Understanding Andy

Posted: June 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 25 Comments »

Andy Reid was on a chat with Jeff McLane and Eagles fans today over at Philly.com.  Here’s a link to the transcript.  Most of the answers were pretty generic, but one did finally give us a clue to Andy’s mindset.

Someone asked what his favorite movie is.  Big Red responded “The Sting“.  And that explains everything.

I am a movie buff.  Have been for a long time.  Oddly, I’d never watched The Sting until last week.  I’ve always wanted to see it, but just kept putting it off for one reason or another.  It won a bunch of awards when it came out in 1973.  The main stars are Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Robert Shaw.  That’s a pretty great trio to lead a film.

The movie is about some con artists that outsmart a crime boss.  And that is the problem.  Andy loves complex schemes.  Why run into the crime boss’s joint with a gun and rob him when you can use 237 tricks (give or take) to outsmart him and get away with it.

Andy has the same mindset in football.  Why run for a yard when we can go play-action and throw for 4 yards on 3rd/1?  It’s always more fun to trick the other guy.

That’s great in movies and David Mamet plays, but not football.  At its core, football is a game of brute strength and power.  You need to mix in some plays and wrinkles that will trick opponents, but the foundation of a good team is executing base plays.

Someone needs to go to Andy’s house and throw out The Sting DVD.  The question now is what DVD we should have him watch.  What movies will help plant the right seeds in his head, that sometimes it is wise to set aside the schemes and just knock the crap out of the other guy?

The Enforcer

Full Metal Jacket

Heck, maybe we should just show him the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark when the swordsman is going through all his gyrations with the sword and Indiana Jones just pulls out the pistol and shoots him.

Other ideas?

25 Comments on “Understanding Andy”

  1. 1 Jonzee said at 4:22 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    The Hulk.

  2. 2 JimmyK said at 4:22 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    Less like Oceans 11, and more like Raising Arizona?

  3. 3 Makarov said at 4:27 PM on June 15th, 2011:


  4. 4 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:28 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    Exactly to all 3.

    Please god, don’t let him see any of the Ocean’s Eleven movies or we’re in big trouble.

  5. 5 Dan in Philly said at 4:46 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you here, in that to my understanding, that’s what the NFL is these days, complexity. How complicated is the Saint’s offense? The Patriot’s defense? The Steeler’s blitz package? Today’s NFL is all about creating matchups, and maybe Reid has been part of the coaches leading that charge. The days of “Ground Chuck” Knoll, 3 yards and a cloud of dust are long gone, and the yearning for them often voiced (sometimes without realizing it) by the fans will not bring them back.

    I like his enjoyment of “The Sting,” since there’s a movie where it takes guts and smarts to bring off a win. If at any time that mob boss even suspected what was going on, he’d kill Redford, Newman, and everyone else involved. That’s not a movie with just slick moves, all flash and no substance. Redford had to be willing to take a beating, too. Those guys were con men, but they were real men.

    On the other hand, what movie would you most not like Reid to enjoy? “The Princess Bride?” “Bambi?” How about “Matchstick Men” where the con man gets conned in the end?

  6. 6 Thunderlips said at 4:51 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    Let’s go with another Newman/Redford classic that finds better balance between skill and scheme: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Somebody say “1, 2, 3, go.”

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:03 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    @ Dan…

    Interesting take. I always appreciate a good dissenting opinion.

    I definitely see your side of things, but I still think Andy is too interested in outsmarting the opponent. You need some of that, but there is a real difference in chess and football. Chess is purely about strategy. At some point the physical nature of football has to be factored into running an offense and devising a gameplan.

  8. 8 Davesbeard said at 6:50 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    Tremors! Mostly because that film kicks ass. It’s not very relevant. The Elephant gun is pretty much the only useful metaphor.

  9. 9 theguyotc said at 7:07 PM on June 15th, 2011:


    Not because I think he’ll take anything away from it, just as retribution for all the times we’ve been screaming at the television for him to just call a running play already.

  10. 10 Ken said at 8:08 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    I would have thought for sure Andy’s favorite movie would have been Heavy Weights.

  11. 11 mcud said at 9:00 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    You’re right. Andy outsmarts himself at times. At the end of the day, you have to be able to let your players do what they do, and let the chips fall where they may.

    Would Hickory have won the state title if they had run the picket fence (or whatever Gene Hackman wanted to run) instead of just letting Chitwood do what he was born to do? Maybe the decoy would have worked, but I think scheme gets you only so far, and then you have to let guys be the men they are, for better or for worse. At crunch time, spread the floor, allow your guy to be better than the other guy.

  12. 12 eagles nut said at 9:22 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    I’m with Andy. Ultimately speaking what is the point of football and really all sports? It’s entertainment! Complex pass-happy schemes are a lot more fun to watch than 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

  13. 13 Stephen said at 10:02 PM on June 15th, 2011:

    I think he should watch 300. We could use some of that badass swag on our team.

  14. 14 dave said at 12:56 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    remember the titans

  15. 15 Mike said at 2:00 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    A CLOCKWORK Orange 😉

  16. 16 nathale said at 5:17 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    i have no problem with reid being addicted to complexity per se, if only, as in ‘the sting’, his scheming would end up working.

    so i wouldn’t advise for him to watch another movie, but rather to watch ‘the sting’ again and again until he undestands why *his* plans are seldom-ish brought to fruition.

    ok. spice it up with a pinch of ‘reservoir dogs’, just to be sure there is just a teeny weeny bit of gratuitous nastyness (is that even a word ?) in this team, say for instance, in the ol.

  17. 17 nathalie said at 5:18 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    argh. missed an i in my name and a r in understand. why not re-read what i type huh.

  18. 18 MikeC said at 8:14 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    The Long Riders – talk about some tough mothers who would just go right after what they wanted.

  19. 19 Big Don said at 8:57 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    How about the riveting war epic with Sylvania vs. Freedonia? Andy loves his food. Anyone…

  20. 20 Alex K said at 9:38 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    “Say Anything,” because I think Nnamdi Asamougha would totally sign with the Eagles if Andy stood outside his house in the rain blaring Peter Gabriel from a boom box held high above his head.

  21. 21 Scott said at 11:13 AM on June 16th, 2011:

    A Fridge Too Far

  22. 22 Thorin said at 12:31 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    I’m also with Andy on this one, although he needs to learn that sometimes nothing is as surprising as a straight kick to the face. Just ask Andersen Silva or whoever it was he did it to.

    Any of you guys know the Rolling Stone columnist Chuck Klosterman? He wrote a really interesting essay about football that I think encapsulates all of this:
    (I highly recommend the essay about ABBA he mentions as well, but it’s got nothing to do with Football)

  23. 23 Cliff said at 1:43 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    The characteristics that make Reid a great VP also handicap his game management, unfortunately.

  24. 24 Dtown said at 10:51 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    Wait – no one has mentioned Better Off Dead? Wouldn’t Charles De Mar’s advice to Lane Meyer remind Andy of Castillo’s plan to simplify the defense:


  25. 25 Tommy Lawlor said at 11:33 PM on June 16th, 2011:

    Brilliant. Glad you thought of that.

    Love that movie.