The Blog Squad

Friday, November 09, 2007

It’s Family Time for Andy Reid

When my beloved Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles in an important game this Sunday, it may be the last time Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb participate in the rivalry.

McNabb is likely out the door because of the Eagles’ investment in rookie quarterback Kevin Kolb, who was drafted in the second round. Also, shamefully, it seems the fans and local media have turned against the signal caller who has led the franchise to four NFC championship games.

Reid was an unknown head coach when he made McNabb his first draft choice in 1999. The decision was met with boos as fans believed that their team should have picked Texas running back Ricky Williams, who is currently suspended from the league because of numerous failed drug tests.

Reid now faces a rabid Philly sports community calling for his immediate exit, not for the team’s 3-5 record, but more because of the recent prison time imposed on his two sons for DUI and gun convictions.

The 24-year-old Garrett Reid and his 22-year-old brother, Britt, were sentenced Nov. 1 to up to 23 months. The brothers admitted in court that they are addicted to drugs.

County Judge Steven O’Neill described the Reid house as a “drug emporium” during the sentencing hearings. The judge also called the Reids a “family in crisis” and questioned whether the sons should be returned to Andy and Tammy Reid’s home after serving the jail time.

All of this has given experts and sports radio callers a forum to unleash some outrageous solutions — some of which, I have to admit, angers me as a parent and as a sports fan.

Here are a couple suggestions I’ve heard:

There’s a double standard in the NFL because the league is not taking action against Andy Reid but suspended Michael Vick indefinitely.

So what we’re comparing here is…

Vick who admitted to setting up a dogfighting ring where gambling and other illegal activity such as gun or drug dealing allegedly took place versus …

Reid who perhaps enabled his sons’ drug habits and bad behavior by spending more time with other 20-somethings as a football coach rather than being with his family as a father.

How people can make one jump to the other is beyond me. Reid may be a bad parent, but he did not break any laws. He is not a criminal, despite what the judge charges.

The NFL and/or Eagles ownership should do something to help Reid.

Actually, NBC’s Keith Olbermann offered this brilliant idea during the pregame show last Sunday night.

Olbermann theorized that since the NFL preaches “with justifiable pride about its symbolic family” that commissioner Roger Goodell or team owner Jeffrey Lurie should intervene because they “may be the only individuals with the power to steer the lives of as many as seven people back out of this nightmarish skid. Because this time it’s no metaphor: Those seven people literally are the NFL family.”

Of course, Olbermann does not suggest what the NFL or the Eagles owner can do. Give the family money? Offer the Reids counseling? Maybe plan an intervention like that show.

Truth is there’s really nothing the league or others can do except provide encouragement and offer support if the Reids ever ask for it.

Reid has deflected questions about his imminent departure saying he’s going nowhere. But that probably will change in the offseason. There’s no doubt this is a family in crisis and the best solution is for the talented coach to spend the time at home instead of 18 hours a day at the office. Just maybe, when his sons are released early for good behavior, the family can start the healing process and two young lives can be saved.

Only then, if the mending happens, the NFL and team owners can help the Reids by welcoming Big Andy back with another head coaching job.

OUT AT HOME: I turn 38 next week. I look forward to a couple dozen grilled cherrystone clams with ginger flavored Vietnamese fish sauce. Enough said.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: This kid thinks he’s good at video games. He’s not so hot. I can beat him.


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