MIAMI — The most popular person in this Super Bowl isn’t the quarterback with the ridiculous skills and cannon for an arm or the one with the GQ good looks. It’s the 61-year-old bald man with the mustache who has nine grandchildren and is known as “Big Red.”
Andy Reid is a beloved figure, and it seems as if everyone outside of San Francisco and the Bay Area wants to see him capture his first Super Bowl title as a head coach. Current and former players along with coaches on his staff and on others all hope Reid hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night.
“I’m humbled by it,” Reid said. “I’m very humbled by it. I’ve got great guys here, friends throughout the league that I’ve known a long time. But this is about this team, the guys that have worked so hard to get where they’re at right now, the players and coaches. It’s about the organization.
“It’s a team effort getting into this position. It’s not about one person at all. Right now, my main focus is making sure we as coaches do a good job, our players do a good job in the Super Bowl.”
Reid is 207-128-1 in 21 seasons as an NFL head coach with the Eagles and Chiefs. He has 15 playoff appearances and only three losing seasons. But the one thing missing from what many already consider a Hall of Fame resume is a Super Bowl victory.
He lost his only other trip to the big game as a head coach when his Eagles fell to the Patriots in the Super Bowl 15 years ago. These Chiefs are much more loaded than that team. Third-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a dynamic playmaker with weapons all over the place, and they all say they want to beat the 49ers for Reid as much as for themselves.
“That’s something he’s been working for his entire career,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “Getting that for him, knowing we can check that box for him, means the world.”
“His work ethic, the way he treats people, people love to go out there to support him in every single way,” Mahomes said. “He’s a coach that’s won a lot of games. He’s had an amazing career. We want to win this game and put a big Super Bowl on his resume.”
Reid gave Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo his first NFL job as a defensive assistant in 1999 with the Eagles. The former Giants defensive coordinator and head coach hopes to repay Reid with a win Sunday.
“I would love to see it,” Spagnuolo said. “I’m indebted to him for getting me in the NFL. I’m probably not in the NFL if he doesn’t hire me. If somehow, some way, if we can find a way to be a part of getting this for Andy and his family, I’ll be elated.”
All of the Chiefs credit Reid for caring about them and letting them be themselves while also holding them accountable. They all talk about how he values them and has played a role in making them the players they are.
“He helped me get to where I am today,” receiver Tyreek Hill said. “He’s helped me become an All-Pro, a Pro Bowler and soon-to-be Super Bowl champion.”
Hill danced a little as he finished that phrase.
“He’s a Hall of Fame coach,” he said. “He’s a G-O-A-T. If we win, it will be even more things to add to his legacy.”