bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Andy Reid is out…hallelujah.

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Although it has not yet been made official, Andy Reid’s tenure as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles ended on Sunday. For the fans of the team, a group of which I am most certainly a part, this is a beautiful thing. I am extremely ready to see someone else leading this franchise. The national pundits don’t seem to understand it, but that is because they have not lived and breathed Eagles football for the past fourteen years.

I am not suggesting that Andy Reid had no success here, or that he is not a good coach. An argument could be made that he is the most successful coach in the team’s history, and there is no one who could dismiss that suggestion out of hand in any reasonable sense. Reid won an awful lot of games here, led the team to the playoffs in nine of his fourteen seasons, and reached the NFC Championship game five times and the Super Bowl once, losing to the New England Patriots back in 2004. The Eagles won 139 games under Reid, including postseason games, and that is not an insignificant number. He also seems to be a good man who is well liked by his players and by other coaches around the league. Why, then, would I be so glad that team owner Jeffrey Lurie is sending him packing? Enough is enough, that’s why. Not only has he been on the job for fourteen years without winning a title, he has also been far less successful in the last eight of those seasons than he was in the first six. Four of those five NFC Championship games were in his first six years. His teams won 59 games in the five seasons from 2000 through 2004. In the past eight seasons, his teams have failed to post a winning record in four of them. The Eagles lost in the first round of the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, and then failed to make the playoffs entirely the last two seasons. These are not signs of a franchise on the upswing.

When the team was winning, Reid’s handling of press conferences, during which he would say virtually the same exact thing every single week, revealing no actual information, was acceptable. When you are going 4-12, it is intolerable. Most often, he would state that he was taking responsibility for the loss, and that he needed to put his players in better positions. I am pretty certain he said this after every one of 97 losses, and I am sure he said at least part of it after a number of the uglier wins as well. My dad has always been fond of asking me if I had an employee who constantly told me that the things that went wrong were his fault, would I still be employing him after fourteen years? I defended Reid for a long time, but I gave up on that a couple of years ago.

The national media seems to think that Eagles fans are a bunch of idiots for wanting to run Reid out of town. I have read numerous columns and seen a number of television discussions that suggest that we should be careful what we wish for, and that things may get a lot worse once Andy is gone. The thing that they are missing is that we are fine with that. I realize that the next coach may not be any good, and we may have some more bad seasons coming our way. I won’t enjoy that, but we could lose every game for the next two seasons and I will still be glad that Reid is no longer the coach of this team. It is time for a change, and if the change doesn’t work out, there will be another change. That’s the way it works. If Reid goes elsewhere and has success, good for him. That won’t bother me. Bring on the next guy.

Good sports, continued:

2) Like his teammates, Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum received a $470 gift card to Best Buy from the Russell Athletic Bowl, in which his team was selected to play this bowl season (they actually played Friday night and beat Rutgers, 13-10). Rather than spend it on himself, Exum, while at the store shopping, saw some boys playing a Playstation 3 and decided that maybe they needed it more than he did, so he bought it for them. Well done.

3) Jerry York, the head hockey coach for Boston College, won his 925th career game on Saturday, breaking the record for all-time wins previously held by Ron Mason.

4) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had an absolutely remarkable season this year. He fell only eight yards short of the all-time single-season rushing record, finishing with 2097 yards. He did that after no one even thought he would start the season on time, as he was recovering from a torn ACL suffered at the end of the 2011 season. His 199-yard performance on Sunday may not have gotten him the record, but it did help lead his team to the playoffs.

Bad sports:

1) Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones was arrested on battery charges on Tuesday after a domestic dispute.

2) Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat received a one-game suspension from the NBA after he kicked another player in the groin during a game on Wednesday. Ramon Sessions of the Charlotte Bobcats was the unlucky recipient of kick.

3) Lane Kiffin continues to prove that he’s a classless idiot. He and his USC Trojans team showed up an hour late for a dinner with his Sun Bowl opponent, Georgia Tech. They were so late that the Yellow Jackets left the event rather than wait any longer.

4) The Duke football team can’t catch a break. They have not won a bowl game since 1962. That drought was about to end on Thursday, as they were tied with Cincinnati with less than a minute and a half to play, and they had the ball at the Bearcats’ five-yard line, close enough for a very short field goal if they failed to score a touchdown. Things were looking good. Instead, running back Josh Snead fumbled and Cincinnati recovered. The Bearcats went on to score two quick touchdowns and win, 48-34.

5) Rafael Nadal will miss the Australian Open due to illness. This would have been his first tour competition since last summer, as he has been sidelined by knee tendinitis. Nadal won the Australian back in 2009.

6) About halfway through the second quarter of the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Friday, Minnesota had an absolutely unbelievable sequence of events. After starting their drive at their own 25-yard line, the Golden Gophers had moved to midfield and had a first down. Quarterback Marqueis Gray was sacked, bringing up 2nd and 17. Tech was called for being offsides, making it 2nd and 12. Two consecutive 15-yard penalties against Minnesota made it 2nd and 42. After a three yard run, Minnesota received a 10-yard personal foul penalty, making it a ridiculous 3rd and 49. I am pretty sure I have never seen a 49 in any down-and-distance listing in all of the years I have been watching football. They naturally ran for no gain on that play.

7) I am not sure which is worse, losing a bowl game by 24 points to Syracuse, as West Virginia did on Saturday, or being subjected to this headline in the Weirton Daily Times on Sunday. Awesome.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday


Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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2 Responses to “Bad sports, good sports: Andy Reid is out…hallelujah.”

  1. Amen on ending the Reid era–frankly, it felt weirdly merciful after this disaster of a season and its tragic start with the death of his son. Only he knows what’s ultimately best for him, but I have to say he seems like a guy who needs a year away from the game, just to make peace with everything he’s gone through recently

  2. Thanks for reading, Sean. I definitely agree. The guy could use a breather. It does not sound like he is going to take one, though.

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