Andy Reid is one win away from football immortality. And while he quietly yearns for it, those around him are vocal in their desire to complete his resume.
The Super Bowl is life-altering for everyone involved with it.
This year, nobody will be more impacted by its result than Andy Reid.
The Kansas City Chiefs head coach has all the other pieces of a Hall of Fame resume. He’s been to seven conference title games. He’s the sixth-winningest coach to ever live. He’s been to a Super Bowl. He’s been named NFL Coach of the Year.
And he’s never won a championship.
His players know this. The front office and coaching staff understand this. Talking to them, they’re pained by it. The desire to win emanating from Kansas City is palpable. It’s for each individual, sure, but the collective goal is clear. Win for Andy.
“I don’t know if you can really put into words what it would mean,” said general manager Brett Veach, who has been with Reid dating back to their shared time with the Philadelphia Eagles. “It’s so special. Andy has done so much for so many people that to sit here and quantify it in words would be tough, but it would mean everything. His resume speaks for itself. All the wins and all the accolades he has.
“I truly mean this when I say he makes people better, not only in football and scouting and coaching and all that kind of stuff, but he makes people better by the way he acts and treats people, and the example he sets. It would certainly mean the world.”
On Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, Reid has his best chance to right that wrong. His Chiefs are slight favorites in the contest, boasting the league’s best player in quarterback Patrick Mahomes. They have an offense that put up 51 and 35 points respectively in its two playoff games this January, erasing double-digit deficits in warp speed.
Yet none of it matters for Reid if he and his team come up short. Nobody outside of Kansas City will remember the 24-point comeback against the Houston Texans, or the Chiefs finally winning the Lamar Hunt Trophy. It’ll all come with a but then to start the definitive sentence.
Reid may wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame even with a loss. There’s precedent for a title-less coach getting into Canton, with Bud Grant and Marv Levy earning enshrinement. However, both of those men reached four Super Bowls. George Allen also made it despite only earning one trip to Super Sunday.
But the Chiefs aren’t thinking about any of that. They’re thinking of delivering.
“It would be huge to be part of it,” special teams coach Dave Toub said of helping Reid to his first title. “It would be huge to see it. It would be huge for Andy. I know he’ll never admit it, but I’ll tell you what, it’s the icing on the cake for him and his career.”
Ultimately, this is Reid’s moment to make the grandest of statements. Win on Sunday, and he enters the hallowed class of coaches with long-term success who own jewelry to match. Combined with his extensive coaching tree — Doug Pederson, Ron Rivera and John Harbaugh headline the group — Reid has a legacy larger than most. Hoisting the Lombardi Trophy would be the ultimate piece of his football story.
“It would mean a lot,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “In my opinion he’s already a Hall of Fame coach. … I think he’s done a lot for this league, especially minority coaches. You look at our minority coaches, and there’s four or five. You don’t see that too much. You can tell he’s a guy about the people. I remember our first conversation. It was all about family, it’s all about team, it’s all about being who you are. He makes us feel comfortable.
“So I think winning this game, it’ll be big for Andy Reid.”