December 24, 2007

Andy Reid, Class Warrior

The Eagles won yesterday, beating New Orleans in convincing fashion on yet another excellent performance by Donovan McNabb. But with the team already elminated from playoff contention, most Eagles fans are talking about something else- the article, out this week, in Philadelphia magazine in which Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, speak out about their sons' drug and legal troubles.

I haven't read the piece yet (it's not yet publicly available in its entirety), but the big bombshell in it is that the Reids have been dealing with their sons' troubles for several years- "through Super Bowls and championships"- and not only this year, when they first became public. Therefore, the idea that the team's struggles this year are due to his being distracted must be false.

To that, I suppose, the negative Philly fan would react that first of all, "Super Bowls and championships" is inaccurate, since Reid as coach has reached only one Super Bowl, and won no championships, unless we're talking about divisional and conference championships. And besides- maybe Reid's distractions related to his sons played a part in those playoff losses!

But the worst argument I've heard yet came from a female reporter at Reid's press conference (I don't know who it was, as I only heard the radio highlight.) She asked why Reid had chosen the upscale Philadelphia magazine for his first interview on the subject, as opposed to, say, one of the local newspapers. Because after all, the reporter said, "my blue-collar father" doesn't read that magazine, and would therefore be excluded.

Now, there's often a lot of faux-populism, and class-resentment, directed at Philadelphia sports teams, by both fans and media alike. Usually it's along the lines of, "Jeffrey Lurie owns four houses- why can't he sign a better wide receiver?," even though the person making the argument is usually a columnist or radio host making well over six figures.

Both Lurie and the Phillies owners are often accused of being "out of touch with the blue collar fan base," as though that wouldn't be true of anyone with enough money to own an NFL or MLB team. I suppose they would prefer a poor person own the local football team- he might not be able to make payroll, but hey, at least he's authentic.

If our reporter's blue-collar father doesn't read Philadelphia magazine, it's not like there's a class-based barrier to entry. It has a newsstand price of 3 or 4 bucks, and I'd imagine the Reid story will be posted to the web in its entirely, for free, within a week or two. Or maybe his daughter can just lend him her copy.

You can criticize Andy Reid, fairly, for many things. But which magazine he chose for his soul-bearing interview should be towards the bottom of the list.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 24, 2007 03:49 PM
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