A Few Extras From Arrowhead

Lost amidst the firing of Todd Haley and elevation of Romeo Crennel to head coach was another hiring announced last week by the Chiefs.

Me thinks GM Scott Pioli needs to pay extra attention to this one.

Bill Chapin was named Senior Vice-President of Business Operations. In that role, the Chiefs say he will have responsibility for marketing, advertising, strategy, research, business development, special events and a host of other things.

Coming to the Chiefs from the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders team in Major League Soccer, the California native has some pretty radical ideas on communicating with the fans.

For instance, in 2009 Seahawks organization led by owner Paul Allen (Microsoft fame) created the Sounders and with it they created a program that was advertised as a whole new way to empower fans. It was called “Democracy in Sports.” The program gives season ticket holders and team supporters the ability to effect change within the organization.

“Every four years, all members of the Sounders Alliance can vote on our general manager,” Chapin (left) said two years ago. “If they give him a vote of no confidence, he loses his job.”

Wow! Hold on here. Could this be what Chiefs fans can look ahead to in 2012 and beyond? Imagine a team initiated system that would allow fans to vote up or down on Pioli and his job performance every four years? Imagine if that was in place by the end of next year and the 2012 season was as bad as the current campaign.

Could that be possible in the NFL? Probably not, but it’s certainly something to think about as pro football moves into the future.

Chapin helped direct creation of the Sounders website and one of the foundations of the team’s plan was to incorporate a community feel to the site. They wanted to build a feeling that would allow members to freely pass their comments and emotions to ownership and management.

“Our senior management and ownership group must be open to the concept of accepting honest and brutal criticism/ feedback from the fans that would be incorporated throughout the site in blogs, discussion groups and other interactive digital mediums,” Chapin wrote two years ago.

Folks around the Chiefs do not like brutal criticism. They don’t like criticism at all. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the arrival of Chapin, but I hope he brings with him some of his ideas and programs.

It could be very interesting.


Last Sunday in the third quarter was a defensive possession that the Chiefs would love to forget. In fact, it probably played a part in the firing of head coach Todd Haley.

ILB Jovan Belcher will remember, because he got hit by the NFL this week for $15,000 fine for a hit to the chin of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

It was all part of the same scoring drive for New York. A great 54-yard punt by Dustin Colquitt pushed the Jets back to their 10-yard line with possession and 8:14 to play in the quarter. It took only six official plays for the Sanchez scoring on a 3-yard run. They got help from six penalties against the Chiefs; five of them were walked off for a total of 81 yards.

Here’s the ugly list – Belcher, roughing the passer, 15 yards; Demorrio Williams, defensive holding, 5 yards; Todd Haley, unsportsmanlike conduct, 15 yards; Brandon Flowers, pass interference, 16 yards; Kendrick Lewis, pass interference, 30 yards.


If you missed Todd Haley’s appearance on ESPN Wednesday evening, you missed a chance to see the former head coach in a very relaxed atmosphere and mood.

Haley appeared on a program called Audibles where four “experts” sit around and answer questions that have been sent in by the home audience. This week it was Keyshawn Johnson, Jerry Rice and Trent Dilfer, all ESPN employees now, and Haley.

The coach trimmed up his beard a bit but he was quite relaxed, also talkative and analytical. He was much more comfortable than any press conference the public had seen him hold since he arrived in February 2009.

I’m not sure Haley has a future in television, but he handled this chance with aplomb. And, for those expecting comments on what happened with his firing, I’m sure they were disappointed. That’s going to take some time before he’s willing and able to speak. Frequently, the separation agreement between coach and team usually has all sorts of clauses about telling the truth. The team doesn’t want it told.

There’s one thing Haley did that he should correct. In talking about the New York Jets, he mentioned last Sunday’s game, and first said “we” but then backtracked and said “they.”

Coach, accepted what happened in 46 games with the Chiefs as part of who you are. All those are memories that were hard-earned by you.

One Response to “A Few Extras From Arrowhead”

  • December 17, 2011  - rufus says:

    if I hear the word democracy one more time i’m going to stab myself deaf.

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