Syracuse Post-Standard Reprinted from our sister news agency in Kansas City
[iRe: Kansa City Star
9/28/2019 8:43 am
KANSA CITY STAR
January 26, 1981 (EOS? FA1)
Recently, I wrote a piece on the end of the Chiefs 1980 season mentioning some bright spots and some of the issues that have faced this team. I also mentioned some issues that are staring the future of this team right in the face. Apparently, my tolling of the bell ruffled some feathers with not only the Chiefs faithful. It seems that my opinions vibrated all the way through the team, through Meatman and clear to the top dog Owner Lamar Hunt! It seems that the truth (as I see it) hurts! Although, I count myself among the Chiefs faithful. I have a responsibility as the sports editor to present both sides of the coin. I do not write puff pieces, as you all know. I admit, I do sometimes take a sarcastic tone. It's just my style. Frankly, I feel, I write about the issues most everyone is thinking but won't talk about for fear of someone getting all BUTTHURT ! Trust me you wouldn't want to see the comments I (and my poor dog!)get tossed. Like hand grenades at a Sunday picnic at times. Digger (my dog) and I are used to it and have adjusted. Perhaps, It's time for some in the Chiefs nation to get thicker skin. In response to my piece Mr. Hunt has dispatched his #1. Meat man and I sat down this last weekend for a chat and here is that conversation. Enjoy!
RC; Hello sir, It's rare you do interviews and yet you called asking for some time. Did I ruffle some feathers? Have you been sent by the Hunt family to do damage control?
MM; I wouldn't call it damage control, more setting the record straight. You are right! I don't do much press. I'm the GM, I believe the focus should be on the players and coaches. They are the backbone of the team and Mr. Hunt and the ownership agree. Our job is to provide the tools and culture needed to win.......and YOUR DAMNED RIGHT I ASKED TO BE HEARD! (laughing and pounding fist!) I don't have no feathers! I'm no stinking bird! Seriously, we always get a lot of feedback from your pieces
Mr. Hunt and I would just like to share our vision for the future with you and our fans. The CHIEFS NATION! (Fist in the air and smiling)
[bRC; Your in a good mood. Have you been drinking (laughing). Let's get to the MEAT, if you will of our visit. Judging by the response, I know my article struck a chord within the chiefs nation and apparently the team itself. I'm wondering if that is the reason for your visit?][/b]
MM; Well Rob, can I call you Rob?
Well...I prefer Robert
MM: Perfect, Well Rob...I think that for the most part you were accurate in your analysis and commentary as a sports writer only based on what you see. You don't have a clue as to what may or may not be happening behind the scenes. You blather on and on about what might happen and.,... I, I, I think ? I get that it's your job as sports pundit. Truth is, I have some irons in the fire..you have been critical of my trades that sent some of this years picks out and brought picks in for the future...with the 3rd best w/l record in 1980. we will likely pick Very LOW in the 1981 draft..That takes a keen eye and lots of home work to get players that can produce.....we do not see the draft as our only means of recruitment. as you have pointed out on many occasions the hunts and I are frugal. We want value for our dollars. We are cautious when it comes to player acquisitions.
RC; Well I wouldn't call the Tony Sawyer trade cautious?! Would YOU? What do have to say to the many who have criticized that move?\ You were criticized openly by others in the league and even Mr' hunt was not happy. It was rumored that it almost got you run out of town. TRUE? or FALSE.
MM; Tony Sawyer is a great kid and very talented. Everything about him said S T A R! As with all highly touted draftees there is a RISK. He was looked at as a possible world class/game changer. Albeit a very volatile personality as many talented young players can be. I was looking for a future replacement for (MLB) Kevin Willis, Taylor was looking at retirement as well. It was a gamble, no doubt. as I said to some of the GM's "it's not real my style, but sometime you just gotta say WHAT THE F#%&! I wished we could have kept him and tried to develop him, At the time we needed to move forward.
RC; Because you job was on the line?
[MM; Look here as a GM your ass is always on the line! (laughing) The axe can fall for lots of reasons...usually without notice. Mr Hunt and I have a great relationship...we agree on 85% of
decisions and the other 15% he wins because he signs the checks! Look here Robbie..(pulls out cigar)
No risk, No reward is not my way as a rule...I'm more conservative. When and if I take risks...I get second guested and if I don't I get criticized. It's all part of it./i]
RC; It's Robert and you can't smoke that in here...MM; You bet slick (spits tip through the air and lights cigar) Where were we now. Oh Yeah, My job...My job is to give Coach Graham the best players I can get and enable him to provide a winning culture. You don't necessarily NEED all 1st round draft picks and stars...It's nice but not practical. Look how far we have come...with conventional players with the right talents.
RC; Yes, Yes (interrupting) we've heard all that. many say you put the teams future in jepordy with the Sawyer Debacle....Now let me finish...not just with the busted player but losing 2 #1 picks, eating the bonus money, and then having to sign Isaiah Barstow for $70M!
MM; You got me Skippy! (smiling) 70M over 6 years. The freaking prime of his career. I'll put our starting LB's of Black, Barstow and Ali against anyone....and before you go there....NO we have not come to an agreement with David Ali...We will continue to work on it...if not Jones will more that likely step into the role next season...He's ready. I'm very happy with our home grown OLB's Black and Jones. I'll tell you there BOB-O ....(blowing cigar smoke) I have had probably 10-12 offers to trade them since they were drafted. There not going anywhere there are signed, sealed and doing great!
RC; Your pretty sure of your self....What about the rumors you will be leaving? Do you think anyone will want to put up with you? (laughing) What do you see for your own future?
MM; One thing I can say is that I am very happy as the GM of he Chiefs...I was in an uncofotable spot when we failed to make the playoffs 5 years in a row. Yes, we got close and there were some real heart-breakers. My JOB is to MAKE the playoffs and ultimately WIN the Superbowl. The end game of this is that it puts asses in seats and ultimately money in Mr. Hunt"s pocket! (tapping index finger on the table). He not here to lose money or football games. If that happens (losing) everyone is in a "world of suck!" Actually, I was looking at the a few other teams LA, Chicago and Atlanta were great opportunistic to start fresh and build a new team...I was not unhappy, just being forward thinking in case the axe fell. (phone ringing). Mr. Hunt and I talked...He gave me the opportunity to draft and manage his Syracuse team. He showed faith in my skill set so I jumped at the chance. I know you personally think I bit off more than I can chew...I can chew a lot there buddy boy (laughing and smacking stomach). It was the challenge I needed at the time...Real short term though....3-4 seasons max..then I will pass it on. (phone ring again) I have to take this pal.....
RC: sure...why not? it's your interview.....
.....................twenty mins later..................
MM; Here's an exclusive for ya. I just got word that RT Donnie Glanz, MLB Hererra, LDE Lewis Denniston and CB Joe Sun have retired as well as our long time offensive line coach Robert Ensor....coach Ensor is a tough one to take...I'm a little saddened He has been with the team since '71...we were good bud's since I came here 136-54 w-l record. He will be missed. Moving forward....I acquired two #3 picks from LA today as well and we signed an offensive lineman in free agency...we will announce soon....I have a few other bids on players as well. I don't want to discuss them yet.
[bRC; Word is the Redskins have ignited feeding frenzy and biding war! Any comment? ][/b]
MM; I'll say this Sporto.....The Gm's is this league are tough and comptitve, Very smart and shrewd...We don't get many FA "stars" so when a few turn up,...yeah The S@%T hits the fan....
specifically when guys like Guillen RT and Woodson WR are Trust into the market....These are examples of "game changers" Real world class guys... we will bid..I'm thinking they will go for $90-100M 5-6 years. Probably more than we will be willing to shell out...DAMN we can sign 15 players for that kind of cash... You refer to us as skin flints and "cheap" because it's simply not your money son.... (phone ringing again) eeeeeeh...excuse me........David Ali just signed with Green Bay....I wish him the best.....(phone ringing again)...look Bucco I'm gonna ask if we can finish later...Mr Hunt and Coach Graham among others are blowing me up...(puts out cigar in water glass) You need an ash tray here....Lets finish this tomorrow. I'll probably have more news for you...thanks (leaves)
Well sport fans there you have it...a look into the mind and antics of the meatstick...arrrgh? part two of our conversation (???) in my next column.
Sports Editor...I Think?