On Sunday morning, a man, one of the most scrutinized in the history of the Philadelphia’s sports landscape, unexpectedly lost his son. We don’t know the how and we don’t know the why, despite the rampant speculation surrounding the death of Garrett Reid. It was encouraging to see the outpouring of support from many fans, media members, players, and coaches around the league that offered Reid and the Eagles organization their condolences. But I was disappointed in the immediate worry from many regarding the football ramifications of what transpired at Lehigh earlier today.
There are many questions worth consideration in the wake of this tragedy. Is the coaching culture of the NFL so harsh that it leads to family strain? Will the Eagles rally around their head coach and play an inspired brand of football in light of these developments? Will Reid or his roster lose focus in light of Sunday morning’s unthinkable discovery of a life that ended far too soon, a life that appeared headed for a heart-warming turnaround? And in due time, well, they should be discussed, debated, and analyzed. And they will. But they shouldn’t be right now.
This wasn’t supposed to be the narrative of Garrett Reid. This wasn’t a part of the football plan in 2012. And, of course, no man should ever have to bury his son. It has to be–and from the personal experience of having to bury a nephew at the age of two weeks–nearly impossible to comprehend. But could we just take a day, maybe two, before we begin to weigh the football ramifications of Garrett Reid’s death? Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie says that Reid will be back this week, that he’s tough, that he’s going to fight back. Here’s hoping he does. Life will go on for the Philadelphia Eagles–and in due time we can return our focus to the immediate future of a team that has such great expectations. But can we, as media members, fans, hell–a society–just leave the football out of it? For just one day?