The Un-Apology … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

As the controversy of the Todd Haley non-hand shake from Sunday swirled around the Chiefs, it reminded me of an old story.

A man and one of his co-worker got into an argument in the company lunch room. Later that day, the boss called the man in and wanted to know why he had called his co-worker an “a—hole.”

“I didn’t call him an “a—hole,” the man said. “I said he was acting like an a—hole.”

I don’t know everything that was said between Haley and Denver head coach Josh McDaniels when they met up on the field after the Broncos 49-29 victory on Sunday. But I don’t think Haley called his counterpart an a—hole. I think he may have been trying to tell him he was acting like one.

After the game and even after his apology on Monday for his non-action action, Haley wouldn’t itemize his grievances with McDaniels and why he refused to shake hands. Instead, he pointed his finger at the Broncos coach and said a few choice words.


WDAF-TV has a snippet of the moment between the coaches, both video and audio. There’s no rage in Haley’s face or his voice. “There’s a lot of (bleep) being talked about you,” Haley can be heard saying to McDaniels, before walking away from his outstretched hand.

Haley said Monday the emotion of the moment led him to do what he did. “I do believe in doing what’s right, and that was not right,” Haley said. “I probably let the emotions of the situation get me too much and I apologize to the fans, to Denver and to Josh.”

But when asked if he planned to communicate his apology directly to McDaniels, Haley indicated he would not be doing so.

“I felt like communicating to the majority (of people) and anybody that was watching it, to let them know how I felt,” Haley continued. “That’s what’s important.”

That’s a un-apology. If you feel like you’ve done something wrong, or in Haley’s words “not right” then you communicate directly with the person. You don’t pass along an “I’m un-sorry” through the wire services or internet.

I’m here to tell you that the available evidence does not indicate an out-of-control Haley, or even an emotional head coach. I don’t think this was a spur of the moment decision by Haley at all. I think he knew exactly what he was doing and it was done for a reason.

Listen, there’s no question that Haley has the type of personality and history of advancing to the boiling point very quickly. But this was not a situation fraught with emotion. The game had long been decided. There were obviously actions that happened in the fourth quarter that Haley didn’t like, or rubbed him the wrong way.

Think again about the portion of what happened that was caught on tape. “There’s a lot of bleep being talked about you.” It wasn’t something of the nature of “you are a dirty blankety-blank and I will remember until the day I die what you and your bleeping players did to my team and we will exact revenge by shoving it where the sun don’t shine the next time we see you.”

I’m telling you that Haley knew exactly what he was saying and that he had stood on the sidelines during the fourth quarter and pondered just what he wanted McDaniels to hear. I don’t think his little moment of immaturity was real. I think there was method to his madness.

Listen, I’ve seen the man in action, I’ve heard him speak probably more than any person in the city – save his players – and I’ve come to know not necessarily what he’s thinking, but I think I have a good idea of the process, how he’s goes about creating those thoughts and how he’s processed the information.

Sunday’s 20-point victory was a statement game for the Broncos. After a horrid 2-6 start, they had two weeks to prepare and get ready for the division leaders. Denver’s performance told the league that they aren’t quite ready to go away just yet.

I think Haley took the opportunity to make a statement himself, to plant a seed, to get something off his chest and push his agenda. Remember that right after the game, in speaking with the media, Haley made reference to the fact that these teams would be seeing each other in just three weeks, and this time at Arrowhead.

Maybe these two can get together at mid-field in Arrowhead on December 5th and share another un-apology.


  • BENGALS – placed K Mike Nugent on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; placed DB Morgan Trent on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season.
  • CHARGERS – signed S Pat Watkins; released WR Gary Banks.
  • DOLPHINS – will place QB Chad Pennington on the injured-reserve list (shoulder) ending his season; signed QB Patrick Ramsey.
  • RAIDERS – former head coach Lane Kiffin’s grievance that he filed against the team after he was fired in 2008 was denied by an NFL arbitrator. Kiffin was seeking $2.6 million in money still owed him on his contract with the team.
  • REDSKINS – agreed to terms with QB Donovan McNabb on a contract extension of five years, supposedly worth $78 million with $40 million in guaranteed money.

26 Responses to “The Un-Apology … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 16, 2010  - Dave says:

    I love the guy and can’t wait for 12/5.

  • November 16, 2010  - el cid says:

    I am not even looking forward to sunday’s game. How to beat the Chiefs is on display for everyone to see and try. No real fix available. How much we need McCluster is apparent to me. Injuries are part of the game and how you handle it spells if you win or lose. The unreadiness or poor quality of backups will not be fixed this year.

    Many have suggested we sit back and enjoy the ride. Well, we have to because all the cheering in the world or positive vibes will not fix Washington at FS or Cassel at QB or no second WR. The rest of the season will to be “enjoy the game”, one game at a time and hope for the best.

  • November 16, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    I’m mainly looking forward to it because I’ll be coming home for Thanksgiving and it’ll be the first game this year that i’ll be in the right timezone while watching a game.

    We do have some holes to fill for sure. Given the results of the last two weeks it’s looking more and more like that 8-8 will be a reality. I’m fine with that. We are an improved team, but there is more to come.

    I’m pumped for the Cards game. Hopefully we can get another W.

  • November 16, 2010  - Edward says:

    What’s wrong with Cassel at QB. He has 16 td and 4 INT HUH?? I’ll take that all day any day from the QB. Was that suppose to be a know on Cassel. If it was it’s a preety weak argument. The last two games Cassel has been the only positive. Did he start the game off good no but he finished strong. Can’t say that about our defense it didn’t do anything for 4 quarters. Either way season isn’t over. Actually I think this game turns around our season.

    I think now we see what we need to do to beat these teams geared to stop our run. Cassel has shown coaching staff he and Bowe can become a formidable passing attack to back those safeties out of the box. Not to mention having Moeaki. And this kid Tucker keep making plays we need to get him more involved in the passing game. Defensively I’m a little more concerned. We need to get back to the basics stop the run. Denver ran it down our throat and that alone put the defense on its heels for big plays down the field. Too many times when i watch the game over lastnight was DJ and Belcher standing around on run plays instead of being aggresive and attacking the running back. So bottom line once defense gets back to doing that we’ll be fine. Cards coming up Sunday they better be aware of the buzz saw that is the Chiefs.

  • November 16, 2010  - matt says:

    I think Haley wanted to pump up his team for the next game (broncos) and the rest of the season

  • November 16, 2010  - el cid says:

    Edward, as much as I like your post yesterday I dislike todays. I buy into your view of defense (mainly because I agree with you) but on the offense side, come on. Cassel is not, NOT the problem of offense. He is what he is. But stats are for losers, it is wins that count. Based on stats he is as good as Manning, or whomever and he is not in their league. 4 ints because we run the ball or drop the passes. His record breaking passing day last sunday, was garbage time. Just let him have anything the game was over in the 1st qtr. His “positive” might have been better last sunday, how many three and outs before the Chiefs were down 21-0?? He definitely not the problem on offense but suggest he may not be the answer, he is what he is.

  • November 16, 2010  - Doug says:

    I agree with “the majority” that the lack of handshake was unsportsmanlike. He could have just as easily grabbed his hand, squeezed hard, said the same thing and gotten his message across. I agree with you that this was an interesting way to plant a message.
    What I find equally interesting is that around this time last year, Mike Vrabel, someone most can agree is at least a reasonably upstanding player, “saluted” the Denver sideline and presumably Mr. McDaniels. Arguably less sportsmanlike, but met with relatively less discontent. Can you speak to the connection between the two, if there is any?
    Thank you again for your website and impressive insight. It has been a real pleasure reading all season long.
    Doug Lake

  • November 16, 2010  - tuan says:

    yeah I’m not a cassel fan, but we cannot blame him
    for the lost. our D make the donky O looked the colt when we play them in 2003 playoff.punter is overrated who’s them…when cassel fumbel were return for TD the game was over.

  • November 16, 2010  - Clarence says:

    Handshake: In sports or other competitive activities, it is done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality.

    For Haley to shake McDaniel’s hand when he believed that the above didn’t apply would have been hypocrisy, which is a trait that I despise. I laud Haley for his strength of conviction. Far too often in the world society, people do things just because they are politically correct. Not an admirable trait in my opinion.

  • November 16, 2010  - el cid says:

    Interesting tuan brought up the fumble. Do we all realize only with the Chiefs are players not allow to:

    Throw deep (do not know if they can)
    throw int.
    blow coverages
    miss assignment/takcles

    My point it is the only way the Chiefs have any chance of being competitive, did not say win. The Chiefs management want the right 53, apparently not stars because of the baggage the coaches might have to deal with. They repeated said they want bag lunch types. Well this is what you build without screwy stars of the NFL. A team that only hope of survival is to be perfect and make no mistakes.

  • November 16, 2010  - RW says:

    No handshake following the game? BFD.

  • November 16, 2010  - tuan says:

    we not good enough YET to overcome more than one mistake in a game and expecting win, so if we start the game down 14-0 there’s no change of winning. not to say 28-0.there’s no safety play in that game they looked lost…

  • November 16, 2010  - Todd says:

    The first half of the year.. we averaged holding the other team to 17.4 points per game. So far this half.. 36.

    Our rushing offense was averaging 190.4 ypg the first half. So far this half: 77.5

    The team of “the first half” is still there. They didn’t stop practicing. I believe they’ll be back. Maybe as early as this Sunday vs. the Cardinals. Vegas agrees with me, as we’re 8 point favorites.

    Clearly other teams have watched film and figured out how to stop us. (oh look, they can stop the run.. how are they at stopping the pass without their starting safties?) Clearly we are missing our injured starters. And I think Jamal Charles is playing hurt. Yeah we need depth. That might take a few more years to get in place.

    I will say, I felt a BIT better about what I saw on Sunday, after watching Monday Night football. At least Denver didn’t skunk us 35-0 in the first quarter. We aren’t the only team out there that needs answers.

    Last year, Denver looked amazing and we were a nothing team. Any given sunday… We beat them soundly last season in Denver. This year we saw the reverse. And I think that reverse holds true across the board. Denver is nothing and we’re going places.

    Look.. the best teams in the NFL (there are 3) have 7 wins on the season. 9 teams have 6 wins. We have 5. We’re not bad. We’re certainly better than any of us (including Bob) thought we would be this year. I’ll bet the Vikings and the Cowboys would love to trade records with KC.

    We will win more games this year. Looking ahead at remaining games, and depending on which Chiefs team shows up each week, I can easily see our final record as 10-6.

    Go Chiefs

  • November 16, 2010  - harvey says:

    I think we get out of the offensive funk with a short passing game that will lead to us opening up the run again. If we stick with going for first downs, driving the ball – like the Philly pre-Vick was very successful doing, we will get all those defenders out of the run defense mode. Cassel can be successful with that type of game and we do have enough hands that we will be okay if they just catch the ball.

    On D, we need a rusher to balance Tamba. He was held in check (literally) on some plays but Clady is good. We have needed pressure up the middle all year – had none against the donks. I wonder if Langford can play FS. He should be over the ankle by now.

  • November 16, 2010  - Dave says:

    Todd…I agree. Not sure if we can get to 10-6, but other than that I’m with you.

  • November 16, 2010  - Tenand6 says:

    This is the best column on “the non-handshake” that’s been written.

  • November 16, 2010  - Rick says:

    I personally have no problem with Haley or the incident in Denver. Also I’m really looking forward to the Dec 5th game as I have tickets to it.

    Go Chiefs! Give em hell Haley!

  • November 16, 2010  - Steven says:

    Bob – I’ve heard some media types who don’t watch or study the Chiefs nearly as much as you do go on and on about this so it was great to read your insights.

  • November 16, 2010  - jim says:

    The “hand shake” — Nothing like creating or building a reason to revive a rivalary, or something to build a fire with. Pretty crafty, IMHO.

  • November 16, 2010  - Nate says:

    El Cid Call your doctor and get a good anti-depressent. The Cleveland Browns dominated and beat the Patriots 9 days ago and 2 days ago the Patriots beat the crap out of the Steelers. It’s the NFL man and when they say it stands for Not For Long they got it right. Buck up bud!

  • November 16, 2010  - cychief24 says:

    Cassel had a Bill Kinney day at donkeeland. When the game was tight so was he. 3 and outs because he was missing receivers. A little behind, at their ankles, etc. Side arm third down throws. Turnovers for TD’s.
    Then when the game is out of reach here come the meaningless stats vs. a prevent.
    Hopefully we draft or acquire a solid franchise QB this off-season.

  • November 17, 2010  - Edward says:

    We’re not going to draft a QB people. Cassel is far ahead in record in numbers than what he did last yr so kill we’re going to draft a QB. He’s the franchise unless he plays like absolute garbage the entire final 7 games which I doubt based on his play early. Cassel is just a slower starter. I gurantee you if you look at his numbers this season he’s been far better in second half of games than he has in the first half. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad Qb. Besides I much rather have a guy play his best second half of games anyways because that’s when most games are decided. Either way defense blew that game. I’m not saying based on Cassel numbers he’s better than Manning or Brady that’s your words not mine. I’m saying he’s not holding the team back and is a huge part of why this team is winning because in the red zone he’s been efficient this season in throwing touchdowns and he’s not costing the team games becaus he’s not making careless turnovers.

  • November 17, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    I don’t see us drafting a QB either Edward. I think with better weapons Cassel will be just fine for a running-focused team; however, we actually need to be able to run unlike last week.

    We need a more agressive defensive lineman. Maybe Jared Allen would be interested in coming back. He’d be great in combination with Hali IMO. If we can’t slow down the opposing teams’ offense then as a running team we’re screwed because playing from behind means throwing the ball and getting away from “our game.”

  • November 17, 2010  - Edward says:

    And as for us getting right 53. Doesn’t mean we’re not going to draft talented guys. It means we’re going to draft guys like Eric Berry. High talent, High in football IQ, and high in leadership skill. That’s what getting these guys mean in right 53. Berry and Flowers represent what these guys are looking for. Right now we don’t have enough of those guys but certainly enough to win this division. Simply because all the teams within the division are very flawed.

    Raiders get too many penalties to be a consistent winner. Plus they still like good depth of receivers Their oline is up and down. Broncos still not buying their ability to run the ball last game was a fluke haven’t been doing that all yr. Front seven still not that good. Chargers worst special teams in football. No run game and can’t stop the run. We have with secondary due to youth and injuries. Not enough depth at receiver. Bowe needs prove he can catch key passes in games that are still in reach. So all AFC west teams are flawed we have enough this yr to get it done its up to 53 men in locker room and coaches to go out there and do it. The schedule is setup for us to finish 10-6 or 11-5 its up to us to go out there and do it.

  • November 17, 2010  - Edward says:

    Allen wouldn’t fit 3-4 scheme. Too small to play defensive end and would be too much of a transition to play outside linebacker. Besides he’s struggling even against one on one blocking this season looks like he’s losing his dominance as a pass rusher. NOw I agree we need another pass rusher but because we run 3-4 that means we need athletic outside linebacker. But don’t be shocked once Studebaker get in there on a consistent basis on how good he is when Vrabel is gone next season. He’s preety good. They’re giving Vrabel respect because he’s good veteran leader but he’s not effective rushing the passer. I think even this season Studebaker needs to be in there more on 3 and long plays to help rush the passer.

  • November 17, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    Agreed. I would also like to see more from Studebaker.

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