Todd Haley on signing autograph 'Chiefs suck': 'It was in jest'

Todd Haley joined the Steelers in 2012. (USATSI)

Last Saturday, the day before the Steelers were embarrassed by the Titans in the season opener, offensive coordinator Todd Haley was at a hotel bar when he was approached by a fan asking for an autograph. Haley obliged, signing his name and adding "Go Steelers! Chiefs    suck!!"


A decade ago, that would've been that. A former Chiefs coach makes fun of the organization that fired him while praising the team that currently pays his salary. Big whoop. But in the age of insta-everything the story was just beginning.

According to Deadspin, another man, who had been drinking, started yelling at Haley from across the bar, "Roethlisberger isn't going to like this" and "Hey, Haley, what plays are you calling tomorrow?"

Haley, reportedly unimpressed, came over and had some words, and eventually tried to get the men thrown out.

On Thursday, Haley felt the need to explain himself to reporters.

“It was no disrespect to the Chiefs,” Haley said, according to's Scott Brown.  “I wrote what I did in jest.  I’ve never at any time said anything negative about the team that gave me a chance to be a head coach.  It was between myself and the [fan], and we laughed. That was it. There was no other incident.”

Beyond that, Haley said, nothing happened.

"I wrote something about my former team that I probably shouldn't, so there was no incident. I was very surprised when I came to work this morning that it was an issue."

Haley said his family is staying at the hotel while waiting to move into a recently purchased house. He added that he and his wife were at the hotel bar having appetizers when the fan approached.

So there you go, mystery solved.

Haley likes appetizers, and he made a joke on a napkin about a former employer who dumped him midway through the 2011 season. We're still not sure why this is a story, but now we have both sides. Now all that's left is for Mike Tomlin to tweet about it.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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