Andy Reid Fired: The Taxing End of an Era

It’s finally happened.

After 14 seasons Andy Reid has been fired as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I’ve been waiting about ten weeks to write that sentence, but I didn’t realize how much writing it would actually impact me.

McNabb_ReidReid? Fired? It reminds me of how I felt when I heard that Brian Dawkins signed a deal with the Denver Broncos: confused, concerned, and empty.

Confused by the absence of the guy who has led this team since I was nine years old. The guy who took us frem Bobby Hoying to Donovan McNabb, to regular NFC championship appearances, and a Super Bowl. While I have flashes of memories from the pre-Reid era, Reid has been the embodiment of Eagles football for as long as I’ve been an obsessive fan. It’s bizarre to know that all of the moments and players and games that I remember – my entire childhood of football – are now the symbols of a crumbled empire. History.

History is the reason that I’m also concerned for the soon to be newest version of the Birds. Jeffrey Lurie bought the Birds in 1994. He’s hired two coaches since then: Ray Rhodes and Andy Reid. Rhodes has two good seasons and two awful ones while Reid was the wildcard unknown that had a mixed 14-year run. Can Lurie make the right choice?

Howie Roseman, the general manager and Lurie’s right-hand man, has never gone through a head coaching search before. Roseman’s inexperience and lack of “football background” could prove to be harmful in convincing a candidate to come to Philly. Guys don’t usually agree to be a head coach with a GM they don’t like unless they’re desperate for the opportunity and don’t have other suitors. As expected, those marriages are often brief and ugly. If a higher profile candidate wants control over personnel decisions, that would cause tension as well. So how does his role affect the future of the franchise?

The emptiness of Reid’s departure means a lot of things for me. First of all, an empty trophy case. Failure. The best coach in Eagles’ history paired up with the best quarterback in Eagles’ history and they couldn’t get the job done. Things only got worse after their split.

The emptiness also comes from the nature in which Reid fell from graces. At the beginning of the season – despite previous issues – the fan base was fully united in support of Andy Reid after the death of his son Garrett. The team also seemed to be coming around with a combined seven straight wins going back to 2011. This would be the year it all comes together.

Or falls apart entirely. The wheels didn’t fall off of this team. The entire machine was broken in to a million pieces and buried at the bottom of the Delaware river – never to be seen again… except by people with paper bags on their heads.

The last cause for the emptiness: what is the future of this team? There are about seven players on this team that have a guaranteed future with the Eagles right now. The rest of the roster depends entirely on the incoming staff. It’s an absolute uncertainty.

I’ve never had to encounter this situation with the Eagles before. It feels like I just moved to a new town. I know that I’m going to enjoy it once I get accustomed. I’ll make new friends and memories, but I need to time to adjust. It will be the same with moving on from Big Red.

While Andy Reid may have ultimately worn out his welcome, he’s very much responsible for the love that I’ve developed for the Eagles in my youth. His ability to maintain a true contender for such a long period of time was impressive and thrilling to watch every Sunday. So while I agree that it was the right decision at this time, it’s still sad to see him go.

Good luck, Andy. I know you’ll do a better job.

Posted on December 31, 2012, in Posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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