I came across this gem from John Smallwood in today’s Philadelphia Daily News:
Could Lurie really do this? Would he really just shake off the clear desires of the fan base and bring back Reid for the final year of his contract? Maybe Lurie doesn’t want to give Reid $6 million for doing nothing next season, or make up the difference if Reid gets a new gig at less money.
Lurie has been in Philadelphia for nearly 2 decades. He has to know by now what Eagles fans are about. Would he really risk the their wrath by giving them one more season of Reid?
There it is again. That inference of fan entitlement that suggests Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie owes it to the fans of Philadelphia to axe Andy Reid. What’s more, that he’ll actually make the decision because it’s what the fans both want and deserve.
It’s true that this city’s professional football franchise is a local treasure, it’s a team viewed perhaps as more of a civic entity than teams are viewed anywhere else in the country. It’s a trust that we the people invest in. After all, you’ve heard the arguments–the fans fill the stadium, the fans buy the merchandise, and the fans are what make those lucrative media contracts possible. It was the fans, not Jeffrey Lurie or Andy Reid, that suffered through seasons of complete incompetence on the watch of overmatched coaches like Joe Kuharich, Jerry Williams, Ed Khayat, Mike McCormack, and Rich Kotite—just to name a few. And it’s also true that the Eagles will be here long after Jeffrey Lurie or Andy Reid too.
I get it. I know how you feel. But that doesn’t mean Lurie owes it to the fans to fire Reid. What Lurie owes the fans, like any other owner, is to stock his organization with the people that he believes can best help him win football games. He owes the fans maximum effort. And say what you will about Lurie, but there’s no denying that he is trying to win a championship. There are simply differing opinions on what he needs to do to make it happen.
At the end of this season, he should see a team that fell well short of lofty expectations for a second straight year. He should see a coach that played a bigger part than anyone else in those failures. He should see what could very well be a 3-13 record. And he should move on. So let’s be clear, I’m not defending Reid, nor do I think he should be given the chance to coach the remaning year left on his deal. But if Lurie believes that it’s Reid—not some hotshot Pac-12 college coach or a Monday Night Football broadcaster that gives him the best chance to do so, does that make him wrong? From this perspective of many, myself included, it does. But there’s a difference between flawed or blind thought and not trying—just look at Jerry Jones.
Some would argue that nobody in the game tries harder to win than Jones, but that’s netted him nothing more than a .500 record for nearly a decade not for a lack of effort but because he refuses to relinquish control. Nobody talks about Jones owing it to the fans and it’s not because he has three Super Bowls to his credit. Don’t think the pressure and expectations in Dallas aren’t comparable to those of Philadelphia just because the city tasted success 17 seasons ago.
Andy Reid should be fired and he probably will be fired. But sorry, it won’t be because he owes it to the fans. The only thing he owes is a $6 million salary next season to a coach he must decide gives him the best chance to win next season because in Lurie’s mind, well, that’s what he owes the fans.