The Curious Case of Andy Reid’s Legacy

The Curious Case of Andy Reid’s Legacy

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Hall of Fame talk has been the hot topic the past few weeks. It started with Eli Manning announcing his retirement last week, which immediately fired up the conversation of whether Manning should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  This week, that hall of fame debate landed on Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Many different outlets and talk shows have debated on Reid’s candidacy the past few weeks, with the question focusing on whether he needs this Super Bowl to cement his place in Canton. This shouldn’t even be a discussion. The veteran head coach has already cemented his place among the elites and the outcome on Sunday should have no bearing on his Hall of Fame status.

Reid’s regular season record is impeccable, boasting a career 207-128 record, owning the seventh most wins in NFL history. The 61-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down and has the chance to pass Paul Brown and Curly Lambeau to move into fifth place all-time with only 20 more wins. Moving into fourth place isn’t out of the question either if the Chiefs head honcho wants to stick around with his stud young quarterback Patrick Mahomes, as Reid needs 43 wins to catch the legendary Dallas Cowboys coach.

Continuing to look at the totality of Reid’s career, he made more conference championship game appearances than he missed out on the playoffs completely. In his 21-years as a head coach, the Los Angeles native made seven conference championships while missing the playoffs just six times. Reid has been the model of consistency as he’s had a losing season just three times in his career, with the last coming back in 2012. On average, an Andy Reid coached team wins just under 10 games per season.

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

More impressive than the amount of wins the two-time head coach has racked up has been his ability to turn teams around quickly. It’s hard enough to turn around one losing franchise (ask Browns, Lions or Buccaneers fans), but Reid has done so twice. Inheriting a Philadelphia Eagles team that went 3-13 the year prior, Reid went 5-11 in his first season in 1999 before breaking through with an 11-5 record in year two. During his 14-years in the City of Brotherly Love, Reid amassed 130 wins and constant playoff appearances, missing the playoffs altogether just five times.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs were a mess under Romeo Crennel, finishing in last place in the AFC West two years in a row, including going 2-14 in 2012. Reid jumped right in, turning the Chiefs into a playoff team in the span of a few months as the Chiefs went 11-5 in Reid’s first year. In his seven years as head coach in Kansas City, the Chiefs never had a losing season and just once missed out on the playoffs. Reid had most of this success with Alex Smith, who never was able to fully put it all together in San Francisco.

In an era where the rules are geared towards scoring and the quarterback position has become the most important in all of sports, Reid has shown the ability time and time again to win with pretty much anyone under center. In Philadelphia back in 2006 when Donovan McNabb went down late in the year with an injury, Reid was able to ride Jeff Garcia all the way to the playoffs and win a playoff game over the New York Giants. He was able to do it again four years later, winning the NFC East with the combination of Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb at quarterback. Fast forward to his time with the Chiefs, Reid was able to rattle off five consecutive winning seasons with Smith at quarterback, despite the former No. 1 overall pick just having one winning season with the 49ers. Reid was also able to muster the most out of his new franchise signal caller, helping Smith make the only three Pro Bowls of his career.

BRYNN ANDERSON / AP

The biggest detractors of Reid’s career will point to his postseason failures. Whether it was the three straight NFC Championship game losses with the Eagles in the early 2000s or losing at home to the New England Patriots last season, Reid has continuously been unable to break through and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. While his 2-5 record in championship games isn’t ideal, look at how many big games Reid had to win in order to get to that stage.

Andy Reid’s career has been extremely successful and when it’s all said and done, he will go down as one of the best regular season coaches in NFL history. His accomplishments up to this point speak for themselves as he’s in rarified air within the coaching ranks. One game can’t take away 21-years of constant success. So no, this game doesn’t have any impact on Andy’s legacy. Win or lose, Reid is still a Hall of Famer.

Andy Reid & Patrick Mahomes: The Next NFL Dynasty

Andy Reid & Patrick Mahomes: The Next NFL Dynasty

Let’s face it sports fans – we’ve reached the end of an era. As we mourn the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the other families that lost their lives in the helicopter crash Sunday morning, we all are reminded of our own mortality. We’re reminded of just how fragile life can be. We see the great things humans can accomplish – and how quickly it can all be over. It seems like in the blink of an eye, the careers of legendary athletes are coming to an end. Kobe Bryant tragically passed on. Derek Jeter was voted into the MLB Hall of Fame. Eli Manning announced his retirement (Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees will all be following suit over the next year or two). The sports days of Tom Brady and LeBron James are numbered. Sure, it’s sad saying goodbye to so many of our childhood heroes. But as much as it is sad, it’s equally exciting. As one era ends, a new one begins. There are so many young, budding star athletes that will go on to accomplish great things in their sports careers. One of those stars will be on display for the world to see this Super Bowl Sunday – Patrick Mahomes.
Coach Andy Reid and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes are a match made in NFL heaven. The successes and failures of coach Reid are well documented. In 336 total regular season games coached (with the Eagles and Chiefs), he has a remarkable record of 207-128 (win percentage of .618%). His teams have made the playoffs 28 times. That’s where Reid has yet to silence his critics. Up to this point, he has not been able to win that elusive Vince Lombardi Trophy. His record in the playoffs is an even 14-14. He lost to the Patriots in his lone Super Bowl appearance (but hey, who hasn’t?). But here he is again – back on the biggest stage; only this time, there’s no Bill Belichick on the opposing sideline! Oddly enough, he’s opposed by another like-minded, innovative offensive mind (Kyle Shanahan), who also had his well documented struggle against the masterful Belichick.

Patrick Mahomes Stats

Super Bowl LIV has the potential to be an unbelievable game. A great, high scoring track-style offense featuring a quarterback with other worldly talent… against an equally great defensive line with a ferocious pass rush that made Aaron Rodgers look like a novice. The interesting quality of both teams is that they are not one dimensional. The Chiefs are built to play with a lead, which, most of the time, they are. They score so many points that the opposing team has no choice but to attempt to throw their way back into a game, which allows the Chiefs to unleash an impressive pass rush of their own. Similarly, the 49ers aren’t solely reliant on their defense to win games. Football fans I’m sure remember the December 9th shootout against the Saints, where 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 349 yards with 4 touchdown passes in an impressive 48-46 victory. We also just witnessed the 49ers rush for an astounding 285 yards in their win over the Packers just two weeks ago. Two great teams are about to go head to head in what should be an epic battle on this Super Bowl Sunday.

Coach Reid Stats

My prediction? I think this will be a hard fought, closely contested game (of course). But I also think it will be the start of the NFL’s next dynasty. Coach Reid has never had a quarterback as talented as Patrick Mahomes appears to be. Don’t get me wrong, Coach Reid has had many successful seasons with Donovan McNabb and Alex Smith. But Mahomes is flat out special. In his first full season as the starting quarterback of the Chiefs, Mahomes went 12-4, threw for over 5,000 yards, threw 50 touchdown passes to only 12 interceptions, and won the MVP award. They made it to the AFC Championship, only to lose in overtime to, you guessed it, Brady, Belichick and the Patriots. And you sort of got the feeling that if the Chiefs won that coin toss, they would have marched right down the field to score and win the game. But what’s done is done.
This season, despite miraculously only missing 2 games for a dislocated kneecap, Mahomes still managed to lead his team to a 11-3 record in the 14 games he started. He threw for over 4,000 yards with 26 touchdown passes, and only 5 interceptions. In his 2 playoff games this season, he’s thrown for over 600 yards with 8 touchdown passes and no interceptions! THE CHIEFS HAVE A POINT DIFFERENTIAL OF 144 & 143 IN THEIR LAST TWO SEASONS! I truly believe this Sunday will result in the first of many Super Bowl victories for Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. The Belichick/Brady dynasty will be replaced by the Reid/Mahomes dynasty, mark my words. Enjoy the game!

Living As A Cancer Survivor – Celebrating Kobe Bryant

Living As A Cancer Survivor – Celebrating Kobe Bryant

For those of you who are confused, I usually post my blog on “Living as a cancer survivor” on Thursday, and I have never crossed universes before combining my sports and personal life. This week something different occurred that I want to address.

While everyone in the universe knows that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter, Gianna (Gigi), were involved in a fatal helicopter crash on Sunday afternoon, they were just two of nine fatalities that day.

I also lost an acquaintance earlier in the day that I lost touch with over the last 20 years. I went to visit him in the hospital Sunday morning but was 1/2 hour too late, as he had passed earlier in the day.

Kobe Bryant was a fantastic athlete who had accomplished as much as any individual could during his 20-year NBA career. A five-time NBA champion, Kobe was named an All-Star 18 times, while also winning two Gold Medals representing his country.

Kobe passed on the same passion he had playing the game he loved to his daughters.

My heart breaks for many reasons. The first reason is that Tommy, Kobe, Gianna, John, Keri, Alyssa, Christina, Payton, Sara, and Ara are gone. The second reason is that we live each day and never realize how much we value the people we love until it is too late. I know how precious life is because I almost had it taken from me when I was diagnosed with cancer. There are lessons I should already know and practice every day. I don’t, and I know better than that with what I survived. If I sound judgemental, the first person I am judging is myself since I fail to practice what I preach as well.

Kobe and Michael will forever be compared to each other. Kobe featured many of the same mannerisms Michael had, including his undying passion and will to win.

What can we do as a country to finally realize that all this disgusting crap we hold against each other for not thinking the same way, voting for the same politician, or any other of these moronic differences that create such friction, separates us?

We are all sophisticated beings. We all have many admirable traits that make us valuable. None of us is any more important than anyone else. Skin color does NOT matter. How healthy you are, does NOT matter. How athletic or smart you are, does NOT matter. Who you VOTE FOR DOES NOT MATTER. CHARACTER MATTERS. Laying your life down MATTERS. Being there to support another brother or sister who is hurting, not just throwing out a phrase such as “I’ll pray for you”, but taking the time to sit and listen, MATTERS.

We need to stop judging each other on such mundane things that cause separation. We all must stop blaming others for why we choose to hold grudges or bad feelings toward another. LIFE IS TOO SHORT.

I don’t care if you believe in God, but I do. That does not make me a better person, but it does make me someone with a thought process that differs from those who choose not to. I respect other views not to, and as individuals, countries, and a society, we need to respect each other more. If you don’t like or recognize the Bible, simply don’t read these passages. I chose them because they speak about our value and importance to God and how we are to treat each other.

Luke 12: 6-7 – What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

John 15:12-13 – This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

If all of us want to honor the memory of those that perished this week, we need to recognize, respect, and learn to appreciate the things that make each of us unique, and rather than have it cause separation, embrace it.

My prayers and love are with you all.

Drew McIntyre’s Time Is Now

Drew McIntyre’s Time Is Now

Watching the Royal Rumble Sunday night I had my doubts about how the ending would be. I suppose I thought Roman Reigns would win it again, or Seth Rollins, or have Brock Lesnar survive everyone and he’s going to pick his opponent. Instead we wrestling fans got infused with freshness in having Drew McIntyre win the 2020 Royal Rumble thus going on to WrestleMania 36 where he will fight Lesnar for the WWE championship.

I couldn’t be happier for a guy who just as recently as 2009 was labeled “The Chosen One” by Vince McMahon himself. His time didn’t work out so, well as WWE just didn’t have a place for him and a lot of personal issues were going on outside the ring. He then was released from his contract and went on to the Indies circuit where he wrestled for Impact, at the time called TNA, and ICW among others.

Fast forward to 2017 where he was seen at “NXT TakeOver Orlando” in the crowd and the fans erupted when they showed he was the new signee of NXT. A much different attitude and in a better state of mind physically and mentally he was ready to be back. A whole different character and attitude got me supporting his run. He would win the NXT championship at “Takeover Brooklyn III” and would have a great run in NXT.

Once he got on the main roster he was aligning himself with Dolph Ziggler, but bigger plans were on the horizon, or so I thought. He would later have a feud with Roman Reigns and lose to him at WrestleMania 35. Upsetting to me, I started to lose faith in the direction for the “Scottish Psychopath:” But, at the beginning of 2020, I saw the momentum that included him beating both Randy Orton and AJ Styles in a Triple Threat match on Raw. Momentum starting going his way, especially during the Rumble match when he eliminated Lesnar from the Rumble thus getting all of Minute Maid Park in Houston behind him. I know I was. Lastly, eliminating Reigns sealed the deal for the crowd to erupt. I am proud to own his NXT shirt and support him during this run and come WrestleMania 36 he finally gets his opportunity to show what he’s made of. The guy has everything you want in a superstar such as size, skill and mic work. His time is upon us, and I can’t wait to see it unfold.

Breaking Down “The Shot Heard Round the World”

Breaking Down “The Shot Heard Round the World”

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock the last few weeks, you know that MLB is receiving a lot of negative attention. The Houston Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow for not doing enough to discourage and stop the sign-stealing scandal.

Other organizations that now featured some of the Astros’ players involved, like the Boston Red Sox Alex Cora, and the New York Mets Carlos Beltran, were concerned enough of image problems to let each manager go.

While MLB is still trying to figure a way to punish any players that benefitted, a look back in history suggests this wasn’t the first time something like this was contemplated and executed.

NEIL SCHERER EXHIBITS

On Thursday, January 22, Ryan and I featured a guest called Neil Scherer than puts together art exhibits of baseball memorabilia and showcases them at locations around the New York/Tri-state area.

This week will be the final week his exhibit on “The Polo Grounds” is taking place at the Jumel-Mansion in Washington Heights, NY. One of the significant discussions I had with Neil was to address the rumors surrounding the New York Giants stealing signs from opponents during their incredible stretch run to catch the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951.

On August 10, 1951, the Dodgers just completed a three-game sweep of the Giants at Ebbets Field to hold a 13-game lead. On August 12, the Giants began a season-ending stretch that saw them win 37 of their final 44 games to catch the Dodgers on the last day of the regular season. The Giants epic run led to a three-game playoff that saw the Dodgers and Giants split the first two games. Trailing 4-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth in Game 3, the Giants cut the lead to 4-2 on a Whitey Lockman doubled that chased Brooklyn’s starter, Don Newcombe, from the game. Bobby Thomson’s three-run HR on the second pitch from Dodgers reliever Ralph Branca shockingly ended the series and sent the Giants to the World Series.

Rumors later surfaced that the Giants used a comprehensive sign-stealing system, featuring coach Herman Franks, backup middle infielders Hank Schenz, and reserve catcher Sal Yvars.

New York Giants, Home/Road Numbers
Final 44 Games, 1951 MLB Season
HomeRoadDifferential
W-L20-317-43-1
Batting Average.258.270-.013
On Base Percentage.346.367-.021
Slugging Percentage.431.418+.013
OPS .777 .785 -.008
Runs Per Game 4.65.0-0.4

Hank Schenz was signed off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 30. Before joining the Pirates, Schenz played for the Cubs. Schenz long dealt with rumors that he would steal signs from opposing catchers from the centerfield scoreboard in Wrigley Field, using a Wollensak telescope.

According to Yvars, Durocher placed Schenz in his centerfield office at Polo Grounds, where he and team electrician Abe Chadwick, used a buzzer that would send a buzz to Yvars in the bullpen. The Giants bullpen was in clear view of the batters in right-centerfield at the Polo Grounds. Upon receiving the buzz, Yvars would signal the Giants hitters by specific motions made by a towel in his possession.

Was this rumor, or is there actual proof of the Giants benefitting offensively from such actions. The numbers tell a different story.

During the Giants 37-7 stretch, they played 23 games at home and 21 games on the road. If those rumors were true, the numbers would show a drastic difference offensively between home and road games. In the 23 home games, the Giants went 20-3 but produced a batting average that was 12 points lower (.258/.270), OPS that was .08 points lower (.777/.785), and averaged 0.4 (4.6/5.0) fewer at home than on the road.

Despite rumors and a fascinating story, the evidence, as far as the statistical data, does not back up the claims. Despite what the data shows, Ralph Branca insists that the Giants knew what was coming, especially Bobby Thomson, when he delivered his “Shot Heard Round The World.”

In his book entitled “A Moment in Time: An American Story of Baseball, Heartbreak, and Grace”, Branca finally shared his view. Here is an interview from then.

Whatever the truth was, the discussion is something that will always bring controversy.