Yesterday, Dick Vermeil had his final press conference since retiring as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
My opinion of Vermeil has been pretty neutral since his arrival. He obviously had the credentials, having reached two Super Bowls and winning one.
I knew that Vermeil had amassed a very large coaching staff with the Chiefs, but it was during his farewell that I realized what was really going on in Kansas City the last five years.
I was listening to a live broadcast of the press conference when Vermeil started thanking his coaches. As he mentioned each coach, he talked about how he had met this person back in the 1960’s and how that person has been a close friend for 30 or 40 years.
It became apparent that what Vermeil had here was a reunion tour. His old buddy Carl Peterson (President, GM and CEO of the Chiefs) agreed to pay Vermeil $17 million over five years, and allowed Vermeil to hire all of his old buddies to work with him. The Kansas City Chiefs paid millions for these old buddies to have one last fling together.
Vermeil said in his press conference that while he wasn’t able to win a Super Bowl, that wasn’t the most important thing to him. The most important thing is relationships.
That tells me that these guys weren’t here to win. Vermeil gathered his old buddies from his UCLA, Philadelphia and St. Louis days here to have one last go ‘round. This was cronyism as its worst.
While Vermeil and his buddies made millions reminiscing about the past, Chiefs fans patiently waited for success on the field. Vermeil’s tenure produced one playoff appearance and no playoff wins. Vermeil says he’s proud of what he accomplished during his time in KC, but I’m afraid Chiefs fans probably disagree.
Let’s hope Carl Peterson hires his next head coach based on a desire to win instead of a desire to hang out with old friends.