For the past few years, it’s almost like the Kansas City Chiefs have been on a road trip. Their exceptionally-passionate fans have been riding along, bellowing a cacophony of gripes and complaints from the backseat. The fans viewed the road trip not as an adventure but as a means for reaching a destination. They looked up to the front seat and saw GM Carl Peterson riding shotgun as the navigator and refusing to pull out a map. Peterson insisted that he knew exactly where they were going.
Perhaps he did. But what really drove fans nuts was that head coach Herman Edwards was in the driver’s seat, married to the right-hand lane and petering along 15 miles per hour under the speed limit. When fans told Edwards to pick it up, he smiled and told them to be patient. When fans suggested a short cut, Edwards again smiled and preached patience. But patience doesn’t fly in today’s NFL. Especially when your taxpaying fan base recently helped foot part of your $375 million stadium renovation bill. At the clip they were traveling, the Chiefs would have reached their destination sometime around the debut of hover cars.
There was expected jubilation when team chairman Clark Hunt finally sided with the fans and relieved Peterson––who served this franchise admirably for 20 years––of his duties. Longtime Patriots front office bulldog Scott Pioli was given Peterson’s shotgun seat. Pioli immediately changed drivers, dropping Edwards off at a truck stop and tapping Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Using a familiar New England map that showed myriad routes to prosperity, Pioli instructed Haley to pull a U-turn and make a sharp left. In the process, key veterans Donnie Edwards, Patrick Surtain and Tony Gonzalez were dismissed.
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