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Jase unloads on Andy Reid

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hondo, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Yes we do:

    NBC 10 Sports Director Vai Sikahema has a personal history with Eagles coach Andy Reid and his family.

    For all of us, there are times when the lines that separate our personal and professional lives are sometimes blurred. This is one of those times for me.

    You see, I've known Garrett and Britt Reid since they were in their early teens. Their parents, Andy and Tammy, were classmates at BYU in the early '80s and Andy and I were college teammates. More importantly, we share a common faith, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We're Mormons -- which is still a relatively small community here in the East.

    When the Reids moved here in 1999, I was in the second year of a five-year appointment as a Mormon bishop -- so I was impressed that both boys sought me out at their Dad's first press conference and addressed me by my title, "Bishop Sikahema," as is protocol in our faith. They continued this practice long after I was released from my calling -- they still call me "Bishop." These were "yes sir, no sir" kinds of boys. They both became Eagle Scouts.

    I've known since they left Harriton High School a few years ago that both boys had a hard time adjusting to life away from home.

    For whatever reason, college for Garrett at BYU and Britt at Arizona State didn't pan out, where they both attempted to walk on the football teams. Perhaps they carried the burden of their family name and the disappointment of not playing college football, as their father had, was bitter.

    Most Mormon young men apply for and serve a two-year church mission following their freshman year of college. Neither Garrett or Britt did that. A church mission in the Mormon faith is almost a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood -- almost like being bar mitzvahed if you're a Jewish boy.

    I know Andy and Tammy were very disappointed they didn't go.

    For all we know, they may be completely innocent, but still, there are reports that this isn't their first scrape with the law. That can't be ignored.

    But Andy and Tammy are supportive parents and welcomed the boys back into their Villanova home when things didn't happen for them in college. Both boys were often seen on the sidelines at home and away games, and they were fixtures around the Nova Care Complex.

    But stories of guns, speeding SUVs and drugs leave me wondering if maybe they were affected by the glitz and glamour of the NFL life? There's a woman who was injured in the accident allegedly caused by Garrett and a man who filed the police report alleging Britt flashed a handgun at him. The Reids are the kind of people who will reach out to these folks and have their sons make amends.

    The Reids are very private and, as reported in newspaper accounts, very religious.

    It's moments like this that their faith really matters.
  2. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    And one more example of evidence that The Times missed the real story :

    Why I Believe: Andy Reid
    by Andy Reid February 05, 2002

    Note: During the 2002 Winter Olympics, Mormon Life will be featuring the testimonies of remarkable Church members as declared to the world in the new collection, Why I Believe.

    s head football coach of the National Football League Philadelphia Eagles, I am very proud of the players, the coaches, and all who work in this fine organization. However, the thing I am most proud to be associated with is my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    I was raised in Los Angeles, California, where I grew up just under the bright lights of Dodger Stadium. My youthful energies were directed into sports. My eyes, however, were exposed to many city distractions. I saw friends destroyed by drugs and alcohol, some potentially great athletes among the victims. I kept my goal to play professional football close to my heart and realized that drugs and alcohol were not the way to go if my dreams were to come true.

    Colleges and universities noticed my abilities to play football. I took my five allotted recruiting trips. The one university that was different from the others and best suited me was Brigham Young University. BYU is nestled nicely into the Rocky Mountains along the Wasatch Front in Provo, Utah, about an hour south of Salt Lake City. BYU was just what the doctor ordered for a college athlete who was looking to separate himself from those big-city distractions. Here was a school with an honor code that all students were required to follow, yet it had a dominating, tough football team. The students were asked to stay morally clean and abstain from taking drugs or drinking alcoholic beverages. There is more to it, but this was the part I liked the best. In other words, keep your body as a -fined--tuned machine that could, with hard training, become the best athletically possible.

    My life gained substance at BYU. My junior year I met my future and present wife, Tammy Ann Reid. This 5'3'' ball of energy helped reinforce the many spiritual lessons I had been taught about the LDS faith. Her true love and dedication to her Heavenly Father never wavered as she dated me, a nonmember football player. You could only respect her focused approach toward the Church.

    After a school year of dating, I returned home to L.A. for the summer. I proceeded to take the missionary discussions, far from Tammy, who was at home in Arizona, but close to my family and friends. If I was going to truly convert my heart and soul to The Church of Jesus Christ of -Latter--day Saints, I had to do it among my roots. The two missionaries were special. Elder Wiemer was the perfect missionary to teach me the discussions about the Church. He had played -high--school football in the L.A. city league at the same time I had and was a star quarterback of his team. His family had moved to Texas during his senior year, and he was called back to the City of Angels to serve his mission. We hit it off right away. I truly believe Heavenly Father had a plan for me, and Elder Wiemer was again playing the quarterback position to that plan.

    At the end of the summer of 1980, I called Tammy and told her I was ready to be baptized. I asked her if her father, Big Jim, would do the honor. My only regret in having Big Jim baptize me was that Elder Wiemer and Elder Muir could not be in Arizona to help with the baptism. They had spent many hours praying with and I'm sure for me, and many hours teaching me the gospel principles that I would need to be spiritually rich in my earth life and my - post--earth life. Well, Big Jim and I climbed down into the baptismal font, both of us 6'4" and 260-plus pounds, and the water quickly jumped over the protective glass and into the first row of seats. The spirit I felt in that small church in Glendale, Arizona, was overwhelming.

    I was very excited to be a new member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the summer of 1980, and I can say twenty-one years later that I'm still as excited as ever. My life had direction; there was a plan. I knew exactly what I needed to do to return to my Heavenly Father at the end of my earth life.

    Many trials and tribulations have occurred in my life since 1980. Tammy and I have said many prayers and have had many prayers answered. We have been blessed with a beautiful family, three boys and two girls. Through hard work and the Lord's helping hand, we are able to teach our children the gospel and how to live the gospel in their day-to-day lives.

    We are blessed to live in Philadelphia, which is not only one of the oldest and largest cities in America but also has several diverse cultures. We are able to see Heavenly Father's work daily as the Church continues to grow in the area. The members of the Church are great examples to those they come in contact with.

    We have also been blessed with my job. Philadelphia is passionate about its professional sports teams. It truly is a privilege to be the head coach of the National Football League Philadelphia Eagles. We spent much time on our knees in prayer before accepting this job. We knew we could only do the job with Heavenly Father's strong, supporting hand to guide us.

    Philadelphia fans are known around the league for being brutal to visiting teams, and sometimes they are even brutal to their own team if they are not playing well. My first year in Philadelphia was the 1999 season, and we did not win many games. We actually started the season with four losses. I was not a popular person in the City of Brotherly Love. I had come to Philadelphia with a plan that I thought could help change the worst team in the NFL into a respectable one. I knew it -wouldn't be an overnight process, and I also knew that I would have to stick to my guns during the tough times. I was very glad I could fall back on the great example of strong people in the scriptures and Church history for support. I was able to stay strong during this time and prayed that better days were ahead.

    The 2000 season was a reward for all my players and coaches who believed we were going to be okay if we worked hard. We all did just that and ended the year 11-5 and headed for the playoffs. We ended up losing in the second round of the playoffs to the New York Giants. We had taken our 5-11, 1999 record and reversed it in one year. Heavenly Father's supporting hand and teachings were a big part of my plan. My faith in a higher purpose and plan and a reason for living lives of integrity make all the difference. What seemed so mystical to those who watched the plan unfold was so ordinary to what we learn in church daily. This is how we live—with direction, with a purpose, and with a final goal of returning to our Heavenly Father.

  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Boom, I still fail to see what you think the "real story" is here, especially as it relates to your defense of Mr. Whitlock's column.

    - That Andy Reid converted to Mormonism? So did Ted Bundy. The LDS is not a perfect defense against human nature. No religion is.

    - That the children of authoritarian parents - like football coaches or Mormons or evangelical Christians - still go wrong? Happens every day. Happens so often, in fact, that it's a cliche. Surf for "Preacher's Kids" and you'll see what I mean. http://www.news2wkrn.com/religion/2006/10/whats_the_deal_with_preachers.html

    - That Andy Reid has gotten a pass from the press as to how screwed up his children are? So did Dungy. And Dungy's son wound up dead. Which undoes the Whitlock premise that this has something to do with race.

    - That some public figures are hypocrites? That celebrities of all stripes present one face to the public, while keeping their private weaknesses and pains and failures hidden? Nothing new there.
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    J - you refereed to the the Times feature as "a lot more reporting" and I found it to be lacking any angle that moved the whole story forward. There was no new ground covered.

    Just my opinion but I do think readers would interested to know the strict religious upbringing of the boys and their seemingly exemplary early teen lives.
  5. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Boom, I only meant there was a lot more reporting in the NYT piece than in Mr. Whitlock's column. In fact, there was no reporting in his column at all, which is one of the problems with it.

    While a column is often an expression of opinion, those opinions need to be supported. I saw nothing in Mr. Whitlock's column to support any of the assertions he made.

    I agree completely that it's a sad and fascinating story that these young men turned out as they did, but I don't think the Reids lose their right to privacy because of it. Which is one of my main problems with the Whitlock piece - that he thinks Reid somehow has to make public penance for bad parenting, or that the press needs to sort the Reid's dirty laundry with greater vigor.

    Reid is a public figure, sure, but he's not a public official, so I don't see Mr. Whitlock's need to call down the moral thunder here.
  6. bomani jones

    bomani jones Member

    I would think the better comparison would be Sidney Lowe, whose son got in a heap of trouble not too long ago. I'm not sure I'd say he got a "pass," the the world didn't come crashing on his shoulders. That said, it's not like people could pick Sidney Lowe out of a lineup if he wasn't wearing that blazer he borrowed from Suge Knight.

    But we can't avoid the fact that white drug users are viewed differently than black ones. That's just how it goes, and it always has. Check the statutes if you don't believe me, or even the history of drug enforcement in this country. The roots of cocaine prohibition are rooted in race.


    "n 1910 Dr. Hamilton Wright, considered by some the father of U.S. anti-narcotics laws, reported that U.S. contractors were giving cocaine to their Black employees to get more work out of them.(3) A few years later, stories began to proliferate about "cocaine-crazed Negroes" in the South who had run amuck. The New York Times published a story that alleged "most of the attacks upon white women of the South are the direct result of the 'cocaine-crazed' Negro brain." The story asserted that "Negro cocaine fiends are now a known Southern menace." Some southern police departments switched to .38 caliber revolvers, because they thought cocaine made Blacks impervious to .32 caliber bullets.(4) These stories were in part motivated by a desire to persuade Southern members of Congress to support the proposed Harrison Narcotics Act, which would greatly expand the federal government's power to control drugs.(5) This lie was also necessary since, even though drugs were widely used in America, very little crime was associated with the users.(6)"

    Given teh historical context of drugs in this country, it seems frighteningly naive to say race had nothing to do with how Reid's been treated by the media.
  7. ah, it's good to see fenian and jgmac are still playing the "whitlock game," the never-ending battle to prove they're smarter than me. i quit, and they're still losing. badly. unfortunately, that's not a statement about my intellect. it says something about their level of stupidity, pettiness and jealousy.

    carry on, men.
  8. And now, inconvenient facts having been introduced, this thread will not end well.
    Welcome back, Jason.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome back, Jason. Please stick around, this time. You add to the place. You know who you are -- you have probably elicited strong reactions from people your whole life. Why do you expect it to be different here? Don't worry so much about what Fenian or Jmac or me or anyone else says. It's just a message board and most of what causes the bickering are just opinions. And opinions are always going to differ. Just keep doing what you used to do. Be yourself and add your unique, um, charms to the board. We're better off when you're around. I hope you personally take enough from most of the interactions (and the attention, which I know you enjoy) to do what I am suggesting and you start being more active again. I've missed you.

    With all of that said, I thought you wrote a legit column. I don't agree -- but when I have I agreed with you? The difference to me is that when you expect an athlete to speak out about important issues, and often ones that have affected them personally, you are holding them accountable for themselves. In the case of Reid, these were his sons, not him. And let's face it, few affluent white dads have two 20-something kids living at home with them unless they know their kids are trouble, incapable of being on their own and living as adults, and as a dad you are floundering to save them. So while his home may indeed have been a drug emporium, it probably wasn't due to the neglect or poor judgment you often see in others. He was probably just being a dad, trying to help and protect his sons, the way most dads want to. And his kids were way out of control despite his efforts.

    He was very likely doing them more harm than good by coddling them, when the unbearable course of action of tough love -- kicking them out and making them have to sink or swim and face the consequences -- was their best chance at fixing their lives. But that is a really difficult decision for a parent to make, and even though it is often the right thing to do, it is damned hard to criticize a parent who can't bring himself to do it.

    In any case, that is just an opinion. Just like you have yours. Don't let disagreements drive you away from here, please. Just be yourself.
  10. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Nice to see that like Narcissus, Mr. Whitlock remains eternally irresistible to himself.

    And I'll stand by what I posted here about this column, and add this: Boom did more reporting for his posts on this thread than Mr. Whitlock did for the column itself.
  11. I don't know, Ragu. There's a whole welter of issues, many of which don't fit into the "coddling vs. tough love" paradigm that you've set up. (To name one -- this seems less a case of "coddling" the children than of ignoring them.) And all of them are deserving of more than the lick-and-a-promise given to them by the Socrates of the Champagne Room.
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    To me the question that begs for an answer is the fact that Andy Reid has taken a very public stance in his faith - one that espouses family values and structure and also forbids use of stimulants such as drugs and alcohol.

    By everything we have learned we see a family that seems completely at contradiction with their stated beliefs. What happened along the way? Was it never as it appeared? It's a valid question to ask if Reid is so concerned about his family why doesn't he leave the Eagles and devote his time to getting his kids back on track.

    Someone raised the question but most kids of Mormon faith go on a their 2 year mission at the Reid kids age. How come they did not go? It might have been the best thing for them to get away from Philly.
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