Originally posted on Obsessed With Sports  |  Last updated 1/16/12

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how the Chargers are the best place to work. At least in the NFL. Now, as it turns out, the worst place to work in football is another team in that very same division. It’s an honor granted to the Scott Pioli led Chiefs of the AFC West.

Holy heaven what a mess the Chiefs have created. That is, according to the Kansas City Star.

Haley suspected that many rooms at the team facility were bugged so that team administrators could monitor employees’ conversations. Stopping finally in a conference room, Haley said he believed his personal cellphone, a line he used before being hired by the Chiefs in 2009, had been tampered with.

Bugging rooms? Tapped phones? The Chiefs are like a terrible early-90s spy comedy.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Todd Haley is a complete lunatic. For this reason, I’d take accusations from him with a grain of salt. However, there are other substantive accusations in Kent Babb’s Kansas City Star piece.

Much of the dirty falls squarely on the shoulders of Scott Pioli. Pioli took over in 2009, and apparently immediately went about changing the culture within the Chiefs facilities.

Some of the first changes involved shutting off access and protecting information. Non-football employees, including those who had worked for the Chiefs for decades, were told that they weren’t allowed on certain floors, or in certain areas of the team facility. Business-side staffers with an office window facing the practice fields were made to keep their shades drawn during practices. The team president was no exception. A security guard made the rounds during practices, sometimes interrupting phone calls and meetings to lower shades.

That’s the way to unify the business and football segments of the organization! Chiefs president Mark Donovan was asked about these internal rules. He said that this is done for every employee in order to make certain that no business-side employee is perceived as being trusted more than another. “This is making sure that everybody feels the same,” he said. Everyone must feel the same for sure — distrusted and unwanted.

After a while, a saying was adopted by top administrators for behavior that didn’t fit the new standards: “That’s so 2-and-14,” they would say, referring to the Chiefs’ win-loss record in 2008. This pertained to matters large and small: Stephanie Melton, who worked 11 years on the team’s operations staff, recalled Pioli’s reaction after she and a coworker, after working past midnight on a weekend, had parked a courier van in the unmarked space usually occupied by Pioli’s car. The women had forgotten to move it, and Pioli was livid the next morning. Melton said she was made to feel for several days that she’d be fired.

I wonder what Pioli drives. My guess is a Saab. A vast majority of people who drive Saab’s are a-holes. It’s a fact.

In January 2010, the worry was amplified and legitimized by a series of staff cuts. When Pioli took over, there were 19 employees in director or vice president positions. Many of them had been with the Chiefs for decades. Three years later, only three…

Number are always a good way to drive home a point. Those are striking ones. Pioli wanted to instill change. Based on that type of turnover, he certainly did so in regards to personnel.


Of course there is an underlying anti-Patriots sentiment in Babb’s article. That’s to be expected. Pioli was hired by KC based on what he did (or was perceived to have done) in New England. There is often an anti-media attitude in New England — perceived or not. And there has been a certain reliance on information privacy for the Patriots. A key example that touches both areas would be the often baffling injury report provided by New England.

That type of information withholding by the Patriots is targeting outside presences. While Pioli’s rules ultimately meant to guard against information getting out, those policies targeted internal employees rather than focusing on external parties.

It the Patriots are maniacal dickheads, they are at least unified maniacal dickheads.

A strong ownership and business side of the house is often found in the perennially successful NFL franchises. Thus far, Pioli has absolutely gutted the Chiefs, for better or worse.

He really comes off as a nutcase in the piece. Pioli learned from the other football executives in New England. But for all the talk about New England and for everything the Patriots are — we’ve never heard anything quite like this. Maybe Pioli needs more checks and balances to constrain his actions. That’s what he had in Foxboro in the form of an extremely strong ownership group and coaching staff.

The full story is well-worth a read. It’s a long piece and there’s a good deal more that I didn’t touch upon here. There’s just too much to digest in one post, really. One additional favorite; a story of a security guard almost confiscating a man’s cellphone for taking a picture from outside the Chiefs practice facilities. If that’s the type of BS the Chiefs are worried about, it’s no wonder they can’t even compete in the worst division in football.

[via KansasCity.com]

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Weeden compares QB situation to 'backing up Derek Jeter'

Matt Hasselbeck went to E.R. with illness on Tuesday

Calipari on 2015-16 Kentucky basketball team: ‘We stink’

Reports: Andrew Luck out against Texans

Rodgers on INT-free season: ‘I don’t think it is’ possible

Tyrann Mathieu: Lions may not know their own offense


NHL awards predictions for the 2015-16 season

WATCH: Maple Leafs use first coach's challenge, win

Ex-Patriot Jeremy Mincey: I'll respect Belichick 'until the day I die'

Cubs dominate Pirates to advance to NLDS

WATCH: Cubs, Pirates get in benches-clearing incident

Will Muschamp on Byron Cowart: His frustration is typical

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLB postseason power rankings

NHL awards predictions for the 2015-16 season

Quiz: MLB pitchers with 100+ career postseason strikeouts

Top storyline for each Week 5 NFL game

Which teams have underperformed or surprised in 2015

The six NFL players most likely to be traded by the deadline

What was happening in the world when Manning and Woodson debuted?

NFL through Week 4: What do we know?

NFL extends international series through 2025

5 players who can win the NHL MVP this season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker