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Todd Haley's Handshake Refusal Undermines Team Message And Goal

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As if the loss wasn't embarrassing enough. Then Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley goes and puts the icing on the loser's cake with a totally classless move that's likely to affect the locker room in some way.

Some could say that Haley had a case for not shaking Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels' hand after the game. After all, the Broncos had thrown the ball late in the game when the outcome was decided long before. Words like "sportsmanship" are bound to come up for the faithful defender of Haley and company, and in some circles, that would easily apply. But not in the NFL. In fact, Haley's move actually undermines the message he's been sending his team for the last two seasons.

Haley's refusal to shake hands insinuates a position of entitlement -- one that says that the Chiefs were entitled to not lose by that much, that the Broncos were "supposed" to stop after a certain point and just let the clock run out. A team with so few bright spots on the season isn't supposed to completely enjoy stomping a divisional opponent on their home turf? Seriously? If I'm in McDaniels' shoes, I don't let up on the gas pedal until the final clock reads 0:00.

The problem here is that Haley has told his players time and again with words and actions that no one is entitled to anything at all. He doesn't care if you're paid well. He doesn't care if you're a high draft pick. He doesn't care what you've earned in the past. Be in shape. Be prepared. Be in charge of your own destiny. And you take what comes your way after you've done all that you can to do. There's no entitlement on the 2010 Chiefs. The benching of Derrick Johnson in 2009 and the release of Alex Magee (and several others) along the way testify to this way of life.

So why would the Haley think the Chiefs were entitled to some sort of treatment in the name of sportsmanship? That's fine for kids leagues or maybe even the high school level. But when you're talking about the NFL and have been preaching a message of preparedness and responsibility, the best thing the Chiefs Head Coach could have done is taken his lumps, shake a few hands and then head back to Arrowhead Drive to figure out what in the world just happened.

I'm sure the emotion of the moment was overwhelming and even the best of us fall prey to defensive body language or responses. But as the Head Coach of any professional team, it's on Haley to represent the Chiefs attitude at every turn and in this way, he let his team and fan base down.