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January 19, 2012

Fear and Loathing at Arrowhead Stadium: Claims That Kansas City Chiefs Organization Taps Phones, Spies on Employees

Kind of interesting. A quite long article, though.

Todd Haley walked into the public relations office at Chiefs headquarters on a Thursday in early December. Four days before he was fired as the team’s coach, he wanted to talk about what life was like inside this organization. But he didn’t know who else might be listening.

Looking up toward the ceiling, he darted into a back hallway before hesitating. Then he turned around, going back through a door and stopping again. Haley suspected that many rooms at the team facility were bugged so that team administrators could monitor employees’ conversations. Stopping finally in a conference room, Haley said he believed his personal cellphone, a line he used before being hired by the Chiefs in 2009, had been tampered with.

Paranoid? The Chiefs have adamantly denied that they tap phones or listen in on conversations. But as the team enters another period of transition after elevating defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel last week to head coach, interviews with more than two dozen current and former employees suggest that intimidation and secrecy are among the Chiefs’ principal management styles — and that Haley wasn’t the only one with paranoid thoughts.

“When you’re mentally abused, you eventually lose it, too,” one former longtime Chiefs executive said.


“The level of paranoia was probably the highest that I had ever seen it anywhere,” another former high-ranking staffer said. “… If you make the wrong step, you might not be able to pay your mortgage.”

The article begins that way, then goes into a general negative account of GM Scott Pioli's background (with the Patriots, during Spygate) and penchant for secrecy. It's not until deep in the article (which is quite long) it returns to the surveillance allegations. Scan down for "common notion."

The report notes that most corporations have the capability to read employee emails, monitor phone usage, and so on. I guess what's being alleged is that there is a belief that Chiefs' management is doing so.

But in the last three years, another former staffer said, printouts of emails, some of them months old, were occasionally requested. The former employee said the belief was that the Chiefs were trying to discover who could be trusted and who couldn’t, who was loyal to the cause and who was a liability. Pioli pored over former president Denny Thum’s call log, a former high-ranking employee said, before Thum was asked to resign in September 2010 after 36 years with the team.

Thum declined comment when reached by telephone.

Kirsten Krug, the team’s human resources director, said that no current or former employee has shared uneasiness that conversations were monitored. Hunt said no employee, past or present, has broached this concern with him — including Haley.

But the suspicion was prevalent enough that, when some staffers wanted to speak candidly, they set appointments with coworkers to meet outside the building so they could talk face-to-face. Others, trying to skirt an impression that employees shouldn’t fraternize with those from different departments, occasionally left the facility at different times, in different cars, so that team administrators wouldn’t know they were having lunch together.

I guess I'm a little sensitive to this claim because, of course, I've installed Nanny-cams in all of the cobloggers' homes, and bathrooms, and packet-sniffers on all their modems. "Meet-up" is code for "detective visit."

Look, sure I could assume they're not conspiring against me, but when you assume, you make an ass of u and me. Who's loyal? Who's sniping at me in DMs?

Who's starting... his own blog?

I need to know these things.

I also need to know everyone's bathroom habits. Bathroom hygiene is a great predictor of loyalty and character.

In Other Football News: Soothie sends this vid of a Green Bay fan crying. Don't watch if you're a fan yourself. But, for everyone else, it's funny, as human misery so frequently is.

And as you've probably heard: In San Francisco, home of the football San Francisco Forty-Niners and the baseball San Francisco Giants, Joe Biden exults "The Giants are going to the Super Bowl!"

Which is terrific if you're a fan of the New York (football) Giants, who will be playing, and defeating, the San Francisco Forty-Niners this Sunday.

Update: According to Clay Matthews, Casey is right -- they did lose because of the damn sparkles she put on her nails.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:08 PM

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