Thursday, January 3, 2013

Clark Hunt, David Glass speak out ... but for how long?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Hunt is the public face of the Chiefs right now.
  • Wikipedia
  • Hunt is the public face of the Chiefs right now.
One can't pick up the Internet these days without seeing an interview with Clark Hunt. In the past week, the Kansas City Chiefs owner has given extensive interviews to the Associated Press and NFL.com, discussing his embarrassment over his franchise's season and his intention to be more directly involved with the football side of operations going forward.

It has been a series of very public statements from a publicity-shy owner. And it comes on the heels of David Glass, owner of the Kansas City Royals, issuing a series of comments about the future of his club (most recently voicing his support for the James Shields-Wil Myers trade).

Hunt and Glass won't be confused with outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but their recent decisions to speak out have me wondering if, during a time of very high fan unrest, they've changed their approaches to running their teams.

Glass remains guarded in his approach to the media, even after approving a collection of deals that have bought the Royals a new starting rotation for 2013. His comments on the recent trade with Tampa Bay came via the team's website, and the one contentious media interview he did last year (in which 610 Sports' Danny Parkins asked him about selling the team) ended abruptly, with Glass leaving the stage at the All-Star FanFest. His desire to control the news apparatus, and his message, suggests that he's not comfortable out front.

The story may be different for Hunt, who operates in the shadow of his father, Lamar Hunt. He witnessed his father's commitment to a city and its football team. While Clark Hunt may not stand in the end-zone section with fans, he does appear committed to them.

Hunt has used the word "I" a lot more than the word "we" in the past week. It's a deliberate choice, suggesting that this season had an emotional impact on him. That was evident as he walked off the field with his arm around Dwayne Bowe a day after linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and committed suicide in Arrowhead's parking lot, outside the team's practice facility. After a season we'd like to forget for numerous reasons, Chiefs fans may remember this as the time when Hunt found his identity as an owner.

Hunt and Glass may finally have realized that watching the bottom line and letting the sports guys handle the sports stuff isn't working. What remains to be seen is if they can sell the fans on the idea of real changes around the Truman Sports Complex.

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