Today over at my second online home, The Sports Fan Journal, my colleague Mark Trible wrote an excellent piece on why it's time to rally around Andy Reid following the sad death of his son, Garrett Reid.
I was actually contemplating writing a story about Reid for TSFJ myself, but Mark's powerful words and strong message certainly did the job and then some. I agree with him on all fronts, and I hope the majority of Eagles fans out there do as well.
Believe me, Andy Reid the football coach has frustrated me the same way he has frustrated every Eagles fan alive. For years, I've been saying that from Monday-Saturday, Reid is as good as any coach in the NFL. Then on Sunday, he's like a dear caught in headlights. He goes in with his game plan, a game plan that works many more times than it fails, but if that game plan isn't working, he cannot and will not adjust. Add on top of that 13 years of terrible clock management and questionable challenges, and it's easy to see why Philadelphia gets tired of a guy who the majority of NFL fans regard highly.
But we should all be so lucky to have a coach of Andy Reid's ilk. Sure, he's never brought a Lombardi Trophy, and sure, he really does do some mind-numbing things, but at the end of the day, the Eagles almost always go into the season with a shot to win the whole damn thing, and many years they are right in the mix come winter. That's because of Andy Reid.
For years, we've taken that for granted. I get it. It's the nature of the beast, the nature of the sport, the nature of life. Relationships that last as long as this one grow tired, and all the successes and past happiness get forgotten as the strains of time and disappointment take hold.
Then something life-altering takes place, and it provides an opportunity for us all to reflect. The personal tragedy that surrounds Reid and the Eagles really should be a catalyst for us all to take a step back from our reactionary emotions and realize just how lucky we are. We're lucky to be alive and breathing, lucky to have our loved ones and our health. Lucky to have a passionate fan base that can make players fall in love with us and realize that that same passion can drive others away.
And yes, we're lucky to have Andy Reid. Really, we are. As many issues as I've had with the man in the past, at the end of the day he's the best football coach this city has seen. He took a dormant, lifeless franchise and turned it into a perennial contender. He elevated expectations and reached unparalleled success. Yes, he had his missteps and has never reached the summit, but he keeps fighting, keeps battling, keeps putting his all into a team that draws headlines like no other in Philadelphia.
Andy Reid has been here now for more than 13 years. He's no longer the unknown coach from Green Bay. He's a bona fide Philadelphian. He's one of us, whether you like it or not. And one of our own just lost a loved one at far too young of an age. Now more than ever, Andy Reid deserves our support. Now is the time to root for the man we have so often wished would just go away.
Andy Reid is no longer an outsider. He's part of the community, part of the city, synonymous with the Philadelphia Eagles. Chances are, he'll frustrate us and confuse us and more than likely come up short. People will call for his job, like they have every year before. It's what happens in this city and every other when disappointment takes root.
But our disappointment is nothing like the hurt Andy Reid must be feeling right now. So yeah, no matter what your feelings are about Andy Reid the coach, Trible is right, it's time to rally around Andy Reid the man, because some things, as hard as it is to believe, are bigger than the Super Bowl.