Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not Right NFL Sunday (Non-Saints, June edition)

The new head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, Todd Haley, is being described in the media as the no-nonsense antidote to the touchy-feely Herm Edwards. And by "no-nonsense," they mean Haley is brusque, demanding and abrasive. The Bill Parcells protege is (amazingly enough) well-known for barking at and berating his players, and for the being the exact antithesis of a "player's coach."

Not surprisingly, he's clashed with a lot of players in his career as an assistant coach, and several Chiefs players are demanding a trade. Among the ones staying, many have not attended voluntary workouts. Haley has been credited with compelling most players to slim down, but that's probably as much a function of them being too scared to eat as it is anything else. He's also told his players that football comes first in their lives, something I'm sure players' wives, children, gods and probation officers will accept without question.

I've always had a problem with the term "no-nonsense." It implies that anyone who doesn't act like Haley, Bill Belichick or Dick Cheney is full of nonsense. (Also, it's pantyhose.) Even if that's true, why do we praise this sort of thing? Is there an unbreakable connection between accomplishing things and being a raging and/or surly asshole? And that someone who maintains an even temper or otherwise doesn't treat their players like inferiors is automatically a pushover? Because no one told Tony Dungy.

What irritates me is that if the Chiefs do break out of their long impression of a slightly higher-grade Detroit Lions, everyone in Kansas City will credit it to their coach being a prick. And they'll say that the Chiefs players who left were just weaklings who lacked the will to win, instead of elite professionals who don't want to be treated like truants. They'll reduce the Chiefs' pitiful recent records to the personality traits of their previous coach. Which, by the way, would have been celebrated if he'd been a winner.

It'll be annoying. And just one more reason to yell at the screen during the Chiefs game I have to watch instead of a better Saints game.


NOLA Progressive said...

I definitely understand your point, but I wouldn't worry tto much. It's tough to become and remain successful with that type of attitude. Ask Nick Saban how easy it is to walk into a pro ball club and try and push the players around like they were a bunch of kids.

Ian McGibboney said...

Agreed. Someone I knew who played in the NFL said it's a different dynamic than at any other level. The coach runs the team, but he isn't there to be a disciplinarian or otherwise be a father figure. Everyone's an adult. In a lot of cases, the coaches make less than the players, so there's that consideration as well.

Like with anything else, though, I feel that real authority needs to carry with it a high degree of mutual respect.

NOLA Progressive said...

Excellent point. It sort of becomes a microcosm for the whole corporae menality. Live work, drink work and breathe work. We control you so fall in line type of thing. In many ways it tries to supplant family.

NOLA Progressive said...

Geez. Sorry about that last comment. Terrible typos. I guess that's what happens when I do this from my mobile over dinner and quite a few beers.

twodiddle said...

You almost had a good blog here, but then you had to throw in Dick Cheney.

Ian McGibboney said...

That doesn't make sense, twodiddle. Are you saying Cheney ISN'T dour, secretive and "no-nonsense"? I've seen lots of odd praise from his defenders over those very qualities, just like I have with the football coaches. That's why he's in there.