The hottest general manager prospect of this off-season, Mr. Scott Pioli, has been hired and Chiefs Nation is happy, sort of. Clark Hunt pulled it off with a minimal amount of information "leakage." I hate to be Captain Obvious, but the decisions were made without the input of pundits and hangers-on.
This new style of decision-making from the Chiefs is somewhat foreign to many of us used to the relatively open style of the previous regime. Carl Peterson seemed to keep things quiet but, inevitably, information leaked and the reporters who got the "scoop" were his "favorite sons." Frankly, Peterson's style put off many reporters and actually hindered good reporting.
Now, some of us acted somewhat immaturely in print and literally whined about not being kept in the loop. The dawning of the Pioli era is going to result in information withdrawal for some of the sports journalists assigned to the Chiefs beat. Not for me.
What we are now seeing is the maturation of the organization. This is the genesis of the front office moving into a more professional and, likely, a more business-oriented position than it has ever been in. Some likened the organization under Lamar Hunt as more of a "country club," and I believe that's part of the reason Peterson never had a problem in raising ticket prices and the cost of Arrowhead amenities.
Look at it this way: even quasi-exclusive access to Club-level seating was inordinately expensive for the average fan. The former business model was an effort to acquire revenue regardless of the product on the field.
The only folks who suffered were the fans. I'm not saying things are going to change appreciably in the near future but I do believe Hunt and Pioli are going to be more mindful of the quality of the Chiefs brand. The re-establishment of that brand is going to require effective decision-making.
What we won't see or hear about will actually be the wheels of progress finally churning at high speed. The whir will be so fast it will sound like a whisper rather than a roar. This is a good thing. Asserting the proper degree of authority is now Hunt's responsibility and, by delegation, Pioli's. I foresee all members of the Chiefs having to sign a declaration of loyalty and non-disclosure and depending on their position, one that may extend beyond the end of their employment with the Chiefs.
Many may find that too harsh or restrictive. You know what? Big business does it all the time. The Kansas City Chiefs Football Club has a net worth well in excess of $1 billion. Big business, indeed.
What these employment agreements provide an organization with is the ability to do business, perform due diligence and generally allow the executive staff to perform to the owner's satisfaction without interference from those who think they know better. This is how the Chiefs will improve, initially. The decisions will be made behind closed doors and not as fodder for a rabid press corps.
I'm excited to see this level of commitment to providing a better product on the field. Hunt has stated in numerous interviews that it is his desire to place a Super Bowl team on the field. What I interpret from this is he's not going to be satisfied with the same old, same old. Chiefs fans are quite clearly not satisfied with the former direction this team was headed.
Pioli will make his head coach pick and it's quite possible that he could nail it on the first try. Regardless, his decision will be his decision. Hunt will have input and together they will determine the first heading this ship we call the Chiefs will be on. Nautical metaphors aside, I know that this is something that the media and fans will have to get used to.
Maybe the advent of this new time period is just what this organization was badly in need of. No one should feel slighted that they don't have the same degree of access, but instead should understand and embrace the fact that our Chiefs are in capable hands.
Remember, Chiefs nation, this is the change we asked for.
The Change We Asked For
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