KANSAS CITY - Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko has had enough troubles lately. Media in Kansas City have given numerous reports that Chiefs head coach Todd Haley was having hidden study sessions with newly signed quarterback Kyle Orton. Palko didn't believe the reports at first.
That was until the inconsistent quarterback opened the Chiefs' practice facility film room to find Orton and Haley leaning over each other's playbooks.
"It's Thursday," said a dazed Palko. "We usually go through our walkthroughs on Thursdays. I was sitting on the field waiting for Todd to show up. He usually shows up at 3 p.m. to go over the new plays. I call at 3:10...no answer. I call at 3:15...no answer. I call his office...no answer. So, I'm like 'whatever, I'll just run some mock plays with the offense.' Soon, he comes out to the field and his eyes look like he was in a dark room for five hours. I asked where he was and he just goes 'oh, I was getting some sleep.' Getting some sleep? At 3 p.m. on our main practice day? Why is your shirt still pressed then? That's when I noticed the grease marker stains."
Mistakenly left on the Chiefs' head master's hands were black marks from his grease marker. Diagramming the multiple formations Haley wants Orton to know led to an impromptu film session midday Thursday...a film session nobody told Palko about.
"He told me after last week that we were still together and I had nothing to worry about. I took 75% of the snaps with the #1 team on Wednesday and Thursday...I mean, look at my arm. Look! Nobody walks away from an arm like this! Nobody!"
After Haley tried to hide the midday meeting, the late night secretive meeting between Orton and Haley took place in a hidden facility room away from the majority of Chiefs management...but it wouldn't be hidden for long.
"I left my playbook in the office, so I had to drive back to the facility late...and I realized I wanted to go over some coverages with Todd when I got back to the facility. Well, I couldn't find him...then on a hunch, I open this maintenance door and...there they are."
Fighting back tears and recounting those fateful moments proved difficult for Palko.
"I open the door and it smells steamy and sweaty...like two men working out or something. His practice jersey is on the ground, and he's standing their pointing to a screen showing Chicago's defense...like he's getting ready to start! That's when I slammed the door. They both stood up and dropped their playbooks. Kyle's like, 'Uh...I'm just doing some extra research so you have more information on the Bears defense on Sunday,' and Todd's like, 'it' s not what it looks like. Don't react. Don't yell...we were just talking to each other and some things happened...don't worry, he's not the starter, honey. He's not the starter. I still love you, we're still together, and you're still the starter...okay?' He thinks he's so smart...well, I got him."
Palko used earlier knowledge that he saw smudged marker on his hand for interrogation.
"I was pretty clear in what I said," stated Palko. "I told him, 'So, you think I didn't notice the smudged marker from your sessions with Kyle? You don't think I saw those printouts Kyle was looking at yesterday? That's confidential information, Todd! That's for us! We used to share that information with each other...only us! Do you remember when it was only us, Todd? When you cared for me? When you would show up to practice on time and tell me that I'm beautiful and that I look like I lost weight and that I had been progressing well with running the offense? Do you remember that? Do you?!' I was pretty pissed."
That's when Haley dropped the bomb.
"He just stood there and told me, 'Tyler...we're starting you on Sunday...but we're only planning on a couple of series. I'm in love with Kyle...let's just ride this thing through prom...we won't tell anybody...we won't make a mess of it...once prom ends we can go our separate ways and you can go back on the scrap heap working for your dad's company and I'll go date that really talented...sorry. Sorry, I shouldn't say that. We aren't meant for each other, Tyler. I think Kyle's the one.' Then I just wound up and slapped him in the face...I, of course gave him the famous 'You....bitch!' before slapping him. Felt really cat-like. Loved it. Anywho."
Palko has been left a bit shattered by the news...but it hasn't stopped him from working hard and finding ways to get back at Haley.
"He framed our first starting game plan. He took the first game plan, framed it, had it engraved to say 'Tyler Palko Kansas City Chiefs'. I dropped it off at his house with a couple of pictures. I don't need him anymore. I've got family all around...I hear Houston needs a quarterback anyway."
The Chiefs will face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.