Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid gets a second crack at the Super Bowl

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

After watching his protegé hoist the Lombardi Trophy with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, Andy Reid is finally heading back to the Super Bowl.

2004 was a weird year in the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers were really bad, Ben Roethlisberger won Rookie of the Year (!?), and most surprisingly of all the Philadelphia Eagles made their first Super Bowl appearance in three decades.

I know, I know, this all feels like ancient history now, as Eagles fans the world over have been basking in the glory of 2018’s Super Bowl victory for going on three years, but there was a time not too long ago when a 25-year-old Philly fan had known nothing but disappointment outside of a rogue Philadelphia Phillies World Championship win.

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But while the 38-year period between 1980 (and really 1960) and the Eagles’ 2018 championship win may go down as the Philly sports Dark Ages, it didn’t quite feel like it at the time.

No, from 1999-2011, the Eagles were actually pretty good, all thanks to a former Packers quarterbacks coach turned NFL Coach of the Year.

When Jeffrey Lurie hired Andy Reid as only his third head coach since buying the team in 1994, it raised a few eyebrows around our fair city. He was young (41), he looked kind of walrus-ish, and he’d never been a coordinator either offensive or defensive.

And yet, for whatever reason, it worked.

Chalk it up to having a great supporting cast headlined by Jim Johnson, selecting a franchise quarterback in Donovan McNabb instead of Ricky Williams, or even ‘FredEx’ himself Freddie Mitchell (he certainly will), but after going 5-11 in 99, Reid took the reigns and never looked back.

We’re talking four straight trips to the playoffs and nine trips overall over a 14 seasons run.

Heck, Reid’s run was so impressive that he had three times as many playoff wins (10) as losing seasons (3) over his tenure with the team, a feat that I’m not even going to try to quantify league-wide but I’m assuming is fairly uncommon.

And now, 20-years after making his debut as an NFL Head coach, Andy Reid and his new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, are heading to the Super Bowl thanks to a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans.

Needless to say, I think I know who Philly fans are going to be rooting for in two weeks’ time when Reid and company take the field in Miami against (probably) the San Francisco 49ers.

While Reid’s tenure in the 215 ended unceremoniously, in large part due to the untimely passing of his son during training camp, fans never quite turned on Big Red in the same way as, say, Chip Kelly directly after him, despite some truly maddening tendencies that ultimately lowered the Birds’ ceiling. Sure, he could never quite figure out how to use a time out (spoiler alert: he still isn’t great) and he never quite gave McNabb a Super Bowl-worthy supporting cast, but he was straight with the fans, fair to his players, and consistently kept this team relevant when they had no right to be.

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So good luck in the Super Bowl Andy Reid. Even though Doug Pederson did what you never could with the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s fitting you have another bite at the Super Bowl apple all these years later.