In the January issue of Philadelphia Magazine, Eagles head coach Andy Reid and his wife Tammy Reid speak out about their sons’ struggle with drugs. Since the first major incident occurred early this year, the Reid’s have been very quiet on the matter. Here is a statement that Andy released on the matter:
“For the last several months, Tammy and I have struggled with the proper way to handle our family’s personal situation in a public platform. As many of you know, I chose not to answer or field questions for various legal and personal reasons. I wanted to instead focus on football-related matters.
“However, as time has gone by, the tremendous level of support and interest that was shown by many people – even by those without any interest in our football team – was stunning. Tammy and I are very humbled and thankful for that. Obviously, we are not the only family that has or will at some point struggle with these situations in their own households. The outpouring of letters, emails, and phone messages made me realize that our personal situation, as difficult as it is, could actually have a positive impact on many other people’s lives.
“With that in mind, we decided that it was important to share some of our family’s story. Because of open legal issues, there is still much we cannot discuss. The story is long and complex and we felt that a magazine was the best format to tell such a story. Therefore, we decided to let Philadelphia Magazine publish our story.”
Reid has taken a great deal of criticism from the media nation wide, and majority of it is downright wrong. How do you attack somebody who is dealing with a family crisis? Many went as far as to blame Andy for his sons addiction to drugs, and some even suggested that he should have been arrested for the drugs in his home.
Of course none of these people who made such ridiculous claims, knew what was going on in that household. To set the record straight, Andy and Tammy are going to give you a peak into what went wrong.
A small excerpt of the interview has been released. Here is a sample of it:
On January 30th, 2007, Garrett and Britt Reid, the two oldest sons of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid and his wife Tammy, were arrested in separate driving incidents. Police found drugs in the car of Garrett, 23, a student at Montgomery County Community College, after he had an accident. Britt, 21, also attending MCCC, was held on drug and weapon offenses after allegedly pointing a gun at another motorist. Thus began a media firestorm and a bizarre year for the Reids. Andy and Tammy Reid had said nothing publicly about the events until they agreed to meet with Philadelphia features editor Robert Huber for an interview. The Reids were limited in what they could discuss because of possible upcoming legal action; their lawyer, Paul Rosen, was present. But sitting in the living room of their Main Line home, the Reids spoke openly for two hours about their family’s battle with addiction.
On Garrett alone in Arizona in 2006 …
Andy: We were out of touch with him. I was, for sure. He called home only a handful of times. And never to me. It just fell apart. In Arizona, he was living out of his car. He finally called me and was very distraught, and I called Tam to have her check on him.
Tammy: I said, Garrett, if you could have any wish in the world, what would it be? He was crying and said, I wish I’d never done drugs, and could come home and start over. I got my sister to give him $500 in cash, and he drove home in three days.
Andy: When he got home, we were surprised by his appearance. You’re talking about a kid six-foot-four, close to six-five, and he was 168 pounds. Oh, my goodness — this was a kid who was 260 pounds. He’d lost almost a hundred pounds.
Going through that six-month separation with Garrett, you can imagine how tough that was. We are a close family, but the drugs, they don’t care about that. If you just happen to get hooked up with the right one, it possesses you, and nothing else matters.
Tammy: You’re thinking, let’s try one more time. Because that’s what you do as a parent. You think, okay, it didn’t work the last couple of times, but there’s still hope. We raised these boys. We taught them to pray, taught them to ride their bikes — you see this potential in him, and you’re just not going to give up. And that’s the one great thing from all the letters we’ve gotten, they all say, stay with them, always tell them you love them, show them you love them, do what you can, but know that they’ve got to do it themselves. Are we going to be there for them all the time? Yes, no matter what happens.
On Andy’s future with the Eagles …
Philadelphia Magazine: Here’s the 64-dollar question: How close were you to resigning, and is that still a possibility?
Andy: We’ve dealt with Garrett’s situation for a long time, and we’ve done it through Super Bowls and championships. And it’s new to a lot of people, but it’s not new to us. As long as Jeffrey Lurie will have me, and as long as I can do my job to the best of my ability, I would love to be an Eagle.
Tammy: Plus we do have house payments, he does need to have a job. Any other dad, any other man who has things going on in his family, has not had it questioned whether he’s going to retire or step down from his job. The CEO of any major company, it would never be in question.
PM: Something struck me as we’ve been talking. Andy, you’re famous for having tight control over your football team, for being a detail guy, and dealing with addiction is the exact opposite. There’s no control.
Tammy: You learn that real quick.
Andy: They’re really very similar, though. In a game, once the whistle blows, and you’re playing the game, now the human element is there, and it’s how you’ve trained them. Some days they are going to throw an interception or miss a tackle. You didn’t train them that way. But you live with it, and you keep on teaching them. That’s why we’re here, we’re here to be teachers. And so you do the same thing at home, you teach them and then let them go. You blow the whistle and let them play. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Very interesting stuff. This is going to be a must read. It takes a lot of courage to be able to come forward , and discuss such a delicate matter. I give a lot of props to the Reids for stepping up, and opening up to the world about it.
The Magazine hits newsstands December 26th.