|Fans are fed up with Pioli and Cassel. Whether Hunt does something about it is another matter. (US Presswire)|
The Chiefs are 1-3, tied for last in the AFC West, and are on pace to set an NFL record for turnovers. They have 15 so far this season (eight fumbles, seven interceptions), which works out to 60 over 16 games. The futility is nothing new. Kansas City has finished below .500 in five of the six previous years, and general manager Scott Pioli fired coach Todd Haley midway through 2011, a season removed from a division title and a playoff appearance.
But even fans with reasonable expectations have breaking points, and for a few Chiefs supporters, they've seen enough. Which is why they've collected more than $1,600 in Internet donations for the sole purpose of getting their word out to the Arrowhead Stadium crowd before Sunday's Ravens-Chiefs game.
Social media applications like Twitter and Facebook have played critical roles in international political movements in recent months but disgruntled Chiefs fans are eschewing technology for a good old-fashioned, single-engine plane pulling a banner as it circles the stadium for an hour prior to kickoff.
The message: "We deserve better. Fire Pioli. Bench Cassel."
(It case it's not clear, that would be Matt Cassel, starting quarterback.)
"We are not just losing, we are just getting demolished left and right,” Eric, the fan behind this, told KSN.com earlier this week.
Chiefs Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson doesn't know what any of this will accomplish since "The only one that can make any huge decisions is the chairman of the board, Clark Hunt, and i don't think he is about to make any decisions like that."
Fair enough, but that doesn't mean an aggrieved fan base should sit idly by while Pioli runs the organization into the ground. (And the fans aren't alone. Pioli's lackluster record since arriving in Kansas City four years ago hasn't been lost on the local media, either. Two Kansas City Star writers spent many words destroying the GM.)
For his part, Eric understands that seven words scrawled on a flying banner won't have any lasting effects. But that's not the point.
"We have no delusions that this is going to make Mr. Hunt go, ‘Oh man, we've got to fire Scott Pioli or yes, Cassel needs to be benched,'” Eric said. … "We are going to let them know exactly how we feel, we still love this team, we still want to see them succeed but man, they have got to give us something to hope for."
Part of the problem, perhaps, was highlighted by the Star's Kent Babb, who wrote in his scathing rebuke of Pioli last month that the general manager "… has done himself no favors by obsessing over trivial details, spending too much time trying to feed his addiction to his own reputation, and engineering a team using the 'discount football' philosophy that has made the Hunt family richer but has gotten the Chiefs only marginally closer to a Super Bowl."
But, hey, sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Just ask Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland.
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