UPDATE: Haley apologized in a press conference today, to the Broncos, their fans and to Josh McDaniels. He still did not elaborate on the original reasons for the snub. Video of the apology and the snub appear below.
That fantastic photograph by Justin Edmonds for Getty Images pretty much tells the story. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley didn't offer a handshake to Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels after the game. Instead, he appeared to offer a stern mini lecture.
About what? Well, that's not entirely clear. Haley, on the wrong end of a 49-29 stomping that wasn't as close as the final score would indicate, talked a little bit about it after the game, but didn't go into specifics.
"That's a private time between head coaches that has become not so private, but the key I would say, probably the thing that you're asking about, is that I've been in this enough as an assistant coach, as a head coach now, to be in some of these games. And the important thing for me as a head coach is that our team continue to just play hard and play our hearts out and keep fighting until the end.
"Sometimes, you see indicators on the other side of where that team thinks the game is. We've been on the other side of this and we've been on this side of it and we've been ... again, let's just keep it at that."
[Photos: More intense moments for Todd Haley]
That's pretty vague, but Dennis J. Georgatos of the FanHouse speculates that Haley might feel like some of the Broncos were a little too jovial on the sidelines after the game was well in hand for the Broncos. Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated says it might have been because the Broncos, with their starters still in the game, were going deep with a 32-point fourth-quarter lead.
Vic Lombardi of The Denver Sports Insiders asked McDaniels about the snub, and his reply was, "Ask him. I'm going to focus on my team."
I think it's great. Not running up the score -- that's a chump move to try to humiliate a beaten opponent. But a little bit of conflict and discord have never failed to enhance an intradivisional rivalry, and if McDaniels and Haley don't care for each other, that's just a little bonus spice twice a year for Chiefs vs. Broncos games.
- Todd Haley
- Josh McDaniels