On Sunday, the National Football League witnessed its latest version of a blowout-turned-soap opera. (Via the Kansas City Star)
With 100 regular-season meetings in the books, few expect the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs to adore each other. After Denver’s 49-29 upset win on Sunday, the two clubs wrote a new chapter of animosity within their longstanding rivalry.
As the two head coaches approached midfield, Denver’s Josh McDaniels stuck out his right palm for the customary postgame handshake. Kansas City’s Todd Haley opted for his right index finger, pointing and delivering some words toward McDaniels, before turning away altogether.
After the game, the Kansas City Star reported that Haley had little to discuss about the incident, beyond calling it a “private” moment (private, otherwise known as within a sea of still and video cameras). Beat writer Kent Babb speculated that Haley’s anger stemmed from last year’s 44-24 victory by the Chiefs in Denver. The second-year head coach pulled his starters early in that game, and possibly expected McDaniels to extend the same courtesy in Sunday’s blowout, which featured a 35-0 lead by Denver in the second quarter.
Less than 24 hours later, Haley’s anger disintegrated into the form of a public apology. The Star adds that Haley admitted to letting his emotions get the best of him. As for McDaniels, he expressed confusion over the entire situation. The Denver Post notes that the fellow second-year head coach showed no distress over the postgame tension, opting to laud an organization that includes several of his former colleagues (Romeo Crennel, Scott Pioli, Charlie Weis) from his time as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots.
All new episodes of One Football Life to Live are back on air beginning next Sunday. Kansas City returns home for a non-conference tilt with Arizona, while Denver gets a Monday-night division opportunity on the road against San Diego.