Originally written January 04, 2013 on Fox Sports Kansas City:
Nfl_oakland_raiders_04e1
It's worth remembering, Mr. Hunt, that the banners over your stadium did not read 'FIRE ROMEO' in all caps, draped across the heavens. Nobody invested thousands of dollars and hours of seething rage with the singular goal of seeing Romeo Crennel's head on a platter. Most folks in Kansas City actually like Romeo, personally. Romeo is everybody's grandpa. The man was just dropped into a pond that was out of his particular depth and, predictably, sank like a stone. It happens. When the history of the Kansas City Chiefs is written and most fans will gladly skip this particular chapter Crennel will be remembered for somehow beating Green Bay in 2011; for somehow besting Carolina in 2012; and for somehow maintaining a dignified face just a day after he'd watched one of his players shoot himself in the head. The next time the man is introduced at Arrowhead Stadium, Romeo Crennel, he of the 4-15 head coaching record with the Chiefs, will probably receive a nice round of applause. Romeo may not be loved, but he certainly won't be disliked. Scott Pioli, the general manager still twisting in the wind? Ah, well, that's different. In the soap opera that is the first week of the Chiefs' offseason, the plot took another twist Thursday. Morning reports indicated that former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, probably the sexiest of the recyclables in the candidate pool, was close to an agreement to replace Crennel in Kansas City. To call this encouraging would be an understatement: Reid was 130-93-1 over 14 seasons in Philly, including a run of five straight years of 11 victories or more. He'd be a quarterback guru coming to a team that needs a complete reboot under center; an offensive whiz coming to a club that just set a franchise record for fewest points scored in a 16-game season, a bunch that finished last in the NFL in passing yards per game (169.6) and points per game (13.2). Reid would immediately put a giant, mustachioed visage to this organization, replacing the sad-face emoticon that's held court out on Arrowhead Drive over the past four months or so. These are all good things. But, to be honest, it's not the thing fans want to see most. They want blood. They want Pioli's blood. And for most, they're not going to feel sated they're not going to feel like Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt has truly and genuinely cleaned house until they get it. @BAM4Play: If they fire Pioli tonight, I will start shopping for tickets. If not, I will contemplate a larger TV for next fall. They said their piece Thursday, through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and via any other social-media outlet with a pulse. They're happy with the prospect of the burly Reid plopped down in the middle of their world. But they'll be far happier when Pioli is no longer a part of it at all. @RJonesing: I say we use trial by ordeal to determine Pioli's fate. It really is that bad, and if Hunt doesn't realize this, then he's more out of touch than previously surmised. Despite the assertions of tackle Eric Winston, Kansas City is not Philadelphia the locals will, and have, put up with a lot of guff before they start reaching for the pitchforks. But after four years; two coaches (going on a third); Matt Cassel; Brady Quinn; the prime of tailback Jamaal Charles' career going to waste; one playoff appearance; three losing seasons; and a 23-42 record since 2009, the people have seen enough. Dumping Crennel is not enough. @schultzd24: Bye bye (expletive) Pioli By cutting ties with his massively unpopular general manager, Hunt's 'Q' rating would shoot through the proverbial roof. Instead, ever since Monday afternoon, the natives have been treated to a bizarre dance of smokescreens and mixed signals. Hunt went to his media partners and declared the institution of a revised power structure in which the coach and general manager would now be on equal footing and both report directly to him, a clear emasculation of Pioli's previously unbridled eminence. And yet when asked Monday by WHB-AM (810) in Kansas City about the GM's status, Hunt sort of tip-toed around the subject, saying in so many words that fans are concerned about a fielding a winner, most of all, regardless of who's at the controls. Uh-oh. Things got murkier Tuesday, when news leaked that Pioli was in Atlanta with Hunt and his posse as part of the Chiefs' traveling interview committee. When more signals emerged that Pioli was also a part of the nine-hour interview of Reid in Philly on Wednesday, the locals threw up their collective hands in disgust. If Hunt went out of his way to imply that this was his hire, and not Pioli's, why was the latter even remotely involved in the process? So the worm turns again, this time allegedly to Reid. Hunt has promised that his new coach will have absolute control, final say on matters of personnel and scouting, if he so desires, a perk to lure the biggest name possible. Then again, Hunt's said a lot of things lately. Some outlets of repute have reported that Reid would prefer to bring in his own right-hand man most likely Tom Heckert, an old Eagles running buddy to act as general manager. Others say there might possibly be room for Reid and Pioli, a career Bill Belichick guy, in the same front office. Fine, but know this, too: There isn't room for both them in the hearts of Kansas City. Not even remotely. @foxyjag: Got to hand it to Clark. Went out and got his guy. Now fire Pioli and we can all live happily ever after. Chiefs By all accounts, Hunt has followed his muse and found his lion. Chiefs fans are more interested in seeing him serve up one more sacrificial lamb. You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at seanmkeeler@gmail.com
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