If there is one NFL coach who deserves another chance at the Lombardi Trophy, one man who has come excruciatingly close to gridiron greatness, it is Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Like Charlie Brown, whenever Reid has a chance of success, the football gets ripped away from him and he collapses in the clutch.
What other coaches have started a season so brilliantly, only to fold during playoff time when everything really counts? Reid has faced tremendous personal tragedy and adversity throughout his life and career. Still, he marches on. When his 2012 Eagles team went 4-12 the year his oldest son, Garrett, died from an overdose, Reid soldiered on to Kansas City.
Since that move, Reid’s Chiefs have not had a losing season. But all of that means little in the context of championships and “what have you done for me lately” cutthroat coaching carousel that is the NFL.
Andy Reid is the perpetual butt of the joke – a guy who is given the keys to the kingdom, guides the princess out of the castle, only to have said castle come crashing down all around him during his great escape. Reid’s genteel face and endearing mustache shape the look of a misfit in NFL head coaching lore.
But Reid is a competitor, and, if his numerous playoff appearances with both the Eagles and Chiefs are any indication, he’s a talented, organized, and intelligent head football coach.
Having said that, is there any NFL head coach this side of former Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy with such tremendous falls from grace and heartbreaking postseason losses? Reid’s playoff losses are beyond cringe worthy – they are pain inducing for his fan bases.
Tom Brady and the Patriots have tortured numerous teams in the past, and Reid’s teams are no exception. In his only Super Bowl appearance as head coach, after three consecutive losses in the NFC Championship Game, no less, Reid’s Eagles came up three points short in Super Bowl XXXIX against Brady and notorious low-talker, Bill Belichick. In 2015, Belichick’s Patriots rubbed salt on Reid’s postseason wounds, beating the Chiefs by seven in the divisional round of the playoffs.
By far the worst Reid collapse occurred on the road against the Indianapolis Colts in their 2013 AFC Wild Card Game. Despite a 9-0 record to start the season, and despite being up by 28 points in the third quarter, aptly named Andrew Luck and the Colts found a way to pull themselves from the depths of defeat, handing Reid a devastating 45-44 loss – yet another Charlie Brown moment.
I fear the worst this year for Reid, as his Chiefs team harbors all the trappings of false hope. Patrick Mahomes has looked every bit the reliable, rocket-armed quarterback that the Chiefs drafted, and the team has an 8-1 record to show for it (their only loss being to those pesky Patriots…by a field goal.) However, Mahomes, talented as he is, has minimal postseason experience. Reid may have to try and compensate for that inexperience; depending on what team(s) the Chiefs might face in the postseason.
I root for Andy Reid because he looks like some guy I would encounter at a dive bar or local café, wiping droplets of caffeinated liquid and lemon square crumbs from his iconic mustache.
Will he one day win a Super Bowl? Will he finally raise the Lombardi trophy and brush that ‘stache against it in ecstasy? Will he ever find that happily-ever-after fairytale moment? Or will the Lucys of this league continue to rip victory from his ever-loosening grasp? If Reid’s coaching history is any indication, Chiefs fans would be wise to temper their expectations – they might, just might get foiled again.