So how does an NFL head coach who’s trying to cram five months of work into five weeks spend one of the precious remaining evenings before the first game of the regular season?
Apparently, by going to a Lil Wayne concert.
That’s precisely what Chiefs coach Todd Haley did last night, presumably while the rest of his staff was grinding away in order to get ready for a visit from the Bills and former Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on September 11.
“It was good, very good,” Haley told reporters on Tuesday regarding the show, via the Chiefs’ official website. “I see that’s getting a little. . . . Our players all knew I was out there. Lil’ Wayne — our song last year — we made a video at the start of the season and it was one of his songs. The players took to it. We played it every home game. It was kind of our. . . . When you saw us gather up in the end zone, it was always a song of his. So, I said if he comes into town and I get an opportunity to give him a copy of it and thank him, I was able to do it. It was a great, great show, terrific.”
And so Haley has found a way to try to justify his detour away from his work duties. He owed it to Lil Wayne to be there, because the Chiefs used one of his songs to get excited last year.
It’s unclear whether Haley’s players actually knew about this in advance, even though Haley said they did. Asked later whether the move enhances his credibility in the locker room, Haley said, “I don’t know. They didn’t know it a whole bunch until. . . . I guess now they know.”
So the player knew he was out there — but yet they didn’t know until it became an issue in the media.
Apart from that awkward inconsistency, it’s hard to imagine any other NFL head coach going to a concert less than three weeks before the start of the season, especially after a lockout in which there were multiple weeks featuring a lot less work than usual, and thus more time than usual to do non-work things. This doesn’t mean NFL head coaches shouldn’t have lives away from the sport, but the Chiefs have two preseason games left and a regular-season game in less than a week, to cap an offseason in which the lockout has made it even harder than usual to get ready to compete.
Haley is one of those guys who loves to mention his ties to Bill Parcells. And maybe that’s the best barometer for this one: Would Parcells have left camp to attend a Lil Wayne concert?
Do I even need to answer that?