Do the Right Thing

Clark Hunt

No matter what happens on Black Monday in these parts it's clear that Kansas City Chiefs Chairman Clark Hunt is about to make the biggest decision of his professional career. The right one could make him a hero. The wrong one could doom this organization for quite some time.

Sorry to be so dramatic but as I over slept this morning hoping to catch some extra hours of shuteye, my phone began buzzing that media supporters of Chiefs General Manager, Scott Pioli, were clamoring that he will be given on final year to guide the Chiefs in 2013 to secure the top overall draft pick in 2014 as well, my heart began to sink.

For the record, I have no ill will towards Scott Pioli. I actually think he's a good person and I know he's not the perceived Ogre that Chiefs fans make him out to be in Kansas City. And in talking to Pioli, as I have during different stages of the regular season, I'm not sold he's entirely to blame for the 2012 failures.

But he will get blamed for it.

And honestly that's fair. Because, next to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chiefs are the worst coached team in the NFL. Romeo Crennel and his staff likely will be out on Black Monday because they failed to mold the talent on the roster Pioli assembled.

Yet fans don't care about that right now.

Becasue as reports spread that Crennel is out and Pioli could stay, everyone in the Chiefs nation began to fall off the Arrowhead cliff. They were so ready to jump into the abyss of the red sea when they heard rumblings Clark Hunt wasn't going to can his General Manager.

As the Denver Broncos began to manhandle the Chiefs to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs Sunday afternoon, the Twitter posts and my personal cell phone, were lighting up with such regularity about this topic, one could imagine what it's going to be like until Clark Hunt actually speaks to the fans.
BR>And that's where this franchise stands. It's future; it's viability as the top dog in the Kansas City sports community all rests on Hunt doing the right thing. And that's to fire Scott Pioli, his minions and the entire coaching staff.

Then he must start over and rebuild the organization in the image of his father, Founder Lamar Hunt.

We've all made excuses that it's unfair to put Lamar and Clark Hunt on the same pedestal. But when the Chiefs founder became ill he put together a succession plan that would someday put his son, Clark, in charge of the franchise.

A half a decade later the younger Hunt is at the crossroads of his career. And yes owning the Chiefs is a career choice. He has enough money to do anything he wants but he chose to accept his father's legacy.

Now he has to create his own.

We all applauded him for hiring Scott Pioli four years ago. But those cheers are all but saturated in the mediocrity that this organization has accepted for itself once the Chiefs became irrelevant again in 2012.

For Hunt, he has little choice to hold onto the fan base if he does not fire Pioli. They won't stand for anything short of Pioli's head on a silver platter. Again, that's probably too harsh and unfair but the NFL is a business.

The Chiefs may have stunk on the field but their profitability is at an all time high. Now Hunt needs to use those profits to buyout the contracts of Pioli and company and refuse to short change the dollars he'll need to offer the two men who will be the teams next General Manager and Head Coach.

If he doesn't, then sports fans in this town will gravitate towards buying season tickets to their baseball team, the Kansas City Royals. And I might lead that charge!

David Glass was at a crossroads entering free agency this past November and he forked over the money and guaranteed some $35 million this year and even more in 2014, to secure four starting pitchers. Hunt needs to do the same thing.

Listen I don't want anyone to lose their jobs this time a year. But the NFL is a business and Hunt has made that painfully clear to the fan base that the bottom line expenditures; override taking risks and using profits to clean up the mess of bad decisions.

Now that the 2012 season is over the blame game should end. Every fan knows that keeping Pioli, Crennel and those brought in from New England was a colossal failure. Hunt has no choice but to let each of them go with bank in hand. Thus he needs to buyout their contracts and thank each of them for their service to the Chiefs.

If he doesn't and Pioli remains the General Manager for one more lame duck season, many fans, including season ticket holders, will not come back to Arrowhead next season. Because the overall sentiment on Twitter today was that should Pioli return, the fans will leave.

Thus if the Chiefs want to remain relevant and keep the fan support interested through yet another rebuilding experiment, Clark Hunt has to show the fans that he cares about all of them.

And firing Pioli is the only solution they'll accept.

Will Clark Hunt really give Scott Pioli one more season?

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