This afternoon, Andy Reid met with the media for the first time since the Eagles’ season ended in bitter disappointment, and – surprise! – he was friendly.
One of the things Jeffrey Lurie told reporters during his awkward State of My Once Beloved Organization speech a few weeks ago was that Reid would have to work on being better at dealing with reporters. And it seems the coach took that advice as he ambled to the stage in front of the assembled media, who gathered with the fervor of patients in a podiatrist’s waiting room.
The first sign that Reid was going to handle things a bit differently came when he turned it over for questions. Instead of his trademarked time’s yours, the audience received a more polite so with that, I’ll leave the time to you.
As expected, the questions about Juan Castillo and Reid retaining his job came fast and furious. Reid gave mostly honest and candid answers. So much so, in fact, that it seemed like he had briefly entered Gregory Alan Williams' Tree of Trust from Old School. Really, we were one Mike Missanelli appearance away from Andy being asked about his sex life, which I’m guessing is surprisingly delightful.
The Eagles website feed even showed the reporters asking the questions. Dare I say it put faces to the voices of the people. A democracy was formed at the NovaCare Complex today.
Anyway, the topic on everybody’s mind was this newfound attitude from Reid toward Eagles scriptuals. It took nearly a half-hour until one brave soul dipped his toe into that meta ocean. Enter 97.5 The Fanatic’s Joe DeCamara, who emerged ominously from the dark like Quint during the town hall meeting in Jaws.
DeCamara spoke, softly but confidently:
It seems the information you’re telling us about Steve seems rooted in a forthcomingness, yet obviously there’s only so far you can go. Are you trying to be more forthcoming at these press conferences?
A brief hush befell the room before cheers erupted and the throng of media broke out into exuberant bedlam*– Bob Grotz squeaked. Reuben Frank unwrapped a freshly-made hoagie. Jeff McLane repeatedly punched Les Bowen’s head like a faulty Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robot. Jamie Apody went into labor. Ray Didinger got a chub. And Tim McManus charged the podium, using this opportunity to land a People’s Elbow firmly on the Fat Man’s chest. The masses had won! The media broke Reid!
The coach gathered himself, pushing an enraged McManus off his chest:
It’s a good question. That’s a good question– thank you. Well, I was until I saw Bob [Grotz] not let the lady [Jamie Apody] talk first, then that kind of upset me a little bit. No, I am. No, listen– I am. Am I trying to do that? No. I’m telling you the truth is what I’m doing.
There are times… the press conference directly after the season, you have had no time to really put everything together. You guys are eager, you’re doing a job. You’re under pressure yourselves to make sure that you’re doing your job, and you’re going to throw fastballs at me, and there’s just a time where you have to bide time and step back to give you the right answers. So, I tried to do it a little bit different this year than I did in the past years. I didn’t think that was a smooth transition into the offseason. I felt like if I stepped back, I could finally analyze things and then present it to you…. in a better way.
By this point, Bowen’s head was bleeding profusely and R. Diddy was fully pantsless. The victory, it was theirs.
DeCamara, the hero, kept going:
Why do you handle [the media] the way you do? And, of course, as you said, fastballs are coming at you and that can’t be comfortable, but it does see you take a particularly aggressive approach to questions. Why handle it like that?
It was at this point that Dave Spadaro sprung into action. DeCamara never made it back to his car.
For Reid’s response, and video of the imagined bedlam, give it a little bump. It's so much fun to see the Fat Man squirm.
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*None of this really happened. Most of it, anyway.