History, Not Vengeance, On The Docket For Eagles, Chiefs At Super Bowl LVII

It is the stuff of cinema: Andy Reid once fired Nick Sirianni when Reid became the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, Sirianni’s Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday in Super Bowl LVII.

But Sirianni isn’t looking for revenge. In fact, he doesn’t even hold any hard feelings toward Reid.

“Obviously we weren’t good enough in Kansas City when we left there and that’s why Coach Reid came in,” Sirianni said at his press conference Monday. “He’s done a phenomenal, phenomenal job, one of the best coaches of all-time, and what I always remember is that – obviously, when you’re getting let go at a place, you’re down, right?… You’re down in that moment, and I just remember him bringing me in, telling me that his assistant head coach was the wide receivers coach, that he had a guy, but I remember him lifting me up in that moment, telling me he heard good things, knowing I would get back up on my feet.

“He gave me strength when I was down and I always admired that…He kinda gave me a blueprint for what I had to do when I became the head football coach for the Eagles. So even though I never worked with him, I felt like I gained a valuable lesson from him to be able to reach out and talk to the guys, that I wasn’t able to meet with all the guys when they did, but I just always remember thinking about Coach Reid in that moment because it gave me a good blueprint of what to do when you have to do the tough parts of this job.”

Now, in many ways, Sirianni’s Eagles have surpassed even what the team did under Reid, a 130-93 tenure over 14 seasons and an NFC Championship. But none of Reid’s teams reached the 14-3 mark the Eagles managed during this year’s regular season, and this — an NFC Championship — was as far as they got in any season, making this game an opportunity for Sirianni to exceed Reid’s tenure in just the young coach’s second year at the helm in Philadelphia.

“Listen, I had 14 great years there and I loved every minute of it,” Reid said Tuesday about his former team. “It’s a great organization. I’m still close with the people there. It was great to see the kids that we had drafted that are now these veteran players, All-Pro players on that team. Had a chance to give them a hug last night and now we go our separate ways and get ready to play. But I’m proud of them for what they’ve done.”

One thing is for sure: a Black starting quarterback will win the Super Bowl, with the big game featuring Black quarterbacks on both teams for the first time. It is not something Pat Mahomes of the Chiefs, who has been here before, or Jalen Hurts of the Eagles, in his first Super Bowl, take for granted.

“”I think it’s something that’s worthy of being noted and it is history,” Hurts said in his press conference Monday. “I think it’s come a long way. I think there’s only been seven African American quarterbacks to play in the Super Bowl. To be the first for something is pretty cool. It’ll be a good one.”

That said: the subplots, the history in the making — it all goes by the wayside once the game starts, according to Reid, who certainly knows this from experience.

“I guess initially you feel that or sense that or see it,” Reid said. “You’re living it. I think it’s a great thing for the Eagles. I think it’s great for the Chiefs to be in this position. Once you get through all that, now it’s the teams playing each other and it doesn’t really matter the uniform. Once the game gets going, it’s football.”

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