Andy Reid's ordeals and triumphs

The office door would close softly behind him. The man who always worked, who never took a break, who essentially lived at the office, was leaving early.

Andy Reid had to go see his sons.

Every Thursday night for nearly two years, Reid would quickly eat dinner in his office and then put aside his job as the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and drive, sometimes longer than an hour, to a prison. For one son, Reid had to go to three prisons.

He was a very successful coach of a very successful franchise in the National Football League. But for a few hours every week, he had no ego, no pride, no status. Reid was just a father concerned about his incarcerated sons, who were addicted to drugs.

Reid went to the prisons to help, to offer support, to give a lifeline to Garrett and Britt, who were in jail on drug-related offenses. It did not scar him, but it did leave calluses.

"It was a good experience," the 52-year old Reid said. "But not one I'd like to do again."

It changed the coach, made him stronger and more real - to his players, to his bosses and to his family. Andy Reid, the man who controls all football decisions by the Eagles, who gets the credit when things go well and the blame when they don't, was now sympathetic to the way of the world, a world he'd lived beyond football.
andy reids sons

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