Champagne and ball drop typically honor the last day of the Gregorian calendar, but in 2012 Philadelphia was celebrating a changing of the guard.
December 31st, a day after being crushed by the Giants 42-7 in the conclusion to what Vince Young infamously dubbed, the “Dream Team” season, Jeffrey Lurie announced the end of Andy Reid’s tenure in the City of Brotherly Love.

Chants of “FIRE ANDY” had been roaring through the Linc for weeks as home games became road games and wins became a rare delicacy. It was time. 

With Super Bowl LIV upon us (and this being my last piece beforehand), I want to take a second and remind Philadelphia why we should all be rooting for Big Red

First things first: firing Andy was the right call for a franchise moving in the wrong direction. Following up 8-8 with 4-12, and ending on a 1-11 masochistic self-smear campaign is not a convincing argument for a contract extension. Dubious coaching hires, most notably elevating Juan Castillo from Offensive Line Coach to Defensive Coordinator, spurred ire in the fanbase, and a reputation of poor game management could not be shaken. Eagles Fans today still shudder at the possibility of being down (or up) a score with two minutes and three timeouts, traumatized by 13 years of watching Andy struggle to utilize timeouts efficiently. 

Bested only by the Buffalo Bills’ ‘90-’94 seasons, Eagles fans are no stranger to coming oh-so-close four years straight only to fail. By the time 1-11 came around, brown bags were becoming commonplace in F Lot. 

It was time to fire Andy.

Recently, and I am truly glad to see this, #ThankYouAndy has been trending in my timeline, and with good reason. Without relitigating the New Years’ Eve Massacre of 2012, it is worth taking the time to remember the consistent greatness that defined Andy’s tenure in Philadelphia. 

Not only does Reid stand as the 7th winningest coach all-time, but he is also 4th among Super Bowl era head coaches and 2nd among active coaches. He is 28th in Win Percentage, besting Doug Pederson by 12 slots. Pederson’s teams have won a Super Bowl and made the playoffs three straight years, and still cannot compare to Big Red’s performance over 20 years. He is tied with legendary Browns coach Paul Brown for fifth in playoff appearances with 15. Only twice in 20 years has he won fewer than 6 games. He has coached more playoff games than Dick Vermeil and Mike Ditka combined, sliding in at 4th all time. 

Super Bowl titles? Zero. But you knew that. 

More telling, however, is the following: Reid-coached teams are .500 in the postseason. That’s tied, or worse, than 13 active coaches. Come playoffs, teams with Reid at the helm are literally flipping a coin at their chances of winning, statistically speaking. 

Obviously, it’s more complicated than that, but Andy Reid is the Clayton Kershaw of the NFL: decidedly dominant, universally recognized as elite, but lacking the hardware to hold up to his peers. 

On Sunday, all of that could change. Adding the Lombardi Trophy to his resume could vault Reid into the conversation as one of the greatest coaches ever. A career of dynamism, he has coached Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Alex Smith, and Patrick Mahomes and still produced results.

The tumult of his rosters has never stopped him from finding ways to win, and with more weapons at his disposal than ever before (ok fine, maybe the 2004 Eagles were as dangerous), Big Red has an incredible opportunity in front of him.

So on Sunday, whichever side you are on, be it Chiefs, 49ers, or commercials, do not take for granted the success Andy Reid brought us for 13 years.
From one Eagles fan, I’m rooting for you, Big Red.

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