Fire Big Red … If not now, then when?

Andy Reid

Andy Reid has become an embarrassment to the Eagles, to the fans who love his team and to his own legacy. Somebody in the organization needs to stop the insanity — if not now, then at the end of this humiliating season.

The latest indignity happened Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, where the Birds lost their seventh home game in the last eight. In an afternoon of gruesome football, fans had to endure one illogical decision after another, a veritable parade of stupid plays by a lost team.

But to understand how far the Eagles have fallen, all you needed to do was focus on two sequences. One involved the amazing talents of Larry Fitzgerald, the NFL’s best receiver. The other encompassed the misplaced virtues of LeSean McCoy, the league’s best back.

Clueless defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was the only person in the stadium who didn’t realize that the biggest — if not only — threat on the Cardinals was Fitzgerald. Why else would the electrifying receiver catch seven balls for 146 yards — or 18 more passing yards than the entire Eagles team?

Castillo had safety Jaiquawn Jarrett covering Fitzgerald on the 37-yard bomb that changed the game in the fourth. Let me repeat that. Castillo had three elite cornerbacks — Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie — and set up a zone that left Fitzgerald singled up on a rookie. And Castillo still has a job today.

Then there was McCoy, who reeled off his best run of the game — a 29-yarder down the sideline with 4:46 left in the third quarter — and then didn’t touch the ball again for 13:27. That’s almost an entire quarter without a single touch, at a time when the other top Eagles weapon, DeSean Jackson, wasn’t available. Instead of McCoy, Reid got the ball to Dion Lewis, Brent Celek, Steve Smith and
Clay Harbor.

This team is a disaster, and Andy Reid is the reason. More and more, it is clear that the players don’t respect him any more now than the fans do. The missed meeting that led to Jackson’s benching wasn’t his first, nor is he the only culprit. After 13 years, no one cares what Reid has to say — before, during or after games. He is a dead coach walking.

The only people who can stop this insanity are owner Jeff Lurie and president Joe Banner, both of whom need to emerge from the shadows and reclaim a team in serious decline. Both declared before this season that they were “all in,” a poker term that means they were wagering everything on this season.

Well, this season is over. Their big bet failed. The Dream Team is dead. This nightmare must end. Andy Reid must go. Please. Go.

Finding the silver lining

The clouds hanging over Penn State and its sick little community will not roll away for years, maybe even decades — but there is a silver lining. Something good did come from the fall of Joe Paterno, a lesson more important than anything being taught in the classrooms of Happy Valley.

It should be comforting to know that, in this flashy new world of browsers and gigabytes, the same basic principles remain in place. The people still have control over what’s right and wrong, and the ultimate price for corruption. The public’s voice still rules.

That’s why the hero of the Penn State story is you. That’s right, you.

Just ask yourself these questions: Would Joe Paterno still be coaching at Penn State if the reaction to his cowardly enabling of an alleged child molester had not been so angry? Would the board of trustees have taken such a bold stand if it hadn’t been deluged with cries of protest? Would the Penn State fans have made the victims such a main theme of Saturday’s game if the public didn’t demand it?

Of course not. Nothing was going to happen until the public insisted on swift and decisive action. The outcry against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the way Penn State chose to protect its reputation instead of his many alleged victims changed everything. In the end, no one could hide anymore, not even the bogus saint of college athletics, Joe Paterno.

Phils still cashing checks

The latest bold move by Ruben Amaro Jr. received the usual cheers by a fan base still adjusting to life in the luxury aisle of the baseball supermarket.

Jonathan Papelbon, the best closer available, is the newest Phillie. Bravo.

But if you listen closely, you can also pick up a murmur of concern. Four years and $50 million for the most unpredictable of commodities, the ninth-inning pitcher? Seriously? The last closer to get more than three years was B.J. Ryan. Remember him? Of course you don’t.

Amaro is creating an interesting internal debate between our desire to be the NL version of the Yankees and our basic understanding of economics. His aggressiveness is endearing to a blue-collar city like Philadelphia, but his increasingly irrational spending is not. Is Amaro leading us back to the World Series, or back to the talent-poor late 1990s?

Probably both. For now, Papelbon closing for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels is ideal. A 97-mile-per-hour fastball after those three mound artists is the perfect blending of brains and brawn. But the price was way too high. The millions Papelbon will receive in 2015 are millions not available for the next big hitter or the next key pitcher.

Amaro is writing huge checks these days. Soon we will all pay a steep price for his generosity.

– Angelo Cataldi is the host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send submissions to


Masked men robbed armored car in Mayfair, police…

Two masked men made off with more than $100,000 this morning after an armored car heist in Northeast Philadelphia, police said.


Putin fields question from NSA fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…


Teen in 'Jihad Jane' terror case to be…

A judge on Thursday is set to sentence a high school student who pleaded guilty to helping al Qaeda and working with the woman known as "Jihad Jane."


Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…


Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Going Out

Tickets on sale for Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival…

It may be hard to believe but spring weather is finally just about here, which in Philly means festivals every weekend — including the annual…


Center City Jazz Festival takes over four venues…

Shortly after graduating from Temple University, jazz musician Ernest Stuart packed up his trombone and headed to New York City. Soon he was gigging and…

The Word

'Mrs. Doubtfire' sequel in the works

Finally, Hollywood is making your dreams come true - they're making that "Mrs. Doubtfire" sequel you've been clamoring for all these years.


Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.


Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version


Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…


This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…


Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.