Kansas City, Mo. The Carolina Panthers won just once in their first six games and were scuffling along toward irrelevance when owner Jerry Richardson fired general manager Marty Hurney.
Didn’t matter that it was early in the season, or that it could create some instability for coach Ron Rivera and the rest of the franchise. Richardson decided it was time to make a change, and it came swiftly and decisively the day after a loss to Dallas.
It’s the same kind of move fans in Kansas City have been seeking for weeks.
The Panthers are due to visit the Chiefs today to play before a backdrop of plenty of empty seats. Kansas City has lost eight straight games to fall to 1-10, prompting a movement by disgruntled fans aimed at expelling general manager Scott Pioli from the front office.
The game has almost become secondary to the off-the-field drama.
One grassroots group has ponied up for banners to fly over the stadium asking for Pioli to be fired. Many fans came dressed in black two weeks ago against Cincinnati to mourn the lost season, and Arrowhead Stadium was filled with thousands of Denver Broncos fans last Sunday.
How difficult are tickets to get for today’s game? Some posted on the secondary market this week for $3.50, about $60 below the average ticket price.