Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life is all about accountability, Rich.

So said GM Scott Pioli to Rich Baldinger in a pre-game interview yesterday. "Accountability" is apparently our theme this year. Dave and Jayice worked it from the broadcast booth, tossing around good humored, if skeptical, references to "accountability." The Pioli comment was slightly grating because it was made to Baldy. Baldinger, of course, had a car accident back in June when he failed to yield. That accident resulted in the death of a 61 year old woman. He is currently facing misdemeanor careless and imprudent driving charges in state court (0916-CR03310), and his insurer is probably working out a payment to the deceased woman's heirs.

But there he was, standing on the sidelines of a Chiefs game, doing interviews, and carrying on his life as if nothing had happened. I'm not saying Baldinger is a terrible guy, or assuming he feels no guilt, or arguing that he belongs in prison or should lose his job. I am saying that the suggestion that Chiefs football is about accountability is laughable enough. When you suggest that life is all about accountability to a free man responsible for the death of another human being, that's gallows humor. Which, to take the emotion down numerous notches to the realm appropriate for consideration of football matters, probably isn't a bad way to approach the upcoming Chiefs season.

Three things, off the top, I'd like to hold people accountable for. First, the decision to not to let the players have the arrowhead decals on their helmets at training camp. They put them on for the game last night, but will remove them before next practice. The idea is no decal until you make the team. That's pretty cool. I think credit goes to Haley for that, but I'm not sure.

Second, who is responsible for replacing the Ring of Honor with the video screens? It's not only that they took down something old-school cool--forget decals on helmets, don't you think having your name and number built into the stadium is some inspiration? It's that they were replaced with something distracting and obnoxious. People I've discussed this with assume this was a Pioli decision because it is So Not Carl, but I'm skeptical. Planning and execution of the stadium renovations was well under way before Pioli came to town. The expense of those monitors would be significant, not just an afterthought in the budget. I'd like to know whose decision that was.

Third, for the person at Metro Sports who decided on the camera angle on Haley. When Coach looked at the scoreboard, it looked like he was looking directly into the camera. It was creepy. Stop it.

Highlights of the game... Succop. How do you deal with a guy named Succop (pronounced "suck up"). It was impossible to restrain my inner Beavis. The kicker came in and made a 48 yarder, so maybe I'll get the chance to get used to his name. Thigpen. I watch pre-season games for fun, not because they're good predictors of the season, and Thigpen is fun. Finally, the rain. I love football exposed to the elements. The heavy rain just added to the normal pre-season sloppiness and made it more exciting when someone made a good catch. In honor of the rain:

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