By Kent Larsen
Andy Reid's Busy Day Off
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- You might imagine that Andy Reid's Sundays are
busy. As head coach of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, he has plenty to do
getting ready for and playing the team's weekly game, let alone trying to
squeeze in his LDS church meetings. But one reporter found that Reid's
Saturdays are also busy, and not just for him -- for the rest of his family
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bill Lyon met Reid on Saturday, finding him
walking toward the football field carrying a large tray of his wife's
chocolate peanut butter blossoms. "Each one looks to be worth a thousand
calories, easy," wrote Lyon. "Killers," Andy Reid confirms. "Absolute
killers. I try to stay away from them. I try very hard."
The confections weren't for the Eagles, nor was Reid at the team's practice
facility. His 14-year-old son, Britt, is the starting right guard, defensive
tackle and punt-snapper for the Harrilton High School Rams, and the
confections were for sale at the refreshment stand, proceeds going to the
booster club. Saturday was a typical one in the family's weekly fall
scramble. Daughters Crosby, 13, and Drew Ann, 11, were both cheerleading in
the morning before Crosby sang "God Bless America" at a New Jersey function.
Spencer, 9, played in a 65-pound football game before the family moved on to
Britt's game, against Academy Park.
Lyon says Reid's family is "straight from the PTA manual," and Reid admits
that he and his wife try to give his kids as much normalcy as possible,
given his position with the Eagles. But Reid still accomodates dozens of
people who come up to him during and after the game, signing autographs,
posing for pictures and giving everyone -- especially the kids -- the sense
that they can't just go up and talk to him.
The Reids also say they are determined not to seclude or shield their
children -- and the children could have to face a lot because of their dad's
career. Philadelphia is football country, and as a result any Eagles coach
is "put on a roasting spit and turned slowly," says Lyon. This sometimes
means that the kids will hear nasty things said about their father or the
team he coaches. "I just tell them not to fight over the truth," says Reid.
"If we stunk, we stunk, and let it go. If we won, try not to gloat." "It
strikes you as the best advice you have heard in a long time," writes Lyon.
So far, Reid has a good record, leaving fans little to complain about.
But Saturday's game also has the seeds of the rest of Reid's day. The Rams
lost badly, 41-22, and Britt, instead of heading back to the locker room,
walks off, unnoticed, to a nearby hill. His father soon spots him climbing
the hill to be by himself with the team's defeat. Britt is serious and
somber, holding in his emotions, more like his father than his mother.
Andy Reid greets one Academy Park band member with a "Nice Uniform."
"Thanks," comes the reply from the boy, maybe 14. "You're a trumpet player,"
observes Reid, in spite of the fact that the boy isn't carrying his
instrument. "How'd you know that?" "I can tell by the lips." Lyons finds
this fascinating, "You are struck by how many of the young, from maybe 8 or
9 on into the teens, come to him. There must be two dozen of the young for
Eventually, while Andy greets players from both teams and signs autographs
on everything imaginable, from scraps of paper to helmets and t-shirts still
sweaty from the game, Britt heads for the locker room where, his teammates
report, he is staring into his locker. Andy Reid sighs, "We'll be up to
midnight talking this one out." And Lyon adds, "Your instincts tell you that
he will know exactly the right thing to say."
Any given Saturday finds Reid busy, too
Philadelphia PA Inquirer 14Oct01 S2
By Bill Lyon