The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 17, 2012

Mike Pound: Advice to Kansas City Chiefs: Lighten up

Now it all makes sense.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a column in which I described how my then 11-year-old daughter and I got tossed out of the Kansas City Chiefs office complex. It was in July, and we were attending a get-together before a Kansas City Royals baseball game. Because Emma was bored, the two of us decided to take a walk.

As we got to the edge of the parking lot we noticed that the Chief’s outdoor practice fields were just down the hill from where we standing. Emma asked if we could walk down the hill and get a closer look at the fields. Because there was no one around, I figured it wouldn’t hurt, so I agreed. We walked down the hill and walked along the fence that surrounds the fields. Emma had several friends who were big Chiefs fans and she figured they would be impressed that she was standing so close to where their favorite team practices.

Then Emma noticed the office complex at the top of the hill. I told Emma that the Chiefs also had an indoor practice area.

“Can we go look at it?” she asked.

Again, because there didn’t appear to be anyone around, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to walk up so Emma could get a glimpse of the building. We walked up the hill and onto the sidewalk, passed the main entrance to the office building and walked toward the indoor practice area at the far end of the building.

That’s when I saw the security guard quickly coming our way. The guard was polite and, it seemed, a little embarrassed. He asked us what we were doing. I told him Emma just wanted to look around. The guard told us we were on private property. I told him I understood and apologized. Then he said, “The executives wanted to know who you were.” He then told us we would have to leave.

At the time I remember thinking that the “executives” were a little bit paranoid if the sight of a middle-age guy and his 11-year-old walking the outside of the building like a couple of tourists unnerved them. Now, others have jumped in on the issue.

According, to a recent story in the Kansas City Star, Kansas Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli has come in for criticism from some named and unnamed employees who describe a climate of fear, suspicion and secrecy.

I have no idea if the picture the Star paints is the true one or not. The Star said that the Chiefs declined to allow Pioli to be interviewed for their story.

I just know that on that day in July, Emma and I had been walking around the Chief’s complex for fewer than 10 minutes. Yet that was long enough for some “executives” to determine that we were a threat and to run us off.

I guess I can see how you wouldn’t want folks just wandering around your building but it struck me at the time as being a little bit silly.

And it really didn’t have to be so silly. I mean, I love the Kansas City Chiefs. Sure, when they lose (and they have been losing a lot) I might make a joke or two about them, but I also make sure to mention that I live and die with the Chiefs and have since I was 10 years old.

So, Scott, as a fan, I’m begging you: Lighten up.

Emma and I are on your side.

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