I was all set to write a post for this week ripping the typical optimism of Eagles fans going into this season. But with the tragedy Andy Reid and his family experienced this week in losing their son, I just can’t do it.
My intention as late as yesterday morning was to leave the above paragraph as the top portion of what has been a weekly post lately and dive into a Week-in-Review. Then I saw a Facebook post from Bang! Cartoon’s John Tayman rightly criticizing the NFL Network for having a reporter outside of the Reid funeral. Later, I heard Mike Missanelli read an e-mail from a listener calling him soft for wondering aloud if Reid gets a pass for the results of the coming season regardless of the outcome. Finally, I saw a link to a “photo gallery” of the Reid funeral on philly.com.
At that point my plan changed. I couldn’t help but wonder how low the sports world had sunk. I know that we’ve long since passed the point of respecting privacy in this world. But the lack of decency shown to the Reids yesterday was disgusting.
I’ve ripped Andy Reid as a head coach to the point of abandoning my fandom of the Eagles after last season. I get that people are absolutely obsessed with the National Football League and many Philadelphians “live and breathe” with the Eagles. I get taking until Wednesday to stop being grumpy about a Sunday loss. I get scheduling your life around Eagles games in the fall.
I get it until life intrudes. Then we’re supposed to grow up and act like adults. Times like this week for the Reids make most of us realize that suggesting we “live and breathe” with our football team is nothing but empty hyperbole.
Andy Reid lost his son on Sunday. I tweeted that I wouldn’t be commenting on the news because I try to take writing this blog seriously, and figured it would look silly not to acknowledge what had occurred. I didn’t even feel right offering my condolences to the Reids on the blog, because I didn’t feel it was my place. I certainly do wish them nothing but the best in dealing with their loss, and I won’t criticize others for tweeting out their condolences. It’s almost therapeutic. Most fans understand that they don’t actually know Reid, but in a way there is a sadness in their family’s loss for those who make the Eagles such a huge part of their lives. Personally, I just didn’t feel it was appropriate.
In fact, I almost feel guilty for dumping the Eagles as “my team” and all of the criticism I’ve leveled on Reid in the past for some reason. But, of course, that really is silly. Football is a diversion from life. It’s fun and games. Criticizing Reid as a football coach in no way is meant to cast aspersions on Andy Reid as a man.
Yet, somehow the NFL Network was apparently incapable of making a similar distinction. Yes, to some extent Reid’s life is newsworthy. The fact that he has lost a son, I guess, is news. How it may affect his coaching seems like a fair thing to discuss – at some point. I’m not even comfortable with the debate some have engaged in about how soon Reid should be, or apparently is, returning to the team. The man should be able to grieve as he sees fit.
I won’t lump all Eagles fans into a pile on this one. With millions of fans, I guess it’s inevitable that a few idiots will get through on the airwaves and prove their ignorance. However, more should be expected of the media.
I didn’t tune into the NFL Network to verify the Facebook post, nor did I view the philly.com photo gallery. Yet, I have no reason not to believe Tayman, and as I write at around 5 PM on Tuesday, I have no doubt more outlets are about to embarrass themselves. Reporting from outside the funeral is a disgrace. Offering a photo gallery has to be the epitome of bad taste.
Andy Reid, his family, and his son, Garrett, deserved much better.