RADIO VS. PRINT WARS: Angelo Cataldi Weaponizes Fake Outrage Against Mike Sielski

Andy dabbing in the Chiefs locker room

If you’ve ever listened to Angelo Cataldi’s show, even once over the past 20 years, you know he does this fake Andy Reid routine. The shtick is that he dislikes Andy because he signs domestic abusers and guys with character issues. He’s not a good father and should take responsibility for the transgressions of his children. That’s kind of the gist, that he’s not a good human being.

On Monday’s show, Cataldi brought on regular guest Mike Sielski to rip his latest Philadelphia Inquirer column, titled “Andy Reid says goodbye to Philly and the Eagles by torching Jonathan Gannon’s defense.” It was a good column about Reid’s return, and how he’s become an even better coach since leaving Philadelphia. He now has 100 wins with two different NFL teams, becoming the first coach to do it in NFL history.

Angelo ignored the column entirely and decided to ambush Sielski instead, criticizing him for writing a story that “deifies” Reid. He challenged Sielski to explain why he wrote the story:

Sielski: “Well it was a newsworthy column. He won his hundredth game with the Chiefs, which makes him the first coach in NFL history to have 100 victories with two different teams. He completely schooled Jonathan Gannon and that defense, which, so far, is not a particularly high bar to clear. It could be the last time he coaches in Philadelphia, too. The Chiefs aren’t coming back to play in Philadelphia, for what, another seven years or eight years maybe? All of those things were newsworthy. You know how the business works, Angelo. There are storylines in every game that you have to cover, and Andy Reid beating the Eagles is one you have to cover.”

Correct. Obviously it’s a story.

But Angelo does fake outrage morning radio, so he pressed Sielski on why he didn’t go into Reid’s issues with bad character players and blah blah, even though everybody already knows about all of that. Big Red’s troubled personal life has been well-documented and wasn’t particularly relevant to the column that Mike was writing.

An audio clip from about halfway through the discussion:

“Ed Snider didn’t have people screaming about him for four and a half hours every morning on the radio.”

Fact check – true.

No writer in this town is or was doing Andy Reid’s bidding. And nobody with half a brain would expect a coach to tell the truth 100% of the time they spend at the podium. These guys lie all the time. It just comes with the territory. You can’t be offended by that. Sielski has asked his fair share of hard questions to various people over the years, so waylaying him on some unrelated bullshit after an innocuous column is just Angelo playing up his typical act.

More audio:

Is Angelo insane? Suggesting that Andy Reid didn’t get the same scrutiny as other coaches in this town? Andy Reid was absolutely CRUSHED on the radio, in the newspaper, and in casual discussion at every water cooler in every office within a 150-mile radius of Lincoln Financial Field. The guy was absolutely obliterated for more than a decade. And the line about Sielski being a “lemming” is embarrassing and uncalled for.

Here’s the thing –

Angelo’s moral high ground would be infinitely more steady if he actually applied this same Andy Reid (or Odubel Herrera) stance to other situations. Cataldi has had on Dick Vermeil how many times over the years? Does Angelo hammer Dick Vermeil for trying to make it work with volatile domestic abuser Lawrence Phillips? Huh? How about the 2017 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles? How much did Angelo criticize Nigel Bradham for breaking an innocent guy’s nose? Or bringing a loaded gun into an airport? What about Mychal Kendricks’ engaging in insider trading? How about Lane Johnson getting busted for performance-enhancing drugs? If you’re gonna draw a hard line in the sand with character issues, then you have to be consistent with it, and Angelo never has been, so his Andy Reid stance holds little weight.

The whole thing is bizarre. Sielski writes a column about Andy Reid winning his 100th game with the Chiefs. Cataldi invites Sielski on his show. Then he rips him for not writing that Reid is a terrible human being, followed by a cringeworthy holier-than-thou routine where he calls his guest a “lemming” and says he’s “not the best judge” of his own work. It’s nauseating.

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