As we all know, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Reid family lost someone very close to them last Sunday in the early morning. To begin, I want to send my deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to Andy Reid and the rest of his family. There is nothing else that can be done or said in this incredibly difficult time for the entire organization.
As a fanbase, we can't begin to understand fully what everyone at Lehigh was going through that day. As human beings, however, we can mourn them. We as people can share in the sadness, and try to be as supportive as we can be to an organization that has done so much more for the city of Philadelphia and their fans than just bring numerous memories on the field. Reuben Frank recently wrote more about how much of a family man Andy really is.
Ignoring all of the football talk for a minute, none of us can say that we really knew Garrett Reid or his father. Some of us may have met them at camp, or something, but we don't know them like we know our own friends and family. We've known about all of the drug problems because of the media, but very rarely did we ever get a chance to see any of the positives since those problems were brought to our attention. By now, everyone knows that Garrett was recovering from his troubled past, and was doing so in a very good way. He was a strengths coach with the Eagles and working with his father and what I can safely say was his second family in the players and other coaches. Up until Sunday, I barely knew anything about what had happened to Garrett or his brother Britt Reid since the trafficing accidents. But when I heard the news, it siphoned all of the energy from my body. I felt pain for a father who had just lost his first born son. I tried to empathize with someone I've never even met.
I've only recently turned 22 years old, and Andy Reid has been the only coach I've known since I started watching this team, but I feel he's just as much my coach as he is the players'. I've seen all of his interviews and I've seen how stoic he can be, but I've also seen the times where he lets his emotions out and has looked just as human as the rest of us. It's times like this where the media can do something right and give us the kind of emotional connection to the people we look up to in their times of need. Multiple players and teams have sent out their best wishes to Andy, and it's absolutely wonderful to know how many people support someone who has, in many ways, been a foundation in the NFL for a decade now.
However, it's after these horrible times where we must accept something that no one wants to initially: Life must go on. We must grieve, we must mourn, but we must keep living. There will never, and I mean never, be a time in life where he will be completely from this. But as the man who's been a part of our lives for so long, and who has been just as much of a father figure as he's been a coach, he knows just as well as any of us that he has to try and keep pushing forward. This isn't even in terms of coaching football and going on with the season. This is in terms of his family and his life as a whole.
Andy wanted the practices to continue because his coaches and players are just as much a part of his family, and he knows he has to be there for them too. I believe that Garrett wouldn't have wanted Andy to resign or quit after this. I truly believe that Garrett would've wanted his father to stay strong through this season, and do what he set out to do 13 years ago. Garrett would have wanted his father to achieve his dream for himself, and for no one else except himself and his players. The players know it's time for their coach to lean on them through this. They know that it's time to do everything in their power to repay all of the sacrifices that their head coach has made for them, and that they have made for each other.
But for now, to Andy and his family, we send our deepest condolences.
Rest in peace, Garrett.