The Pitch’s Jonathan Bender has officially closed down the Kent Babb sports columnist era in Kansas City with a fascinating Q & A with Babb, who starts October 1 at the Washington Post.
On his departure from the Kansas City Star, first announced exclusively by Bottom Line, Babb gives a swift kick in the crotch to KC Chiefs GM Scott Pioli.
Some interesting tidbits from Bender’s article:
* Babb had high praise for former head coach Todd Haley, who he said was “just a regular guy to have a beer with. He’d laugh at the same things. He just happened to be a football coach.”
* “One of the saddest things, and the reason he got fired, is that he had to be a robot. He had to be this bland, boring, completely colorless person during press conferences, and that wasn’t Todd Haley.”
* “The “Arrowhead Anxiety” piece is way up there for me,” said Babb about a piece he wrote about how the KC Chiefs staffers and coaches were almost terrified of the harsh management style of Pioli. “Even then, I had no idea it would have the reach and legs it has had.
“It’s unbelievable how many people have read that story and know what it’s about. “Arrowhead Anxiety” is my gold medalist from my time at the Star. I still feel unbelievably comfortable with the facts of that story. It was a really unique look into what amounts to a $1 billion private company.”
* It’s very clear that Babb would like to continue to cover Pioli.
“I really wish I wasn’t getting out of the Chiefs’ hair. I think they would have given me a lot of material this year,” he said. Scott Pioli is the gift that keeps on giving. He can’t not listen. He can’t not read. He can’t not care. I’ve never covered anybody who cares more about what is written about him. Frank Martin (Kansas State basketball coach) is number two. The louder and more often you say you don’t care, the more a lie it is.”