In addition to being a Super Bowl champ, Andy Reid is also a gentleman and a scholar
Outside of people who hate seeing others achieve lifelong goals, there was not a single soul who wasn’t happy for Andy Reid this past February. After 21 long years, Reid finally won his first Super Bowl as a head coach, leading his Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Miami.
What made it so special was that Reid exorcised some serious demons, not only from the year prior but from an entire career of crushing losses in big games. Had he suffered another one in the biggest game in the sport, it'd be fair to wonder if the 62-year-old was running out of chances.
But he finally got over the hump, and he celebrated exactly how you’d expect him to celebrate: by stuffing his face with cheeseburgers like an absolute king. Relatable things like that are what makes Reid the most lovable offensive mastermind on the planet.
In case you didn’t love and respect Reid enough already, this story from Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer ought to do the trick. As Breer writes, the NFL coaches subcommittee and the NFL’s competition committee met in February to discuss the new SkyJudge proposal (which you can read here). Short version: the SkyJudge is coming, and the hope is that it’s used to “get it right.” The best example of “it” being the blown pass interference call in the 2019 NFC Championship Game between the Saints and the Rams.
But Reid offered another example during the February meeting, one that involved his own team. And no, it was not a call that went against Kansas City, it was one that went their way. The call Reid brought up was the infamous N’Keal Harry play in New England. The Patriots rookie wide receiver caught a pass from Tom Brady and appeared to dive into the end zone for a touchdown, but officials said Harry stepped out of bounds. It could not have been clearer that he did not, in fact, step out of bounds:
Even the staunchest of Patriots haters would tell you that this was one of the more egregious blown calls in recent memory. The Pats went on to settle for a field goal on the drive, eventually losing 23-16.
What made it particularly tough to swallow was that the Chiefs and Patriots finished the regular season with an identical record of 12-4. But because of the head-to-head victory, Kansas City earned the 2 seed and a bye, while the Patriots had to play on Wild Card weekend. While it was an all-time “world’s smallest violin” situation for the dynasty that is the Pats, it was still wildly unfair. Then again, all they had to do was beat the Dolphins in the final game of the regular season to rectify the mistake.
It's easy for Reid to admit the blown call after having won the Super Bowl, but he could have just as easily said "thems the breaks," especially after what happened to them a year earlier in the AFC Title game against those same Patriots. But Reid is a gentleman and a scholar, and a beautiful cheeseburger-eatin' SOB. Here's hoping some good karma comes his way in 2020.