Time’s yours ... to take a moment and appreciate Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid

·5 min read

Moments after the Chiefs’ discouraging 30-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, a subtly disorienting scene formed in the post-game interview room.

First, the wait for coach Andy Reid was notably longer than usual, a delay easy to assume was related to the distressing nature of a second straight defeat for the first time in two years.

Then, all of a sudden, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Dave Toub entered, which was strange in itself because Chiefs coordinators are never available after games.

And here was Ted Crews, the team’s executive vice president for communications, announcing that Reid had been feeling ill and was being checked out as a “precaution,” even though “everything right now looks fine.”

Indeed, Reid was released from the hospital on Monday and was expected to work later Monday or Tuesday morning, according to the team.

But this was only after a worrisome few hours of an information vacuum into late Sunday night and the unsettling image of him in the hospital until Monday afternoon. And with virtually all details remaining carefully guarded by the Chiefs, even this good news comes with a sense of lingering mystery that further compels us to pause and refresh our priorities here.

Because this all has been a scare when it comes to one of our civic treasures ... even if we were slow to exactly recognize just how much so amid the immediate postgame commotion.

In that moment, our first thought, and hope, was that on a day when the temperature reached 92 degrees Reid was dealing with something along the lines of dehydration, which a source later told ESPN was the case. (If so, though, the Chiefs still haven’t clarified that.) While that could be frightening for a big 63-year-old man, it also seemed much less unnerving than the places a mind might wander.

So with that notion in mind instead of something more ominous, curious as we remained, everything seemed to validate that Reid wasn’t in danger and seemingly likely to be back to work in time to prepare the Chiefs to play his former team, the Eagles, on Sunday in Philadelphia.

In the 3-4 minutes Toub spoke, he downplayed it, too, saying Reid “just wasn’t feeling well” and that he didn’t see anything amiss during the game and thought he was fine.

It was news to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire that there was anything wrong at all, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes added that Reid “seemed fine” on the sideline and when he addressed the team after the game.

So what was actually surreal somehow seemed routine, almost like business as usual. And since there was a football game to dissect, after all, we carried on with the grind not knowing what the NFL Network would report shortly thereafter: that Reid had left the stadium in an ambulance.

And soon not knowing what to make of safety Tyrann Mathieu’s cryptic tweet to come: “I’m praying for my Head Coach & I’m hoping you can send up prayers with me!! One of the best men & teachers I’ve been around!!! GOD please show us your mercy!”

And not even really knowing how to process the Chiefs post on Twitter some six hours later vaguely stating again that Reid “felt ill at the conclusion of the game. He was evaluated by our medical staff in the locker room, & as a precaution, was transported to The University of Kansas Health System for further evaluation. Coach is doing well, currently resting & in stable condition.”

Upbeat report of his imminent return and being in “great spirits” notwithstanding, much of this remains murky, including the most fundamental point of just how did he feel ill?

Here’s what we do know, though:

That no matter how many times we get lessons in perspective, we can always use more.

And in this case, just as fan fury was peaking after a second straight loss, we were all reminded not only that this game isn’t life and death, but also that those who play it and coach it are mortal.

And should be appreciated as human beings even when things aren’t going as you might hope on the field.

To be sure, one of the reasons Reid is admired is because he’s a terrific coach who has resurrected two franchises now and stands among the winningest in the history of the game. He is destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day and already has a place among the icons of Kansas City sports history.

But part of the reason Reid is great at what he does is because of who he is and his sheer humanity.

That’s why so many around the NFL were rooting for him to win his first Super Bowl two years ago and why his players and staff love him ... and why we could write a couple thousands words on why he’s so beloved everywhere.

Simply stated, he treats people right, believes in second chances and helping people summon the best within them. He also demonstrates true care for players long after their playing days … as any of his former Mizzou linemen will tell you, among countless others.

There’s a lot more to admire about Reid, of course, including being there for people in their hour of need in ways that aren’t made public.

So in this apparent hour of need, here’s wishing him a swift and complete recovery from whatever he’s dealing with … something we might all consider as the real story of Sunday, even if it wasn’t as clear as it might have been in the hustle and bustle of real time.

Football will go on no matter what, it would seem, but there’s only one Andy Reid to cherish.

And after he missed this Sunday and Monday’s interview sessions, it will be great just to hear him say “time’s yours” again and, we can only hope, note that he’s looking forward to the challenge of playing the Eagles.

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