Reporter asks Pioli, Hunt why Haley was fired so close to Christmas


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.

56 responses to “Reporter asks Pioli, Hunt why Haley was fired so close to Christmas

  1. They’re right. There is no perfect time to fire someone. But, there is a absolutely horrible time to fire someone and that is the middle of November until the start of the new year (aka the holiday season).

  2. “Bah, humbug!”, retorted Piolo. “All this peace on earth, good will towards men, nonsense. Plug your equipment in from the outside receptacle of the building across the street, please.”.

  3. Normally, you would ask this question in regards to a blue collar worker who lost his job before Christmas.
    Does this lady have any clue how much $ a head coach makes, and also the money he will get in the contract buyout?
    Wow, should maybe run something through her head 3 times before she says it out loud next time.

  4. If you were already a millionaire, and were going to get fired anyway, why wouldn’t you want to be fired before Christmas? More time to spend with the family. It would suck to get fired just after Christmas after you just worked your ass off and missed out on a lot of family time.

  5. Couldn’t agree more, MDS. Maybe the owners are atheist? It’s not like they are looking at the calendar and going “ahh well, Martin Luther King Jr Day is coming up, guess we can’t fire anyone for a few weeks”. What an asinine question.

  6. “Seems a bit harsh”, offered Pioli, “but it’s part of my job to know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.”.

  7. C’mon… It’s not like he’s a longshoreman making $20.00 an hour. He’s still getting paid!!

    Give me a break….

  8. Pioli’s response should have been: “You are absolutely right! In the spirit of Christmas, I should ignore the fact that Haley is a piss-poor coach. Chief fans are selfish crybabies for demanding a quality product on the football field. I am ashamed of myself. Thank you, Karen Ghost-of-Christmas-Future for showing me the error of my ways!”

  9. That may be the goofiest question a reporter has ever asked. It’s not like he has a job that pays $12,000 a year, where losing it before the holidays would result in a drastic lifestyle change, and would make it hard to provide a decent Xmas for the kids. The guy has made enough money as an assistant and head coach over the last 10 years or so to have Christmas every week if he so chose. As far as what to tell the kids about why dad lost his job, you simply tell them that coaches are hired and fired at the owner’s or GM’s fiat, and if a team loses a bunch of football games , he’ll generally get the blame even if there is no talent on the team. That’s why the coaches contracts are guaranteed, and it’s part of the business, people don’t spend lots of time dwelling on hurt feelings; they just move on to the next job.

  10. Pioli should have said, “I wanted to call him up on Christmas morning and fire him while his kids were opening up their presents, but Mr. Hunt thought that would be a little TOO cruel.”

  11. I can’t believe anyone would feel bad for a fired NFL Head Coach. He’s one of the top-paid people in the organization. No way any coach gets a deal that leaves them homeless if they get fired.

    Even Head Coaches as terrible as Brad Childress aren’t left with nothing. He’s getting Wilf’s money for at least another year or two.

    Even practice squad players make the national average wage/salary. You don’t even know their names yet it’s entirely possible that they are having a good holiday season, at least financially, compared to millions that are unemployed.

  12. I read into as; did you have to fire him now because you have another candidate in place that may not be there for 3 more weeks? Maybe it’s just wishful thinking from the reporters perspective in hopes of getting something out of the GM.

    At 5-8 with missing 3 pr0-bowlers and 2 more starters, that record seems legit…

  13. .

    My crystal ball reads :

    Dateline-Foxboro (December 25 12.01am) The Patriots announced that safety Ross Ventrone has been

    Pioli comes from the Belichick school. That dude’s heart is a frozen tundra.


  14. Haha, that reporter is so dumb. She should never be allowed to ask another GM a question, ever.

    If I were a coach under contract, and I knew I was going to be fired, do me a favor and fire me in mid-December so I can still make my money, but also spend Christmas with my family instead of sitting in a dark room gameplanning.

    Coaches who are getting fired at seasons end probably envy Haley right now.

  15. Haley lost his job for not producing but because of the way he treated people. The same reason McDaniels and Mangini lost their jobs. They treat people poorly.

    If Haley had gotten along well with people I am sure he would have been given a few more years. The Cheiefs are a young team that surprisingly won 11 games last year, This year they have been decimated by injury and still played well some of the time.

    This firing had nothing to do with the results of winning or losing and all to do with Haley’s character.

    The failures of coaches like Haley, McDaniels and Magini are likely related to their very young age. By young age I mean below 40. Often times young people simply do not understand that the real world is not like TV.

    In the real world success is to a large part based off how you treat people. Treating people with respect. kindness and acting in a professional manner is the key to success. These young coaches and young people in general think they need to kick butt and be a hardass to earn respect. That is the quickest way to losing ones job whether its football or anything else in life.

    The sad thing is coaches like Mangini, McDaniels and Haley might be great coaches in 10 years once they mature and grow up. But they will likely never get another chance.

  16. It’s the perfect time as now he can spend more time with his kids over Christmas as opposed to putting in 70+ hrs a week at work.

  17. Not to worry, his 5 kids and wifey will get their gifts on time and have a happy holiday season…….

  18. I’m no Chiefs fan but Haley won the division last year and look at the injury list this year


    Not to mention Waters left this year. Pioli doesn’t like Haley. Whatever, fair question.

  19. Although Todd Haley made millions as a head coach and is still getting paid, I thought the question was excellent and made them answer a question that was not submitted or scripted for television or broadcast. If you folks don’t like reporters asking questions like this, there is no way you are able to keep owners and general managers like Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli honest, along with other public officials like our elected leaders. It’s a reporters’ job not only to report the facts, but to hold their feet to the fire.

  20. cliverush says: Dec 12, 2011 4:30 PM

    Are there any real journalists coming out of college these days?


    Agreed, but at the end of the day she’s on a national website with people commenting on her story…..interest and readership or viewers = $$ for her employer. Love it when the dumb questions get the publicity.

  21. Now his kids don’t have to shiver in KC while watching Dad’s team get pounded on Christmas Eve, then likely not even see him on Christmas Day while he tries to figure out how to out-luck Tebow and save his job.

    Instead, they can spend the millions of $ that he will be paid to not coach next year and take a nice trip somewhere warm as a family.


  22. “The failures of coaches like Haley, McDaniels and Magini are likely related to their very young age. By young age I mean below 40. Often times young people simply do not understand that the real world is not like TV.”

    How do you explain Mike Tomlin who is not yet 40 but has coached two teams to the Superbowl, winning one of them?

  23. Karen Kornacki is the same reporter who got shot in the eye from a bee-bee gun, in the Royals club house by Emil Brown.

  24. It was a “gotcha” question and as such should be asked anytime someone has something to answer to. Only if your a trial lawyer do you ever ask a question you don’t already know the answer to.

  25. As an NFL Head coach making millions, I doubt he’s living ‘check to check.’

    He’s got enough saved up to buy Modern Warefare 3 and a few Iphone 4s.

    Give me a break.

  26. There’s no better time to be fired from a high paying NFL job than the present. Now he can actually spend time with those children the reporter spoke of.

  27. It’s time to occupy the NFL! Set-up tents outside of training facility until we can all suit up on sundays and collect millions of dollars! Why is it fair that these guys are the only ones who get concussed!

    Media=IDIOTS, bloggers not included!

  28. Nice double standard. Childress was lambasted for cutting Marcus Robinson on or near Christmas. But, now its ok? So which one is it?

    Please stick to news, not storylines full of useless drama.

  29. How dare they fire him just before Christmas! I mean its not like the NFL scheduled games on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, ruining Christmas for all the players, coaches, officials, security, police, media, stadium oficials, and season ticket holders families…Won’t someone think of the children!!!!

  30. Hey railcar,
    So like many you think money is the answer to everything. Kids don’t know better they just want their day home, but there aren’t many “rich” coaches. Especially after contract and insurance stops. Don’t be a hater, be a motivator

  31. I only had to read the headline to know it was a woman who asked the question. And honestly, who cares? I’m sure Haley has made enough money that he can do Christmas for his family – he’s not some unemployed Joe Blow who will be down to his last nickel in 3 weeks.

  32. Why is this even a question?

    A) the guy made a few million this year
    B) he’s still going to get every dime on his contract unless he signs with another team
    C)as someone said above I am sure his family will love having him around for the holidays for once

    I am often amazed at the stupid questions reports ask trying to get a quote for their story.

  33. Players hated Haley, I happen to know that for a fact..
    Expect Haley to give the Raiders and Broncos a call today and tell both teams how to prepare against the Cheifs…

  34. Perhaps she wasn’t concerned about Haley as much as she was concerned for Haley’s kids.

    If you were Haley’s kids, would you rather him be at work 70+ hours over Christmas, or at home all day pointing his finger and reprimanding you for appearing too happy after beating him at Madden?

  35. All you guys badmouthing the question are missing the real value of this.

    People like Pioli never get asked these kinds of questions, never have to consider the human impact of what they do. The point isn’t whether Haley’s alright (he’s a millionaire and will be getting paid to spend time at home), the point is that money never alters the fact that human beings are involved. When we forget that in any one case, it erodes our awareness of it in all others.

    There’s ALWAYS a value to questioning people in positions of great power and wealth. Their answer to this question isn’t what counts, because it’s the same PR babble that every answer includes. What counts is that it surprised them, puzzled them. It’s a reality check that’s healthy to get every once in a while.

    Yes, even in football.

  36. …pioli shakes his head and laughs “christmas, seriously?!?…what decade are you living in?!?…do you mean during winter break?”

  37. Just my guess…Chiefs will hire Kirk Ferentz as head coach.
    Kirk and Scott go way back, Kirk also runs a prostyle offense/team…
    Not to mention, his longtime DC is retiring so no need to feel compelled to be loyal to him.

  38. The sooner these coaches are fired, the more time they have to look for the next job. They did him a favor. As everyone else here said, he’s still getting paid and will actually be able to enjoy the holidays with his family rather than go home every night swearing at Pioli under his breath.

  39. Really? Did the reporter really ask that question? Haley probably made millions of dollars. I make far less than that and I have a job. I don’t think he’ll have a problem around “the holiday season” just because he got fired. I wish I had that problem…

    1. Make more money in one year than most will see over their entire lifetime.

    2. Get fired at the end of the year.

    3. Spend more time with my family during the holiday season, since I don’t have a pesky job to worry about.

    4. Invest my money wisely at the beginning of the year.

    5. Live off the interest, and never have to work another day in my life.

    Yeah, I feel sorry for Haley.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!