I write this letter because as a Kansas City Chiefs fan, I’ve reached my breaking point. With the Carl Peterson reign ending, I need your advice because I can’t take any more misinformation about Scott Pioli, the man who must be hired to take Peterson’s place. I don’t know Pioli personally, but my flock at WarpaintIllustrated.com is about to jump out of the nest! I have to give them words of encouragement.
Listen, I’ve been to enough shrinks in my life so I know the drill. Abby, I don’t want to hear about patience or dealing with disappointment and unrealistic expectations and I don’t want you to question my faith.
My congregation has been praying. They’re dreaming of the Lombardi trophies that Pioli will hoist in the air as part of a ticker tape parade running from Union Station to the Power and Light District in Kansas City. These fans are so obsessed with this fantasy that some have vowed, under penalty of life banishment from our website, to line up at ticket offices outside Arrowhead Stadium in the cold with cash in hand to buy out every home game during the 2009 season. But only if Clark Hunt hires Scott Pioli.
Should this really be so difficult? There hasn’t been another General Manager candidate in recent memory that has the hardware, respect and intelligence to lead the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl.
I was nine years old when the Chiefs last won it all. I’m sure you remember that game, but if not, let me put it in perspective – some fans in my congregation can recite every single snap, and some have named their offspring “65 Toss Power Trap” in honor of their late hero, former Chiefs coach Hank Stram.
In fact, one of the Trap family members is on our board right now. He’s taken an oath to go unshaven, unshowered and to leave his house in a state of filth until Pioli is hired. I hear the smell is becoming upsetting.
Do you see what’s happening here? I’m running out of ways to keep my congregation in check. I know the Lord preaches patience but after 38 years with only one shot at getting back to the Super Bowl, my flock is fed up.
I’ve told my congregation that Pioli would love the Midwest lifestyle, the easy nature of the press, the fact that the Chiefs have over $30 million in cap space to buy some high profile free agents, and a rabid fan base that lives and breathes Chiefs football. I assured them that Clark Hunt will spend the money to hire the best candidate possible.
I’ve told them Hunt is an honorable man who will leave Pioli alone and let him run football operations. There’s no reason Pioli shouldn’t fall in love with Kansas City. The schools are good, the city has the best barbecue on earth, and we have more fountains than Paris.
So Abby, what do I do? How do I convince my congregation that Pioli will leave New England for Kansas City? I’m at a loss for words. I need your guidance.
Overland Park, KS
First let me say that I read the passion in your words. As the pastor of your congregation your job is to deliver the facts and give promise, but you can never lie to those who believe in you. There is no doubt from your words that you speak the truth. That you are under extreme pressure to deliver to them what they want to hear versus what might be the truth is obvious.
I have little doubt that your congregation is safe, however. No one is going to jump off a bridge. I admit I don’t follow football at all, but I know that the Chiefs play football in Kansas City and that they’ve been there a long time.
But I can understand your team’s championship drought. I can understand that because, well, I had dreams, too. I wanted to play violin with the Boston Pops. It was my dream to be one of the first-chair players. Unfortunately I was unceremoniously dumped from my high school orchestra because they said my fingers were too small.
However, that led me to fighting for the world’s little engines that could, and I vowed to help those who dreamed big. So I will help your congregation. If you tell them what I’m about to tell you, then maybe that will be the guiding light and Pioli will indeed come to Kansas City.
Every single Chiefs fan must go to sleep tonight and pray to the Lord. Honestly, there is nothing like the Lord’s Prayer. He does listen. Then, when they wake up in the morning, they have to visualize Pioli on a plane to Kansas City next week. You must reach out to everyone in your congregation by phone, e-mail or Western Union telegram.
But it won’t work unless you believe it, too, Nick. It can’t happen if you have any doubt whatsoever. Everyone must believe.
You cannot go to sleep. You have to be at your computer 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I know you were at your computer 23 hours a day this past week tracking down Pioli news, but that’s just not good enough. If you don’t sacrifice, who will lead your flock until Pioli arrives in Kansas City? I know you think that your congregation is small but it represents the heart and soul of every single Chiefs fan around the world.
In my final words to you Nick, truly there is no way that you or anyone can determine where Pioli will end up. Nobody knows that answer. But as trying as this time is for your faithful, tell them to never stop believing that one day this week, they might wake up, turn on their computers and read your triumphant headline – “Pioli Deal Done.”
As their pastor, that’s all you can do. God be with you and your congregation at this time of extreme turmoil. May your flock sleep tonight with a dream that somewhere in the new offices at Arrowhead Stadium this year, a sign on a door will read: Scott Pioli, General Manager, Kansas City Chiefs.