It's no secret fans of the Kansas City Chiefs are not happy. Few support Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel has lost virtually all of the good will he had prior to this season and there is an embattled quarterback named Matt Cassel which fans split on whether he is a scapegoat or the most overpaid backup in history (I think the latter.)
The first stunt was to fly a banner saying, “WE DESERVE BETTER! FIRE PIOLI—BENCH CASSEL.” The movement followed up with another banner, “RETURN HOPE—FIRE PIOLI—SAVEOURCHIEFS.COM.” Now, they are adding to the banners and encouraging fans to—rather than wear the customary red at Arrowhead Stadium—buy black t-shirts and hoodies and wear them to this Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Since the Chiefs avoided the TV blackout for the game, they have enough tickets sold that a successful campaign of wearing black could be noticeable. Still, a lot of red seats will be open from a lot of ticket holders who just won't show up, fans who will arrive late and leave early and open seats from the remaining unsold tickets. I don't believe it will be as much of a “blackout” as it will look like a lot of Raider fans came to the game to make fun of their most-hated rival.
Also, while there is a lot of support from Chief fans everywhere, not all of them are on-board with their tactics. Even a 25 percent showing of fans wearing black would be impressive, but I'm not sure you'll really be able to tell a huge difference while watching the game on television. Empty red seats and fans who still choose to wear red will be in abundance. While I understand the discontent and agree with their message, this campaign does not feel like a winner to me.
Regardless of the success of the campaign, things need to change in Kansas City. When fans are so upset they spend time and energy protesting rather than just becoming apathetic, ownership needs to stand up and recognize. Ignoring these protests completely will lead to apathy and the return of the 80s era of Chief football. Fans still care, but if nothing is done, change will be dramatic and swift.
Clark Hunt must act. Does he have to take the fans advice? Absolutely not. He is the owner, not the fans. But if he chooses to keep Pioli around, he needs to make a clear statement as to why and with good reason. Honestly, it is very unlikely the Chiefs have the same GM next season, but I know a lot of fans fear Hunt just does not care and will just let the team continue to disintegrate.
Hunt's silence says more than anything right now. The man is developing his game plan, and he is doing it in private. Nobody will know exactly what he will do until he acts. While fans may not like this, it is good ownership. Hunt does not publicly blast the people still in charge, even when he is most likely getting ready to make massive changes. If Pioli's job were secure, you can bet Hunt would be vocal talking about that security.
Right now, I have lost all faith in the management and coaching of the Chiefs. If Hunt does not act decisively shortly after this season ends, my faith—along with a lot of other fans'—will be gone in the ownership as well.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!