As you know by now, Garrett Reid, son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, passed away suddenly this past weekend. Losing a child is one of the most unnatural things a person—a parent—ever has to go through.
Being in the position he's in, Andy Reid is sometimes de-humanized and is the main target for angry Eagles fans' frustrations. Last year, anger and frustration reached all-time highs for Reid during perhaps the most disappointing season of his career.
"Fire Reid!" "Reid sucks!" "Time to go, Andy!" Those words, amongst numerous other choice words of the English language, were used when talking about the coach.
Even though Reid has a job to do, just like anyone else, his heart will be heavy this year. But his job does come with the potential for severe public criticism.
However, wouldn't it almost be like kicking a man when he's down? Some folks like to neatly separate business and personal matters, and most of the time that's how we all have to do it.
In that sense, that's what some fans will use as their right to bash Reid if the team falters. It's just business, nothing personal.
This year will be both business and personal for the Reid family and the team. In a year with the consensus that it's a make-or-break year for the coach, he now has to handle that pressure along with grieving the loss of a son.
I don't care who you are; separating work and personal would not be easy in this case by any stretch of the imagination. Reid may dive into work more in order to keep his mind off of his son, but it's still there, lingering in the back of your mind every single day.
No matter how frustrated you are with the Eagles and/or how much you dislike Reid, this is the time to bury the hatchet. It's time to stop spewing venom at him and faulting him for everything that goes wrong with the team.
This season—the entire 2012 season—needs to be about remaining positive and supporting Reid and the team all the way through. Celebrate every win and support the guys through every loss.
I'm not saying Eagles fans should all of a sudden become nothing but sunshine and roses. I'm just saying we need to channel our emotions a little differently.
Instead of berating players and the head coach on Internet message boards and radio talk shows, it wouldn't hurt to be a little more positive in general. I'm not saying you shouldn't be critical, but make your criticism more constructive rather than destructive.
Philadelphia fans are known for being passionate. With being passionate comes emotions from both ends of the spectrum: amazing support when the team is doing well, and extreme anger when the team does poorly.
Use that passion and remember that Andy Reid is not only the head coach of the Eagles, he's also a husband, father and family man. He's also a parent who will now have to live the rest of his life carrying the weight of the death of his son.
In the wake of Garrett's death, the outpouring of support from numerous people around the NFL shows you just how much Reid is respected and loved in the NFL community. His players absolutely love and respect the man—and coach—that he is.
Many players have referred to Reid as a "rock," meaning he's their steady influence and is someone that is always there for them, through thick and thin.
Well, it's now time for us—Eagles Nation—to be a rock for Andy Reid.
Let's rally around the team this season and help inspire and push them through by using more positive reinforcement. Let's let them know that we're here and we understand what you're going through.
Let's help turn something so tragic into something Reid, his family and the team will cherish forever. We can do that by cheering louder than we ever have before and having the "vocal majority" take a break from negativity.
In 2012, it's no more "Nega-delphia". It should now be "Pos-adelphia."
They say that positive thinking leads to positive results. Let's give it a try, Philly, and see where it takes us. If anything, it certainly can't hurt.
Let's win it all for Garrett. Let's win it all for the Reid family. Let's win it all for the team.
And actually, let's just win it all for all of us.
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