Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley admits that he wrote “Chiefs suck!” on a napkin at a hotel bar in Pittsburgh the night before a season-opening loss to the Titans. But he told reporters on Thursday that it was done in jest.
“It was no disrespect to the Chiefs,” Haley said, via Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “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.”
Haley confirmed what we reported earlier in the day. He and his family are staying at the hotel while their house is being refurbished, and Haley and his wife went to the bar after their five kids were asleep. Haley said he added “Chiefs suck!” on the autograph after the fan who asked for the signature said he’s a fan of the team Haley once coached. But Haley insisted there was no argument or controversy, contrary to the account posted Wednesday by Deadspin.
“I wrote something about my former team that I probably shouldn’t, so there was no incident,” Haley said. “I was very surprised when I came to work this morning that it was an issue.”
There may have been no incident per se, but scrawling “Chiefs suck!” on a napkin is sure to get attention in this age of smartphones and Twitter, and guys like Haley need to be wise enough to avoid giving anyone ammunition to make him look bad.