The Sunday morning post may have flown under the radar for a lot of Midwesterners.
“Pioli’s imprint all over the Pro Bowl” starts off innocently enough, as Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet points out former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli had a key role with Kansas City’s current Pro Bowl selectees.
December 02, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt and general manager Scott Pioli watch the team warmup before the game against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Curran is correct when he mentions Pioli extended the contracts of linebacker Tamba Hali, running back Jamaal Charles and cornerback Brandon Flowers.
There’s also no disputing Pioli drafted safety Eric Berry, linebacker Justin Houston, wide receiver/punt returner Dexter McCluster and defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
However, where Curran strays off course is when he states: “Last year, as Pioli was being chased out of Kansas City by a torch and pitchfork-wielding media horde during a 2-14 season …”
The 2012 debacle cemented Pioli’s exit, but it wasn’t the lone factor nor was a media charge led by “torch and pitchfork-wielding” reporters.
Meanwhile, it’s important to note a few things.
Curran has been around the New England Patriots since 1997, according to his Comcast SportsNet bio. And his current employer in 2011 merged with NBC, which currently employs Pioli.
Still, journalists are supposed to be impartial and “Pioli’s imprint all over the Pro Bowl” is anything but.
It smacks of PR puffery given the ties between sports writer, sports team, employers and Pioli.
Ultimately, the 2012 season played a role in Pioli’s dismissal in Kansas City.
But so did the Chiefs going 23-41 with two head coaches in four regular seasons, including 12-20 at Arrowhead Stadium, during Pioli’s tenure.
While the Chiefs won the AFC West in 2010, the team promptly went 9-23 combined in 2011-12, which gave birth to a open fan revolt in the form of the “Save our Chiefs” movement.
From “Matt’s (Cassel) our starting quarterback” to an “evaluation process” that hardly developed, Pioli’s inability to build a consistent winner over four years led to his departure.
The Pro Bowlers from Pioli’s regime still in Kansas City are an indictment of that, as the Chiefs have flourished under the leadership of general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid.
Curran correctly points out Pioli had the ingredients.
Unfortunately, Pioli apparently couldn’t cook.