PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Offensively, the Steelers have plenty to worry about after ineptitude and key injuries in Week 1, but on Wednesday, they found themselves having to tackle an off-the-field issue.
In a bizarre story reported by Deadspin writer and Pittsburgh native Dom Cosentino, Todd Haley was at a bar inside a local hotel when he chided a drunken fan who, according to an e-mail to Cosentino, egged on the Steelers’ offensive coordinator after giving him an autograph and lightheartedly adding the phrase “Chiefs suck.”
Click here to read the full report by Cosentino.
Haley, who served as Kansas City’s head coach from 2009 until late in 2011, was hired by the Steelers after the 2011 season to replace Bruce Arians.
“I’m very surprised, when I came to work this morning, that it was an issue,” Haley told the media on the South Side. “It’s a non-issue, as far as I’m concerned.”
Haley, who has been staying in the hotel in question with his family while searching for permanent housing in the greater Pittsburgh area, offered his own perspective on the encounter:
“Like I always do, I got asked for an autograph. The guy said, ‘I’m a huge Steeler fan,’ so I signed it, ‘go Steelers.’ Then he said, ‘No, not really, I’m a Chiefs fan,’ so I wrote what I did in jest. It was no disrespect to the Chiefs. I’ve never, at any time, said anything negative about the team that gave me a chance to be a head coach. It was in jest, we laughed about it. That’s why I’m surprised it was being talked about.
“I wrote something about my former team that I probably shouldn’t, so there was no incident.”