Haley Is Bulletproof

Perhaps you really believe Chiefs head coach Todd Haley flipped his middle finger at a fan Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium after losing to the Cleveland Browns. Perhaps you believe the fan was making it all up. Perhaps you don't care.

Whatever you believe, the only truth coming out of this incident is that Todd Haley isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If you were hoping he'd be fired for a three-win season, you're out of luck. If you were hoping a middle finger directed at a front-row, decades-old season ticket holder would be the final straw, prepare to be disappointed.

Haley is bulletproof. That's the only reality created after his response to this accusation.

Let's play Devil's advocate for a moment and say it really happened. Let's say Haley flipped a fan the bird, but denied it at Wednesday's press conference, essentially lying about a gross act of unprofessional behavior. Such a response would indicate that Haley doesn't care, especially if it's just his word against someone else's, and there are more important things to do. He has a football team to run.

Surely, had it really occurred, the Chiefs would have evidence of such an act. That would mean Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli would likely have knowledge of the incident, but they also don't care, and fully support their head coach as long as no one can prove anything. It's a waste of their time to deal with such trifling matters. They have a football team to run.

Scenario A – Haley Dunnit – only results in the reality that Haley is bulletproof. That's the only conclusion we can reach from Wednesday's press conference denial.

But what about Scenario B? What if Haley is innocent and fans are now conspiring against him? Makes for a good story, sure, and casts him in the victim light. Staunch Haley supporters might eat that up, but Haley would still be 3-10 and the architect of a disaster. How does that make Haley bulletproof?

Again, it's the response. The Chiefs didn't even bother to issue a statement concerning the accusation, ala the Larry Johnson incident that occurred earlier this season. They didn't feel it was necessary to exonerate the head coach in any public forum or press release. For all intents and purposes, Wednesday the Chiefs appeared to be quite unconcerned that Haley had been accused of gross professional misconduct. It was a non-issue.

Haley himself didn't even bother to address the topic until a reporter asked him for his side of the story almost three-quarters of the way through his press conference.


He doesn't care about such ridiculous accusations. It's not worth his time. Even after his denial, he quickly changed the subject. He has a football team to run. Nothing is bringing him down, for the time being. He has job security. None of this matters.

It would be fun to sit here and invent conspiracy theories and say the Chiefs are sweeping something under the rug. There may be anti-Haley fans out there right now, fantasizing about sneaking into Arrowhead Stadium like cat burglars and slinking out with a security tape that shows Haley flipping a fan off. As bad as the Chiefs are, and as caustic a personality as Todd Haley projects, it would make for great drama to cast him as the villain in an escalating coverup, with a front-row season-ticket holder as the martyr that exposed it all.

It would be equally entertaining to infuse an Arrowhead Stadium front-row season ticket holder with the spirit of Haley's nemesis. Can you imagine Randy Quaid's disgruntled character from the Major League movies appearing live, and in person, at Chiefs games? It would be history in the making. Must-see TV, and certainly more entertaining than any product placed on the field this season at Arrowhead.

But it isn't real. There's no proof for any of it, either way. Nobody (so far) can prove Haley flipped a fan off, and Haley evidently can't prove he didn't flip a fan off. All he gave us was his word.

Whatever your gut may tell you, whoever's side you're on, nobody is winning this argument unless more evidence is brought to light. The only reality is that Todd Haley is bulletproof.

He has one finger in the air, but it's not his middle finger. It's his index finger. He's number one. The top dog. King of the hill. The apple of Scott Pioli's eye. Shocking accusations of unprofessionalism, true or untrue, didn't faze him or the Kansas City Chiefs this week. They weren't taken seriously, and by the end of Haley's media-assisted acquittal, he was laughing.

That's because it's fun being bulletproof.

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