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When Kansas City City Chiefs President Denny Thum announced his resignation Tuesday afternoon, it become clear that this organization is eventually going to move away from any ties to the previous regime. For Thum, who may have seen that writing on the wall months ago, he chose to exit Kansas City with humility and grace.

To say that the sudden resignation of Denny Thum was a surprise or shock, wouldn't be accurate. Over the last couple of weeks we'd heard rumblings that there were going to be more changes in the Chiefs front office.

In fact, since Chairman of the Board Clark Hunt, hired General Manager Scott Pioli in January of 2009, the blowing winds of change has led to the mass departure of some very good people within the organization. But that's to be expected when a new regime comes in - especially when you consider that this franchise had lost its soul under the old one.

Over the last few years of the Carl Peterson era it's hard to argue that they were some of the worst in the teams recent history. The Chiefs were one of the oldest teams in NFL and bad contracts to some aging players tied their hands to bring in other top talent. It should be noted that wasn't all Peterson's doing either. Many played a hand in the teams recent failures.

Clark Hunt brought Scott Pioli to the organization to do one thing – win Championships.
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When Pioli came into the organization he brought with him a culture of winning that could not be disputed. However, in his first year in Kansas City it was far from the excellence he was used to when he guided the New England Patriots to three world championships.

But as those tornados of change turned into hurricanes shortly after his arrival, there was one constant - Denny Thum.

Though it would take the Chiefs four months after the Pioli hire to confirm that Thum would stay within the organization, the team made it official in May of 2009.

For his 35 plus years of service, he was given a three-year contract and the title of President. It should be noted that part of the willingness by Hunt to retain Thum might have been, in part, due to a rumor that other NFL teams such as the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins were reportedly interested in luring Thum away from the Chiefs.

But Thum spurned those offers because he wanted to remain within the organization even after his good friend Carl Peterson stepped down months earlier.

It was a smart move by Hunt. And even though there were rumblings that Thum and Pioli didn't quite see eye to eye from the onset, Thum offered stability within the community as the team unraveled on the field in 2009.

At the time of the announcement, Thum was a key figure in the stadium renovations that at that point were still away from completion. And without his strong negotiating efforts the Chiefs new training facility in St. Joseph, Missouri might never have materialized.

Denny Thum left an undeniable mark on the Chiefs organization since he joined it in 1977.
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However, with both of those facilities opening within the past six weeks, it was clear that the elder statesmen of the organization would eventually move on in favor of younger management. In reality, the Chiefs are hardly the only organization that's in the process of re-shaping the front office for younger minds.

In the same month he was confirmed as the teams President, the organization hired Mark Donovan away from the Philadelphia Eagles to be the teams Chief Operating Officer. It was a big move and one that would signal more changes were on the horizon.

What could not be denied is that the Chiefs front office was getting younger.

With Clark Hunt taking over the reigns of this organization from his father, the late Lamar Hunt, Pioli coming in for Peterson and Donovan being given a post that in part included some of the duties that Thum had done in the past, nobody should be surprised as to the direction this organization finds themselves in today.

With the top of the Chiefs organization all in there 40's, this sudden resignation is just an evolution of the change this football team has been under since Peterson stepped down in December of 2008.

And based on Monday Night's victory, nobody can argue with the process in which Hunt has reshaped the top of his organization. Pioli is one of the finest General Manager's in the NFL. And you can't argue the credentials of Donovan either. He came to the Chiefs with fresh ideas and a business savvy that fits more of the mold of the future of the organization.

That's not a knock against Thum.

But the NFL is becoming a younger mans game on both sides of the business model. Still I'm not ready to put Thum out to pasture. Nor am I going to negate the enormous impact he had on this football team and even further under value the fact he remains one of the cities finest ambassadors.

In the aftermath of this resignation, the rumor mill is certainly going to run its course as to why he suddenly left the team. But in part it likely boiled down to several things.

The Chiefs Chairman of the Board will also serve as the teams CEO.
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It probably had to do something with Pioli, who wants to completely exhaust most of the members of the previous regime. And he would be correct in doing just that. The other was the expanded business items on Donovan's plate.

But more than likely it was because Clark Hunt wants to take a greater role within the organization. At this point, he'll now act as Chairman of the Board and CEO. The Chiefs won't have an acting President.

Hunt has shown steady improvement as the face of the franchise in recent months. He's been at the epicenter of the opening of the New Arrowhead and the facility in St. Joe. In fact, I argue we've seen more of him in the last two months than we'd seen of him at any point over the last several years.

That's a good thing. Because if this football team is going to truly turn things around, the Owner of the team needs to have a face in the community both on a business level but also within the fan base.

Still I'd be remiss if I didn't articulate how much Thum will be missed. I can assure you that the timing of his departure is a bit curious. But in the end, Thum handled it with great class.

On Monday Night, he was all smiles before the Chiefs game. He was beaming with pride about what this organization had accomplished. He was shaking hands with friends and sponsors, showing off the stadium and in my view gave no indication that a day later that he'd be stepping down.

And as we've seen over the last several months, this football team appears headed down that long awaited path back to respectability. Make no mistake about it; Thum had a hand in that climb. You don't work for an organization for 36 years and leave it without making a significant mark.

Denny Thum always treated me with the utmost respect. He granted me every interview and always had a smile on his face. He was so proud to work for the Chiefs and I doubt anyone was more excited, or further, could appreciate the teams' 21-14 victory over the Chargers Monday Night, than the teams former President.

Thum was beaming with pride Monday night about the NEW Arrowhead.
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Thus on Tuesday afternoon he felt the timing was right and he exits with class. He's leaving the organization at the heights of the change that just twenty months ago seemed so allusive.

For an organization that had lost its identity much of the last five seasons, in just the last few months the team has indeed found a NEW soul.

Unfortunately the man, who was part of creating that soul, won't be around to enjoy the fruits of his extreme loyalty to the organization he's served with honor since 1977.

For me personally, I wish Denny nothing but the best in his future endeavors. There is no doubt that at some point he'll land a job in the NFL. Maybe he'll end up in St. Louis or Miami. Just maybe, though, he'll take on another challenge outside of football.

But whatever path he chooses, one thing is certain - he'll be a great success. Top Stories