He didn't have to invite Pioli along for that interview. Then, to purposefully exclude him from the main talks? Ouch and damn.

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Old 01-05-2013, 11:38 PM   #15
GloryDayz GloryDayz is offline
Good luck KC Chiefs...
 
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I'm sure you mean June 30, 1964.
That bitch and bassturd!!!
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