Andy Reid was fired yesterday, wasn’t he? Maybe we just missed the announcement. Maybe the drone of his robotic voice was finally silenced, and the news just slipped right past us.
No coach has deserved to be handed a pink slip more than Reid does right now — and not just because his Eagles have lost six games in a row, or because his team has quit on him. No, Reid deserves to be dismissed as Eagles coach because of an incompetence that has become a danger to his own players.
With 1:58 remaining in a game he was trailing by 25 points, Reid exposed the most important player on the team, LeSean McCoy, to a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit that caused a concussion. Keeping McCoy in a lost game like that was ignorant, but not nearly as stupid as the bullheaded response that followed.
“We were trying to catch up and win the game,” Reid said, several times. Even in his delicate mental state, he cannot believe that.
No sane person could. Running the ball in the last two minutes while down 25 points is not a recipe for success, in any league. It is the behavior of a man who has lost a grip on reality.
When asked if he had any regrets about using McCoy at that point in the game, Reid said the one word that should have sealed his doom: “No.” At the time, McCoy was being taken to a hospital to determine the severity of his injury, and still Reid could not grasp the absurdity of his position. Even Monday, at his weekly news conference, he expressed no second thoughts.
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“I have a pretty good feel for our football team,” he said, with a straight face.
The truth is, he has absolutely no feel for his football team. Nnamdi Asomugha is in freefall at cornerback, Kurt Coleman is lost in the defensive secondary, receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are disappearing from the offense, the defensive line is underachieving spectacularly, the offensive line is a sieve, and now — thanks to Reid — McCoy is concussed.
If Andy Reid actually had a good feel for his team, he would have resigned yesterday, or Sunday, or last week, or last month. He has lost his team, has lost his city and will soon lose his job. In fact, it should have happened by now.
Owner Jeff Lurie made it clear before the season that 8-8 wouldn’t be good enough this season. Well, if 8-8 is grounds for dismissal, what is 3-7? Surely, Lurie has been watching these weekly debacles. Surely, he has seen what we’ve been seeing. Surely, he knows what he has to do.
Andy Reid was fired yesterday, wasn’t he?
Sixers were sold damaged goods
Andrew Bynum has not played, is not playing and may never play for the Sixers. The big question is, who is to blame for one of the biggest local sports fiascos in recent memory?
What we can say with absolute certainty is that the Sixers received damaged goods in their mega-trade with the Lakers, Magic and Nuggets. After a busy weekend for the quirky center, it is clear that Bynum has injured both of his brittle knees — the second problem surfacing after he went bowling. Yes, bowling. He hasn’t practiced with the Sixers yet, but he has bowled.
Of course, the Sixers tried to hide the bowling incident because telling the truth is simply not in the DNA of any of our sports franchises. They constantly preach their love for the fans, and then go to extremes to deceive them. ESPN had to break a story that the team had a responsibility to report first. Only after the news came out did Bynum confirm the story.
So what’s the truth in this Bynum travesty? The most likely scenario is that the Lakers suckered the new Sixer owners. Players with healthy knees don’t go to Germany for experimental treatments, or have lubricant shot into them. Bynum had both right after the trade.
Now, it’s also possible that the team doctors blew it when they examined him before the deal became official. This many setbacks simply cannot happen without a serious pre-existing condition. Knowing the eagerness of the new owners, though, I find it far more likely that the front office ignored the grim prognosis on Bynum’s knees.
Fortunately, Sixer fans are not as naïve as the new owners. Tickets to Sixer games were selling for 40 cents apiece last week on Stub Hub. The Andrew Bynum era in Philadelphia is not starting well at all. In fact, so far it has been a gutter ball.
Marlins owner sinks to new low
On the current list of despicable sports-franchise owners, one man stands alone at the top. His name is Jeff Loria — not to be confused with Jeff Lurie. It would be libelous to confuse the Eagles owner with the outrageous man who runs the Marlins.
Less than a year after opening the humongous Marlins Park, funded with more than half a billion in taxpayer dollars, Loria ordered a drastic reduction in payroll that led to the trade last week of Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes to Toronto. Loria’s pledge to spend whatever it took to draw big crowds was a blatant lie.
Miami is a terrible baseball town — always has been, always will be. But baseball deserves better than Jeff Loria, a rich art dealer who has shown his greatest talent is flim-flamming the public. After the trade, he had the gall to refuse questions, waving his hand at reporters and saying: “Not today, boys. You haven’t figured it out yet? I’m not going to figure it out for you.”
Loria is very lucky that he doesn’t own a sports franchise in Philadelphia because it wouldn’t take us long to “figure it out” that he is a contemptible leech who should be expelled from baseball.
These are trying times for Philadelphia sports fans, but we can all be thankful about something this week. At least that weasel Jeff Loria doesn’t own one of our teams.
Idle thoughts from Cataldi ...
» Nowadays, Andy Reid refuses to tell the truth just for the sport of it. It took him five days to rule Michael Vick out of Sunday’s game in Washington, even though the quarterback failed every concussion protocol. Why did Reid wait so long to announce the obvious? Oh, no reason.
» Chip Kelly. Remember the name. After a loss Saturday ended his NCAA title hopes, the Oregon coach is more likely than ever to succeed Andy Reid for two reasons. Eagles owner Jeff Lurie hates to hire proven NFL people, and Kelly’s innovative style will be hard for the owner to resist.
» Donovan McNabb hinted last week that he’d like another shot at a quarterback job in the NFL. For once, he is making sense. As washed up as he appeared last season, he can’t possibly be as bad at playing football as he is at broadcasting.
» The NHL lockout would end quickly if there was just some way to remove two of the most miserable people in sports, commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Donald Fehr, from the contract talks. The only thing blocking a deal is the stubbornness of those two grim reapers.
» How does Andrew Bynum find the time? When not rehabbing his many knee injuries or bowling, he came up with a new Mo Howard hairstyle last week. Just one question: Does Bynum have any mirrors in his house?