Commentary: Now That Was Ugly

From Arrowhead Stadium

Remember back in the days before the NFL owners’ lockout when Commissioner Roger Goodell was campaigning for only two pre-season games each year. His reasoning was the fans don’t like the games that don’t count.

The perfect piece of evidence to back the Commish’s thought went down Friday at a deserted Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs said they sold 67,537 tickets for the game against Tampa Bay. If that’s true, very few of those seat holders bothered to even make the drive to the Truman Sports Complex. Think more along the lines of 30,000 to 35,000 butts in the seats. If they stayed home to watch on TV, I guarantee they found something else to entertain them at about 7:30, or 20 minutes after it all got started.

The fans didn’t care and the Chiefs didn’t care. It seemed only the Buccaneers found anything redeeming in taking part in the evening. Maybe that was due to Josh Freeman’s homecoming to Kansas City. Maybe it was because the Bucs won 10 games last year and did not make the playoffs. Whatever the reason, Tampa Bay won easily 25-0, even though the tape of the game will not be on the way to Canton, Ohio anytime soon.

The way things went down, it probably would have been better for the Chiefs if they had just stayed up at Missouri Western in the Joe and had a walkthrough and a padded practice among themselves. I’m sure as Todd Haley and his staff grinds its way through the tape of this Walk of the Living Dead remake on Saturday, they will find something of value. It just wasn’t evident on Friday night.

And to think, some poor sap paid as much as $285 per ticket in the club level for an evening that turned out to be one of the crappiest games that’s been staged at Arrowhead over the last 40 seasons. Those fans should immediately sue the NFL and the Chiefs for bait and switch, false advertising or whatever a building full of lawyers can find in the law books for calling something professional football and then presenting what was on display this evening.

Believe me, if a grand jury was called and the evidence of the evening was presented, there would be criminal charges filed for impersonating a football team and a football game.

In the pre-game warm-up session, the Chiefs had all 88 of their players dressed and stretching and running and getting ready for the game. But for many in that group of 88, the calisthenics and stretching was the only sweat they would work up. Hali-Johnson-Flowers-Carr-Dorsey-Wiegmann-Moeaki-Charles-Breaston did not see the field. QB Matt Cassel handled the ball eight times. He fumbled once, and handed off the other seven times. One of those ended up being fumbled away by RB Jackie Battle.

I mean seriously, nobody was expecting much to begin with. No off-season because of the lockout, a short training camp with limited actual football taking place and a desire to physically protect players from injury was always going to make for limited excitement. That’s understood.

But in limited window to get ready for the 2011 regular season, the Chiefs failed to show any enthusiasm for the task at hand. Half of the operation was clocking in because they had to be there. The other half were trying not to miss an opportunity to continue their career in pro football for a few more days or weeks.

Last time I looked, the Kansas City Chiefs do not have last February’s Vince Lombardi Trophy in their possession. They are a worst to first operation that faces a much tougher schedule in the 2011 season. They have a roster with many talented young players and a roster that still has holes. At no point should any opportunity to improve be forsaken and that goes for any part of the roster.

It was forsaken Friday night. In the big picture, does it mean anything? Probably not; there’s time to make up for this stinker. But why waste everybody’s time?

Last month, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt showed his benevolent side by returning the money he took from his employees’ paychecks because of the lockout. If he wants an opportunity to really show his magnanimous side, he should return the money paid for every ticket to what happened Friday night.

It wasn’t a game. It wasn’t professional. It wasn’t even an event.

It was a waste of time.

35 Responses to “Commentary: Now That Was Ugly”

  • August 13, 2011  - rufus says:

    well, that was a rude awakening for fans and the team, for sure. But you know better than I Bob, haley is a guy who plays psyche – games with his players and so far, I don’t think a lot can be said to knock the overall result. the got clobbered. yes they did, now what will Haley use from it? hehe… plenty.

    The truth is, there were very few players playing this game that will make final cuts. The quest for players is always on, but only a few will actually be retained by this staff. the big question is, who? the offensive side of this team is pretty well set sans another FA upgrade. The defense is a whole other animal. There are LB’s, DB’s and DL guys that wont make this team. A lot of them. The quest is on, few of these players seemed ready for it. The tackling was bad, as we all know. I know they were limited in scheme and assignments, but that doesn’t excuse the poor tackling techniques on display tonight.

    It looks to be another painful pre season for Chiefs. But, like last season, when the real games are on tap, this team will switch gears. At least, most of them will..

    An aside, the new rules are horrible. They are really walking a fine line now. Apparently we’re supposed be excited about that big kick off of the arcing football from one end of the stadium to the other, only to be left with some dude watching it go past his ear for a touchback or a kneel – down. Ya. Great. Dumb move Goodell. What a chucklehead.

  • August 13, 2011  - BayouCityChiefs says:

    Seconded. I’m embarrassed that I was even looking forward to this “game”.

  • August 13, 2011  - Michael says:

    ugh…what a clunker. The Bucs obviously put more into winning this game than the Chiefs, working their ones and two’s much longer than KC. What bothered me was the seeming lack of effort and conditioning and poor decision-making of many Chiefs players. It doesn’t matter if you are 2nd or 4th string, that wasn’t good enough.

    I wouldn’t read too much into it, though. It’s way too early for that. Still, there’s a lot of work to do.

  • August 13, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    I’m looking at it as an extended practice. I’m watching it for the first time now and it has been ugly, but there are some flashes in there.

    Stanzi just pitched to Battle. Good throw to Horne. Nice scrambling instincts. I like this guy.

    Gordon (64) is showing some serious hustle.

    I think Lawrence could be good in his new position.

    Jones showed that passion in the first drive.

    Greenwood had some good tackles.

    Pastarigatoni wasn’t impressive.

  • August 13, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    Also, that new kickoff rule sucks.

  • August 13, 2011  - MarkInTexas says:

    I went to the game expecting almost nothing, and still got disappointed. If Haley is going to treat these games as walkthroughs, then at least tell the fans up front.

    The Chiefs had better be careful about thinking they can just “flip the switch” when the regular season begins. The Cowboys took a similar approach last preseason, and promptly went 1-7 to start the regular season.

    I agree with the previous posts about the new kickoff rule…it sucks! That rule won’t last the season, I predict. Either abolish the new rule, or just put the damn ball on the 30 and forgo the charade of kicking. Not only does the return eliminate an entire facet of the game (an exciting one at that), but the average starting field position will be much worse and overall scoring down.

  • August 13, 2011  - TimR says:

    I don’t think we’ll be in a position to get after it until the 3rd preseason game…

  • August 13, 2011  - kc smith says:

    I thougth there were a few bright spots lawrence @ corner , Greenwood @ LB , Pisctelli @ SS ,Stanzi @QB . But what kind of offence was that. Scott and Todd please watch the Patriots play. Todd I thought you understood the passing game. I want to see some of these receivers play.The scheme looked like @ bad Jr. Pee Wee team. It was truely ugly.

  • August 13, 2011  - Jhery says:

    Well, I punished myself and watched the entire game. if someone really spent 280 on club level, they need to storm the front office and demand a refund for false advertising, totally agree.
    rufus, our schedule is like a who’s who of last season’s playoffs and super bowl. last season we had a second division schedule. i know the coaching staff knows this, that’s what worries me. defense’s thrive on goose eggs. now every team will be gunning for a shut out. forget the offensive guffaws, our tackling sucked on ST and defense. we over pursued and the man coverage was average at best. that wasn’t disappointing it was miserable.

  • August 13, 2011  - Adrian W. says:

    I’m pretty sure I saw J. Charles split as a wide-out on one of Cassel’s series…

    And as for Cassel’s fumble… I’d give credit to Daryl Harris for that one.

  • August 13, 2011  - Derrick says:

    This is the reason that I WILL NEVER EVER go to a preseason game. You could’nt pay me to go to one. I live in Arkansas and if i’d driven up for that crap you guys would be reading about me in the police report because i’d had jump Haley or Hunt or somebody. I know it’s preseason but if your’e not gonna play for real don’t sell tickets as though you are going to a real game. Not made at Haleys decision to play like practice but don’t take peoples money like that.

  • August 13, 2011  - COCHIEF says:

    I agree that the new kickoff rule sucks. If you don’t want the players to risk injury on the kickoff, just start play at the 20 after each score. Even better, the players could just play Madden and avoid all chance of injury. What a farce.

  • August 13, 2011  - Mark says:

    The Chiefs sent me a survey last year which I enthusiastically completed. There was a section that asked me if I planned to consider buying season tickets (which I used to have). I told the Chiefs I would NEVER NEVER buy season tickets again when I was forced to pay full price for 2 crappy preseason games. The preseason games should be $25 Max and they are not even worth that. I wish everyone would tell the Chiefs the same thing and maybe they will get the message.

  • August 13, 2011  - ED says:

    I agree Mark preseason games are crappy at times. So if you drove hrs to see this game shame on you for not knowing after 50yrs of football preseason is nothing more than a glorified scrimmage. And if anyone litsen to Haley weekly sound bites should know he wasn’t going to play most of the starters in this game. He’s been repeatly talking about how he needs to get guys in better conditioning for risking them to injury by playing them in these kind of games or having padded practices. I disagree with Bob assessment of bashing the organization for taking this game more seriously. I mean really like I said last yr when we won 1 or 2 preseason games and Bob and some Chiefs fans tried to make big deal about that. And I stated who’s going to remember our preseason record if we win division and make the playoffs.

    Same holds true now. Bottom line most of our free agents only had 1 week of camp and with everyone as Haley stated being at different condiitoning levels he wasn’t going to play most of starter many min if any at all. Preseason game # 3 will be when will see starters play extended minutes as always. When I went in to watch this game I went in wanting to see guys like Baldwin, Sheffield, Houston, and few other rookies to see how they would play I knew going in starters wasn’t going play much.

    And to correct Bob I did Charles and Tamba did play in the game they just didn’t play many minutes.

  • August 13, 2011  - el cid says:

    Comments are funny, really. This is the new NFL, folks. With the CBA and the focus of brain trama, what did any of you expect? TB is a team on cusp of being a player and the Chiefs are still looking for another year of retooling the product. Sorry to say but Haley threw the fans under the bus on this one. He had any conern for anything not Hunt’s Chiefs, we would have seen every starter for one series, anyone else notice guys like Hali missing role call?

    I had hoped the Chiefs would come out from where they left off last year with some idea of who they were but no we got the role call of the cannon fodder in sted. When the regular season starts, ANY NFL team who wants to be there in the end has to come out fast from the starting gun. Our Chiefs are still holding tryouts and we are out of it before it began.

  • August 13, 2011  - indplschiefsfan says:

    A couple of observations.

    1) Yes, the new kickoff rule sucks. But the reason for it sucks even more. According to Mike Pereira on Fox they instituted this rule because the stats showed 11 injuries per 100 plays on kickoffs vs. 7 injuries per 100 plays during scrimmage play. Ummmmmm, someone correct if I’m wrong, but if a 4% difference is enough to take a very exciting element of the game away, then what are they going to do next? I’m all for players’ safety, but this is football after all. People get hurt playing this game. You can’t take the risk out of it completely.

    2)The “confirmation” on all touchdowns is going to slow the game down to a crawl. What a stupid rule! Again, according to Pereira during the Fox broadcast it was done so that “coaches would be more likely to have challenges left by the 2 minute mark in the 4th quarter”. Seems to me the easier way to have done this is to institute what many fans have wanted: If the coach wins a challenge, he gets a challenge back. If he loses, he loses a timeout AND the challenge. Why is it in the Goodell era we have to have complicated solutions to simple questions?

  • August 13, 2011  - indplschiefsfan says:

    @ el cid:

    A little early for a proclamation of an end to the season before it begins. Having said that, I still like Raheem Morris’ approach than I did Haley’s. However, Haley is getting the big bucks, not me, and so far, he’s delivered in the regular season. Yes, it’s a new day in the NFL. I’m not sure I like it either.

  • August 13, 2011  - Tracy says:

    Maybe Haley is concerned about injuries, ergo the lack of hitting in practice and the non-participation of the regulars last night.

    Whatever the reason, a couple of “Monk” episodes, reruns though they were, provided more entertainment value than the scrum at Arrowhead.

  • August 13, 2011  - el cid says:

    Good comments all. More of a negative guy when I do not see the effort at all levels. Haley peed on us as fans, hope it works out, just wonder why TB did not take a dump like Haley, or maybe they did.

    Ed, a guy named Looney, spokesman for the Chiefs posted Hali did not play, do not know what you saw?

  • August 13, 2011  - ChuckP says:

    BOB; I love your comment of the “WALK OF THE LIVING DEAD”. Now, that is cute!!!!! We looked God Awful out there. There’s a TON of work left to do before that first game. No one could argue with that!!!!!

  • August 13, 2011  - napahank says:

    After reading all the previous comments you would think every angle was covered. But there is one big glaring question no one asked. “What IF Haley would have shortened up the conditioning time and had many scrimmages with the veterans and played them in the game for at least the first quarter?”

    Would we have made it to the first preseason game with EVERYONE healthy? A player out for 2-3 weeks, a month or more, or even for the entire season is DEVASTATING whereas playing only the guys who were in the “entire” severely shortened camp (and guys you could survive the season without)is painful but in all honesty meaningless.

    Chief fans forget that we were one of the LEAST injured teams in the REGULAR season last year and that contributed more than we realized to our success. Haley is brilliant for his approach to conditioning first-just look around the league to coaches who are not.

    Finally, Hunt should have conferred with FOX about not choosing this game to televise nationally and should have been upfront with fans about the approach to THIS game, including a major discount to ticket prices.

  • August 13, 2011  - Russell says:

    The ultimate reverse Psych. He gives one reason(haley)but wants another result. Purposely lays an egg, gets the negative feed, uses it as ammo to motivate the team…Again watch the next two games…

  • August 13, 2011  - TDKC says:

    My daughter loved the game. She’s a raider fan.

  • August 13, 2011  - Rw says:

    Way to throw a piss laden wet blanket over your fan base haley. Confidence. Haley, confidence is key for your players, your supporters, coaches, and what do you do when every other nfl team seen is at least representative of being seen as a pro effort?

    You mail it in and justify with some piss poor justification under an injury banner? Child, please! Okay, rant placed. I have been a fan for many decades but am now looking for another team more in touch with winning than playing stupid mind games with the fan base! Maybe rant was not over?

    Haley. You are a moron. And if the gm and owner signed off on your plan, so are fhey.

  • August 13, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    I agree the KO rule is a joke. It takes away Arenas and McCluster potential for returns. It will cause the offenses to gain another 10 yards to score. They should move the touchback to the 30 so teams would consider pooch kicks.
    I also agree Head Coaches should get to keep challenges they win.
    Plus, I agree pre-season games are a rip off to us Season ticket holders. That’s why I give my 4 seats away to friends/family and don’t make the 2 1/2 hour drive to Arrowhead.
    I have no problem with how Haley used the exhibition. He did what he said he would do. It was an extended padded practice. It helped the staff evaluate who the last 10-12 players on the roster will be. We also learned we need a decent back up QB.

  • August 13, 2011  - el cid says:

    More generous than I. We will see if in Sept it will pay dividends. Haley has made a point in doing things his way and I back him. But if this team is not prepared to start the regular season, as I suspect, watch out, the band wagon jumper will make the dump on the stock marker look like an upturn

  • August 13, 2011  - Dave says:

    I drove 1000 miles one way and paid over $5000 on the scalpers market for two tickets in the nosebleed section, and I am OUTRAGED at what happened last night.

    I put down my hard earned dollars with the full expectation that I would see most of the Chiefs starters come out for a whopping one series, do next to nothing, and then disappear for the rest of the night.

    But instead, only about HALF of them came out for one series, did next to nothing, and then disappeared! And “half” might be generous! More like two-fifths! Or three-eights!

    If Clark Hunt was any kind of man, he would refund every penny to people like me who were just hoping and praying to see one pass attempt from the legendary arm of Matt Cassel before we die.

  • August 13, 2011  - CanadaBrad says:

    Some of my thoughts :

    - Haley obviously used this game as an evaluation opportunity which isn’t a bad thing. He has said all along they are preparing for the season opener. Unfortunately, the greed that prevails throughout the league is evident in the ticket pricing.

    - I really only watch these games to see who the Chiefs have for depth and I was encouraged by the play of Stanzi, Cory Greenwood, Piscitelli, and Houston.

    - The OL depth is HORRIBLE … upgrades coming ??

    - In a way, I like that we got shut-out. Nothing is worse than over-confidence. And sometimes nothing is more important than being humbled.

    - Having said that, no one has pointed out that Tampa’s starters were only able to put up a 10 point lead against mostly our 2nd teamers.

  • August 13, 2011  - Michael says:

    After having awhile to think about it, I blame myself really. I got excited to see the Chiefs first game, and my expectations for the game got the best of me, especially for the first preseason game for the Chiefs. I don’t blame Haley or the Chiefs at all. He did what he thought was best for the team in light of their conditioning and practice time. And, I did see some positive things in amongst that keystone cops reprisal.

    I do feel bad for my fellow Chiefs fans who took the time and spent too much money to go to see what was really an extended scrimmage, and a sloppy one at that, especially if they went there caught up in the moment and expectation like I was. It was just a preseason game, the first one after the lockout. I haven’t heard anything about any serious injuries resulting from it. That, and the conditioning some of the players got in the game are probably the most important results from the game. And the only things that will matter come September.

  • August 13, 2011  - Mark says:

    OMG, the sky is falling, the sky is falling, LOL. Check out how Marv Levy played the MEANINGLESS EXHIBITION games in Buff, and you’ll see Todd Haley’s approach. He could not care less. Worked for Marv, and works for Haley. To those who paid money for the practice, your beef is with the NFL that FORCES teams to charge full price, not with Haley or the Chiefs. Haley approaches meaningless exhibition games the right way, as practices for when the games actually count.

  • August 14, 2011  - john says:

    Thank God all I had to do was change the channel. I have been a Chiefs fan since 1964, and I think I threw up in my mouth! Clark REFUND the ticket holders and stripe the field for soccer! Got your paper bags ready? Nuff said. And to all you Koolaide drinkers, even the scrubs should know how to tackle! Signed an embarassed “fan” in the AZ.:(

  • August 15, 2011  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    I can hear Herm Edwards & Carl Peterson grinning from ear to ear – believe it.


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