Should Philadelphia Eagles fans root for Andy Reid?

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

As Andy Reid returns to the Super Bowl for the first time in 15 years, the big question around Philadelphia for the next two weeks concerns whether or not Eagles fans should want their former coach to finally win “The Big One”.

Fans in this town, especially those of the Philadelphia Eagles, are notoriously tough. We all know that. Whether it’s with the players, coaches or some other organizational figure, there is a certain expectation of anyone who represents the local clubs. Uphold your end of the bargain, and you are embraced for life, even if you end up elsewhere. The fans here will be forever grateful for what you gave during your time.

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That being said, how does Andy Reid fit into all this?

Did he do “enough” for this city and its fans to merit our full support as his Kansas City Chiefs take their shot at glory two Sundays from now? What are the pros and cons of cheering on “Big Red” in a game that could very well define his entire legacy?

I think I have the answer.

But first, some context.

Andy Reid currently sits in seventh place in NFL history in regular season coaching victories and sixth in playoff wins. He tops the list in both categories among coaches that have never won a title (and I say “title” instead of “Super Bowl” because several above him coached in the pre-Super Bowl era). Clearly, Reid has the numbers to back up his case as a tremendous coach, with only the elusive ring standing between him and being considered an all-timer.

Yes, that Andy Reid is tracking to become one of the league’s greatest ever.

He actually might have already done enough to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but a win on February 2 would put him over the top and permanently remove any doubt.

As Philadelphia Eagles fans, should we want this? Is it ok that Andy Reid achieves immortality elsewhere when he came so agonizingly close with our team? I’d like to say that we are all above holding grudges for this kind of thing, but many truly aren’t. Some people in Philadelphia will always have a bad taste in their mouth about the Andy Reid era.

Maybe it’s because of the three consecutive NFC Championship Game losses, the last two of which were completely winnable games at home. Or it could be because of his troubling inability to adjust within games, such as struggling with timeouts and being outcoached by others (or by himself) when the chips were really down.

And then there are the personnel decisions, like letting franchise icon Brian Dawkins leave town, something that never should have happened.

Andy Reid showed us time and time again that he had issues. But there is no denying that, over the course of his 14 years leading the Eagles, the good far outweighed the bad. And that’s despite the team’s inability to capture a Super Bowl with Andy at the helm.

We are kidding ourselves if we can’t admit that Andy Reid was one of the best coaches that Philadelphia has ever had. And even though it’s fine if we want to have some lingering bitterness over the lack of a title, it’s failing to see the bigger picture if we want to simply dwell on that. A championship is a high bar to clear, and it doesn’t separate beloved sports figures from ones who aren’t.

I don’t blame Eagles fans if they are lacking a warm and fuzzy feeling about Andy’s achievements elsewhere. But that’s not what this is about. In the end, we should have a great appreciation for him and the trickle-down effect of his success with the Eagles.

Without Andy Reid, the Eagles don’t turn into a contending team that ends up with the clout to land big-name players who want to come and play for a successful franchise. And we don’t end up with Doug Pederson, who of course was a protege of Andy’s. Subsequently, there’s not a parade down Broad Street two years ago.

Maybe it’s the fact that the Eagles finally climbed that mountain on their own that we should all be perfectly content with Andy Reid finally landing his white whale. We all achieved our dream two years ago, so there shouldn’t be any jealousy of Reid now. It might finally be his time. The fans of this Eagles organization that Andy played the chief role (no pun intended) in resurrecting should throw their support behind him.

There will be naysayers, of course, who will hold some of the events I previously mentioned against Reid. And they may point to even more recent decisions of his, such as employing players on the Chiefs such as Tyreek Hill and Frank Clark who have had extremely troubling run-ins with the law.

By allowing players like this on his team, some say, Andy Reid is essentially “selling his soul” for a Super Bowl. The fact that the Chiefs released Kareem Hunt last year counteracts this to some degree, but it’s still a murky ethical issue, one that’s been especially played up by 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi, among others.

We really should point to the league itself in these cases, as Andy Reid is just playing within the rules that they’ve determined. It’s really a situation with no true right or wrong answer.

But ultimately, once everything is weighed, there is no solid reason for Eagles fans to be rooting for the failure of Andy Reid. This should really be viewed as a situation where a man who gave everything he had to Philadelphia came up short here but now has a chance at redemption elsewhere.

And who doesn’t love a good redemption story?

Next. Eagles: Andy Reid gets a second crack at the Super Bowl. dark

At the risk of sounding like a high school essay, in conclusion, it’s my opinion that Eagles fans everywhere should be tuning in on February 2 and pulling for Andy Reid to win his first Super Bowl. The time’s his.