Andy Reid will stare into a sideline that didn’t have his back

Money is a motivator in football playoffs
January 31, 2023

Yo Chiefs! Andy Reid showed up for sportswriter Larry O’Rourke’s ALS fundraiser at Chickie & Pete’s in South Philly back in 2009. “Young Larry,” as he was known in my wife Susan’s family, was Susan’s second cousin, so she was his Aunt Susie. Larry, who died in 2011 at age 46, worked for the Allentown Morning Call and before that the Trentonian. Larry was close friends with Phillies announcer Tom McCarthy. I posted this information under the photo of Coach Reid and me in a South Philly booth: “Chickie's & Pete's – Andy Reid and I wait for our Old Bay fries and double bacon bison burgers at the popular South Philly hangout.” Andy wanted to know what I meant when I wrote his team went into the tank so often he was picking up his mail at the Camden Aquarium. Andy is one of the good guys, gave up his parking spot No. 1 to Larry and had a cart to get him, making sure he made it to the press box. Andy’s been married 40 years, a father of five. His 29-year-old son Garrett died of a drug overdose in 2012 at training camp while part of the Eagles’ strength and conditioning staff. Andy’s son Britt, a member of the Chiefs staff in Super Bowl LV, was in a DUI accident the Thursday before the big game that left a 5-year-old girl with traumatic brain injury. Andy makes $7.5 million per year as coach of the Chiefs. And yet craziness took up residence inside his nuclear family. Philly fans were not kind to Andy Reid during the struggles and strife inside his own family, with many saying “If he can’t control his own family, how is he going to run an NFL football team?” And yet the big red walrus is back in the sunlight on the hot rock of football. Some fans focus on his family histories and tragedies; they are up for annoying analyses by amateur professors of family dynamics. I had a Cape student once, a lacrosse goalie ironically nicknamed Eggy, who ended an essay with a short sentence, “Life sucks, wear a helmet.” 

Payday - It’s more than a candy bar. The winner's share for the NFL Conference Championship game is $69,000. The Super Bowl winner’s share is $150,000. Radio broadcaster Jim Rome says it best, “When anyone tells you it’s not about the money, it’s always about the money.” 

Goobers and grapplers - Frank “Techno Goober” Payton, whose freshman son Robbie is a three-sport athlete at Cape, quickly created posters for each graduating senior wrestler to be honored Wednesday night before the Milford match. Frank rang my bell for pictorial help during the Eagles game. I welcomed the distraction as a multitasking, stream-of-consciousness storytelling grandpa who, like a lost Sheltie, can’t remember how to get home. Who won the game, by the way, and, yes, if you followed the lost dog saga, she once was lost, but bow wow was found. 

Geo Tracker - Remember that little Chevy SUV with a rollover rate six times that of the average vehicle? It was closely related to the Suzuki Sidekick, which was equally dangerous. I am geotracking college athletes with Delaware connections. The good news is there are plenty to find; the bad news is there are no centralized websites. My immediate family has grown up with a sports-tracking grandfather who at any moment may vibrate in the pocket like a quivering charley horse wanting to know, “How did the scrimmage go?”      

Snippets - College lacrosse teams begin playing real games this weekend. Most programs stream games live, lessening the incentive to travel and look for a parking space. Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse team, with Cape’s Ella Rishko a freshman on the roster, will host the Mercer Bears (Chloe Schaeffer, Cape) Sunday, Feb. 19, then later play at Mount St. Mary’s (Kelly Bragg, Cape) Wednesday, March 22. Lindsay Monigle (Cape, grad student) and Peyton Hagy (Sussex Academy, freshman) are on the roster of the West Chester Golden Rams lacrosse team. Kathleen Sheehan, vice principal at Beacon Middle School, was inducted into the West Chester Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. Sheehan was a two-time All-American and two-time Division II National Player of the Year. Mikey Fred and the Mercer Bears lacrosse team open at Bucknell Saturday, Feb. 4. Last time I was at Bucknell was in fall 1965, when Temple football got gored by the Bison. I sustained a serious concussion during that game and broke into a medley of Four Tops songs. A compassionate teammate cracked, “Get ahold of yourself, Levi Stubbs.” I answered, “I can’t help myself, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.” Grandmom Rose: “Real life is not a matching test, but they are easier to grade.” Go on now, git!  


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