Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Time With Andy Reid: A Kidnapping

With OTA’s officially underway and preseason football a mere 2 months from now Philadelphia is abuzz with Eagles fever.  And why shouldn’t we be?  The Eagles are returning everyone, sans Peters, to their explosive offense.  And with the additions of DeMeco Ryans, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry the defense just might be able to stop somebody this year.

And let’s not forget our great, benevolent, attractive leader; Andy Reid.

Andy Reid is the greatest coach in all of football. Period.  Did you see I used a period, followed by the word ‘Period’ and then put another period after that.  That’s three periods.  That’s how great Andy Reid is. 

Now you might be asking yourself “Aaron haven’t you repeatedly called him ‘a barely sentient turd’ or ‘poo flinging porpoise,’ and even ‘fecal splattering, shit covered excuse of a coach.’  And the answer is yes.  If there was a poop themed insult then I probably used it to describe Andy Reid.  But that was before I knew him.  As it turns out I met him several weeks ago and ever since then I’ve been staying with him and he really opened my eyes to his way of thinking.

It all started on May 9th when my car broke coincidently right in front of his house.  I didn’t know that at the time so I was understandably quite shaken when I knocked on the door and was greeted by a Red haired, mustachioed Hippopotamus wearing a Hawaiian shirt, carrying a family sized bucket of chicken from KFC.  It took a few awkward minutes of dead silence as I stared horrified by this strange Frankenstein creature.  He eventually broke the silence.

“Uh, can I help you?”

“Holy fuck you can talk!?!?”


“How do you do that?  What taught you to speak English?”

“I’m Andy Reid, what do you want, I’m very busy.”

“Ohhhhhh, it’s you.  I didn’t recognize you without the headset on.  Ok, whew dodged a bullet there.  I thought you were like a cross between like a Sea Cow and a regular cow, but like an Irish version of that.  Wow it’s so good to finally meet you!”

“Look what do you want; as I said I’m pretty busy.  I’ve got a roast in the stove, a stuffed pig on the spit and a cake in the oven.  And I haven’t even started making dinner for my family yet.”

“Well I don’t want to keep you for too long, I was just hoping I could use your phone.  My car just got broke down and I need to call AAA for a tow.  But hey while I got you, what’s the prognosis of Brandon Graham?”

“Doesn’t ring a bell.  Oh wait, wasn’t he a big ole fat person.”

“Uh yea, he was a big boy.  Do you know when he’ll be back.”

“Can’t say that I do.  But yea sure you can come in and use the phone.  It’s in the first kitchen right around the corner.  Just stay out the fourth kitchen in the basement.  That room is private.”

“Yea sure, whatever.”  I entered the head coach’s house and was struck with just the most awful smell.  It was like a mutant combination of rotted meat and back sweat.  There were old pieces of ham and bologna scattered randomly across the front hallway which cockroaches were snacking on.  In the corners of the room where posters of Donovan McNabb with the eyes cut out and big red ‘X’s’ gashed through them.   Hundreds of Butterfly’s floated peacefully above the decay on the ground.

As I entered the kitchen I slipped on the floor and landed in old rotted pig parts.  The whole floor was caked in new and old blood, it seemed that Andy killed his own dinner.  In the sink on the kitchen table where old, greasy pots and pans which were almost worn through.  And hanging above the sink was a line of inside out animals, much the same as you would see in Chinatown.  My stomach turned over and I relieved myself all over the floor and my pants.  If barnyard animals believed in hell I imagined it would like something like Andy Reid’s kitchen.  After collecting myself and wiping the blood and throw up off my face I reached out and started calling animal control.

“Hello, what is your pest emergency.”

“OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod, you have to send someone over here immediately!” I screamed whispered.

“Sir, sir, calm down and tell me what’s the matter.”

I didn’t have time to start talking before a powerful blow knocked me unconscious. 

I awoke several hours later with a splitting headache.  I tried to open my eyes and re-acclimate myself, but when I did I discovered I was in a pitch black room.  As I got up and walked around I realized I was in a rounded cell like structure, and when my eyes got used to what little light there was I discovered I was in at the bottom of a well.  After several minutes of pacing about a couple of industrial lights were turned on and what went from total darkness became blindingly light. 

“It puts the gravy on its skin or else it get’s the hose again.”

“Jesus, Andy what the hell man!” 

“It puts the gravy on its skin or else it get’s the hose again.”

After finally opening my eyes I saw there was a small bucket lowered down.  Inside was a brown viscous liquid.  “Dude I’m not putting gravy on myself.  And are you wearing a nightgown?”

He was.  It was a satin green nightgown, complete with matching curlers in his red hair.  It was the most frightening sight imaginable.  Fat was sticking out, just, just everywhere.  Like if a Rhino was wearing a Teddy, but yet the Rhino would still be sexier. 

“DO IT!”  He yelled as crumbs of chicken fell into my cage.

“Fine, but this is weird as hell man.  Why couldn’t you be like Rex Ryan and just dig feet?”

As I rubbed the gravy into my skin I couldn’t help but notice Andy mimicking my hand movements all over his body.  Again I threw up.

This developed into a pattern after a few days.  It involved spending most of the time in the dark.  Lathering myself up in gravy or nacho cheese and eating the scraps of Andy Reid’s plate; which was ok.  His scraps were larger than any meal I’ve ever had, usually 8 pieces of meatloaf, 4 pounds of mashed potatoes and 26 strips of bacon.  I once even had an entire Ice Cream bar lowered into my pit. 

The isolation and cramped living conditions were maddening.  Days were spent looking up waiting for the saviors who would eventually come for me.  But it was not to be.  The only one who ever saw me was my captor, staring open mouthed down at me breathing heavily.  One day I had enough.

“Andy, seriously what do you want from me?”

“Want from you?  Huh I guess I never really thought about that.” 

“Money?  Women?  My dog?  You have to have some idea of why I’m here.”

“I think I just want someone who will listen to me.”

“What?  Are you kidding me?  That’s why I’m done here?”

“I dunno.  I really don’t think most things through.  So yea I guess so.”

I nodded.  That sort of made sense.  Who didn’t just want someone to shut up and listen?  And seeing as how I had nowhere to go I became his stay in ground shrink.  He would talk to me about life, the Eagles and his many, many eating disorders and I grew to sort of understand his logic.

Eventually we started working up a dialogue.  I would ask him about zone blocking and if I could use a real toilet eventually and he would ask me about what it’s like to see your own genitalia without a series of mirrors and pulleys.   

After several weeks of talking up through the hole in the ground he finally let me come up and live with the rest of the family. I was attached to a large ball and chain so I couldn’t leave, but then again so was his wife and she seemed if not content at least had come to terms with the arrangement.  He started showing me film and breaking down his philosophy of the game. 

According to Reid it’s not essential to have a Quarterback who completes 60% of his passes.  A power running back is incredibly overrated and unnecessary.  Safeties and linebackers are the most overrated positions on the football field.  And running a successful two minute drill is a lot harder than it seems, even if the opponent is playing in a prevent defense. 

For several weeks we were inseparable.  We even robbed a bank together.

He went on to talk about his past 13 seasons and how things never quite broke his way.  Small injuries here, a failed third and short there away from bringing the Lombardi Trophy down Broad Street. 

Earlier today he let me go, over my objections and desires to stay, even if it meant back in the safety and comfort of my hole.  But he, wisely, convinced me to go and spread his message.  His message that this is the year.  The year where it all comes together and with their new found commitment to defense and with Andy’s genius offensive mind the Eagles will win it all.

And you know what, I believe him.  Who cares if this is still the same team that went 8-8 with the same high expectations?  Who cares that we still have our former offensive line coach as our defensive coordinator?  And who cares if our back up QB is Trent Edwards? 

We have Andy Reid; the winningest coach in Eagles coach.  The man who has led us to five NFC Championship games; which according to Donovan McNabb is the true sign of a great team.  Andy Reid has brought so much joy to my life and he’s earned the right to coach this team for as long as he sees fit.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to look up the definition of Stockholm Syndrome.

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