Column: Reid’s popularity is puzzling
I don't get it.
Since the Eagles have been eliminated from the playoffs, some fans have latched onto the Chiefs as the team they're pulling for going forward because of coach Andy Reid.
The Eagles won the Lombardi Trophy two seasons ago, so now they're rooting for "Big Red," presumably because Reid has never won a championship in his 21 seasons as a NFL head coach.
They apparently want Reid to get a title as some sort of reward for the 12 years he coached the Eagles, despite the fact his tenure included crushing defeats in the playoffs.
Exactly what did he accomplish in Philly that warrants such support?
His 130-93-1 regular-season record was certainly impressive, but that's negated by the Eagles' mediocre, 10-9 playoff mark during his reign.
Included in that record was a 1-4 performance in NFC championship games, plus a 24-21 loss to New England in their only Super Bowl appearance.
Back-to-back losses to Tampa Bay in 2002 and Carolina in 2003 were particularly galling. In both cases, the Eagles were clearly the better team, having earned the top seed and home-field advantage.
Their game against the Buccaneers on Jan. 18, 2003 was the final appearance at Veterans Stadium. Game-time temperature was 29 degrees, clearly too cold for a Bucs team that wasn't used to seeing its breath. Fans can still see Bucs wide receiver Joe Jurevicius running away from the Eagles' defense. They shiver at the memory of Ronde Barber returning a Donovan McNabb interception 92 yards for a TD in Tampa's 27-10 upset.
A year later came a 14-3 defeat to the Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field, a game that featured three interceptions by Carolina cornerback Ricky Manning Jr.
Yes, Reid coached the Eagles to a conference title in 2004, but that Eagles team was so talented, it didn't matter who was calling the plays. Until the Super Bowl, that is.
The latter years of his tenure weren't good. The Eagles were one-and-done in the playoffs in 2009 and 2010 and failed to make the postseason in 2011 and 2012.
When Reid was fired after a 4-12 season in 2012, no one shed a tear.
To his credit, he did change the culture around the franchise during his first five or six years, though I'd argue that Ray Rhodes also infused some excitement and energy into the team in 1995 and '96. Their 58-37 rout over Detroit in the '95 playoffs was epic. And if Randall Cunningham hadn't forgotten to take his playbook with him when he left the team to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, they may have beaten the Cowboys the following week.
The pattern that Reid established with the Eagles has continued in Kansas City. Reid is 77-35 in the regular season and 3-5 in the playoffs, including Sunday's 51-31 comeback over Houston.
Feel free to cheer for Andy Reid if you want to next weekend.
My rooting interest is geared toward Tennessee. The Titans roster includes defensive tackle Austin Johnson, a St. Augustine Prep graduate who grew up in Galloway Township.
Johnson has a shot to become the fourth local player to appear in a Super Bowl, joining Wildwood High School graduate Randy Beverly (Super Bowl III, New York Jets), Bridgeton's Brison Manor (Super Bowl XII, Denver) and Ocean City's Doug Colman (Super bowl XXXIV, Tennessee). (Vineland's Jamil Demby, an offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams, was inactive for last season's Super Bowl.)
For me, local ties take precedence over Eagles connections.
Time is yours.