When Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli and owner Clark Hunt addressed the media to announce the firing of head coach Todd Haley, one of the questions they got seemed to startle both of them: Why fire Haley during the holiday season?
Karen Kornacki of KMBC pressed that point with Pioli and Hunt, noting that Haley has children and wondering why he couldn’t have been kept on until after the holidays.
“About the timing, I mean, it’s two weeks before Christmas,” Kornacki asked. “The man has five children. Was it really that necessary for the timing now, rather than the end of the year? Was there something about doing this that paved the way for something that you felt had to happen later, that you couldn’t wait a few more weeks?”
Hunt looked puzzled that he was even being asked the question.
“The timing of these situations is always difficult,” Hunt said. “There never seems to be a right time.”
Pioli offered similar thoughts.
“There’s never a good time for a decision like this,” Pioli said. “There really isn’t.”
Really, what else could Hunt or Pioli say? In the NFL, if you’re not producing you lose your job. It may seem cruel, but that’s life in the NFL — and that’s something Haley knew when he decided to become a football coach. If he didn’t like it, he didn’t have to go into this line of work.
The good news for Haley is that coaches continue to get paid when they’re fired with time left on their contracts. Christmas in the Haley household will go on, and this year Dad will have more time to spend with the kids.