Monday, October 22, 2007

The Middle of the Beginning of the End: Updated

I confess to always being secretly conflicted about Andy Reid. He's not a very good in-game coach, but he seems to have a real talent for managing the week leading up to the game and particularly for keeping a cool head and his teams together when trouble hits. It's a zen thing he's got going on, a little like Phil Jackson, only without Tex Winter there to actually do X's and O's for him.

But since he first did his ridiculous public insisting that Doug Pederson was the future of the Eagles, I've been wary of him. He has a tendency to lie and worse, to treat the sports media with some contempt. At some level I get both of these things: (1) His job is to protect the psyches of his players so they can win games; (2) The media don't help him win games, so why be nice or candid with them?

Yet it seems to me that while there may not be an affirmative duty to be gracious or candid with reporters (and by extension with the fans), as a professional there is some minimal duty not to actively insist on things which you, and everyone else, know not to be true. Maybe that's asking too much. But at the end of the day, shouldn't there be some acknowledgment that being a head coach is just a job, like being a beat reporter, and that all of us working stiffs generally should treat each other decently, at least so long as it doesn't cost us anything?

So while I want the Eagles to win, there's a silver lining in this disastrous season seeing Reid come a little unglued. From Phil Sheridan:

In his postgame news conference, Eagles coach Andy Reid treated the assembled reporters as if they had called plays in the red zone for him. Reid, who promised to provide answers to his offensive woes after last week's ugly win over the Jets, had none for the cameras and microphones.

Asked whether the Eagles' season is in peril, Reid seethed, "I'll take the next question."

A perfect example of how Capt. Andy can behave like a jerk. He doesn't have to answer that question with serious introspection. He needn't even concede the obvious if he believes that it's important to stand by his team. He could politely side-step the question with normal sports pablum about one-game-at-a-time, keep our focus, don't get ahead of ourselves, we're a good team that's caught some bad breaks, etc. (He could even have given a stat or two about 2-4 teams that have gone on to make the playoffs; it happens.)

But instead, he refuses to even acknowledge what is a perfectly fair question from a bunch of guys who are just doing their jobs.

Moments like these are why I won't cry when Reid leaves town.

Update: Galley Friend T.R. writes in:

This morning I received an email from my brother-in-law, perhaps the most heretofore die-hard Eagles fan I know (and I know some really quite sick and damaged ones). This is the kind of guy who drives hours just to get in radio range and sit and listen in his car.

Now he has stopped watching, not because of the losing, but because of the tiresome contempt A.R. shows for . . . all of us.

It used to make me crazy when the Eagles went to the shotgun on first-and-10 with a lead. Then it made me wry. Now it makes me a little sad.

In terms of his offense, I always thought that eventually either reality would catch up to Reid, or he would catch up to reality. But now I know that neither of those things will happen. Who else has adopted this scheme? What winners are trying to emulate the Eagles? Not even his only “disciple” in the league, Childress. And what evidence would it take--now, COULD it take--for him to balance the offense? There is none, and there won’t be.

This might take a while to play out. And it could be painful to watch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I L-O-V-E THIS!!!! You smarmy snarky Beagle fans are taking it in the shorts! What goes around comes around. Wallow in it. Tubby is not going anywhere soon, but Chunky Soup has punched his ticket west. Too bad, for Westbrook deserved better from management; not getting some descent supporting players.