We'd been led to believe the circus was over.
Look, it doesn't matter if you think Todd Haley was overly-paranoid, Scott Pioli is an abusive micro-manager, or that maybe the Chiefs should consider eliminating all on-site vending machines at Arrowhead if the organization's management-staff is sick of picking up candy-wrappers.
Because, really, all of the above is true to an extent, and that may be the most embarrassing part.
There's no sole person to blame here. It's just a complete mess, from top to bottom. Haley is claiming Pioli tapped his personal cell phone (which is a felony, by the way), other former employees are suing the team for age discrimination, and most-to-all close to the situation agree the general manager, at the very least, is an intimidating control-freak that hates it when his co-workers have their office shades open during team practices.
In the meantime, owner Clark Hunt is praising the job Pioli has done in changing the culture at Arrowhead, and oh, by the way, season-ticket renewals are due Tuesday.
The Chiefs are the joke of the league, folks. Two major sports-blogging sites, Deadspin and Pro Football Talk, have already taken their shots. A full-on investigation conducted by the NFL likely looms.
The best part? On the football front, Pioli has made it clear he isn't willing to trade picks for the opportunity to draft a franchise quarterback in April. Token yes-man Romeo Crennel — who may want to consider changing his cell number — won't break free from Pioli's clutches long enough to make any considerable difference.
Hunt, whose Chiefs were more than $30-million under the NFL salary cap in 2011, has somehow earned the honor as the only major sports-franchise owner in America more out of touch than David Glass.
What a freaking disaster.
This isn't an overreaction. Three years into his reign as God of Football in Kansas City, Pioli's regime has accomplished nothing more than proving the brilliance of The Patriot Way remains somewhere in New England.
Any doubt as to whether Haley's fixation for Tyler Palko was simply an effort to spite Pioli and sabotage the season is gone. Now, we're only left to wonder if it's possible the former coach's actions were warranted.
The rest of the league is catching on. Before taking the St. Louis Rams job, Jeff Fisher turned down the Chiefs' request for an interview prior to Crennel's promotion, citing ownership and the quarterback situation.
Off the field? Well, the last thing a team with Barry Richardson and Sabby Piscitelli in the starting-lineup needs is a story surfacing about its GM being more concerned with teaching lessons with a forgotten candy-wrapper than improving the talent on the roster. Babb's article is well-sourced and includes current employees. It could eventually evolve into the biggest scandal in Kansas City sports history ... if Haley spills the beans completely.
So while Hunt and Pioli are holding their breath and playing damage control over the next few weeks, the other 31 teams in the league will be evaluating talent and preparing to improve their teams this offseason.
The cycle goes on. The circus continues. It's sad. Our city deserves better.