Andy Reid has had a better 72 hours in his life.
Imagine trying to manage, navigate — and excel — on one of the most important days of your professional life while dealing with what Reid was facing on Sunday.
Super Bowl Sunday. With his Chiefs trying to become the first team since the 2003-04 Patriots to repeat as champions.
What occurred Thursday night in Kansas City, two days before the Chiefs traveled to Tampa to play Super Bowl LV is worlds worse that his Chiefs losing 31-9 to the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
Reid was coaching on Sunday with a heavy heart and a lot on his mind other than football with his son Britt, a Chiefs outside linebackers coach, having allegedly caused a three-car collision on Thursday night in Kansas City that left a 5-year-old child critically injured.
The 35-year-old Britt Reid, who reportedly told an officer at the crash scene that had between two and three drinks and was on a prescription for Adderall, was not at the game Sunday night, instead reportedly in the hospital and expected to remain there for days.
“My heart goes out to those involved, the family of those little girls fighting for their lives,’’ Reid said after the game. “From a human standpoint, my heart bleeds for them.’’
Reid refused to use the incident as an excuse for what occurred Sunday night, pointing out “the game plan was put in a week ago.’’
“From a human standpoint, yeah, it’s a tough one,’’ he said. “From a football standpoint … two separate things. From a football standpoint, I don’t think that was the problem.’’
Thursday night’s incident dredged up past tragedy involving Andy Reid’s family.
His son, Garrett, died at age 29 of an accidental drug overdose during Eagles training camp in 2012. Britt was sentenced to 8 to 23 months in jail plus five months of probation on gun and drug charges in 2007.
So, these were the circumstances under which Reid was forced to coach on Sunday night — as if the task wasn’t already difficult enough to beat Tom Brady, playing in his 10th Super Bowl, and the defensively stout Buccaneers in their home stadium.
“I take full responsibility,’’ Reid said of the loss. “We can’t do the things we did and beat a good football team like that — especially at this level. I could have done a better job putting guys in better position. It was a bad day to have a bad day.’’
After spending the first 20 of his 22-year NFL career as a head coach known for his failure to win the big game, Reid was trying to win a second consecutive Super Bowl.
Before last February, he had become tagged as “the winningest coach without a Super Bowl title’’ — much the way Phil Mickelson became the poster child in golf as “the best player never to win a major’’ before he finally broke through with his 2004 Masters title and went on to win four more majors after that.
On Sunday in Tampa, Reid was trying to join some coaching legends who’ve coached multiple Super Bowl champions.
Entering Sunday, there were 33 different winning Super Bowl coaches, 13 of them with more than one ring. A Kansas City win and Reid’s name would have stood alongside multiple champions such as Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Tom Landry, Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.
None of that matters now, of course. Particularly with the grim reality that Reid faces with his son and whatever consequences ensue when he returns to Kansas City.