Feb 10, 2023 - Sports

In Super Bowl LVII, one coach's moment is another's misery

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni; Chiefs head coach Andy Reid

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and Kansas City's Andy Reid. Photo Credits: Tim Nwachukwu, Jason Hanna/ Getty

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and Kansas City head coach Andy Reid have both worked in the “most unforgiving sports city in America.”

Why it matters: Now comes the most unforgiving storyline in sports — the Eagles must take out their beloved ex-coach to capture a second Super Bowl ring.

  • Sunday’s game is as about as close as it’ll come to fans having to split allegiances among Eagles past and present.

Catch up quick: Reid coached the Eagles for 14 seasons until he was fired at the end of 2012, and later took the top spot for the Chiefs. Sirianni was KC’s wide receivers coach — until Reid fired him, that is. Sirianni became the Eagles' head coach in 2021.

  • They’ve said there’s no bad blood between them, and Sirianni said he respected Reid wanting to bring in another coach who previously worked under him. But for fans, it’s more complicated.

Zoom in: While Reid never won the Super Bowl with the Eagles — they lost the 2004 NFL championship to New England — he remains adored by the Philly faithful who affectionately call him “Big Red.” The Birds won six division titles and appeared in five conference championship games with Reid at the helm.

Sirianni was initially dismissed as a bumbling Barney Fife. But he has won over Philly by guiding the Birds back to the top of the league. He’s emotive, brash and talks trash. He played Division III college football but wasn’t good enough to make the NFL, so he worked his way up the coaching ranks.

  • Sirianni once compared his struggling team to a growing flower. When a fan mockingly tossed a bouquet Sirianni’s way after a Philly loss, the coach admitted he was ready to climb into the stands “like Ron Artest” and fight. And hey, every Philadelphian loves a brawler.

The big picture: The Eagles’ Super Bowl showing will set the stage for the rest of Sirianni's tenure in Philadelphia, a fickle city where today’s heroes are tomorrow’s villains. Just ask Ben Simmons, Nelson Agholor, Nick Castellanos and Doug Pederson, who was canned three seasons after he delivered the city its first Super Bowl win.

The bottom line: Reid once said coaching in Philly's gladiatorial gauntlet is “play by play.” Hoisting the Lombardi trophy would keep the bloodhounds off Sirianni for at least another year.


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