In 2007, the world in which he and Britt lived collapsed. Suddenly, they weren’t Big Red’s big boys. They were druggies. They were gun-waving thugs, and they weren’t cute anymore. They were terrifying. They were everything Reid hoped they would never become … but that, too, served a purpose. The younger children saw them fall, and feared the same. Andy and Tammy became better parents, more involved, more reflective. Spencer, the youngest, dedicated himself to the game, walked the straight-and-narrow and now is a running back at Temple, the pride of a proud family. In the wake of his brothers’ wasted years, he became what they had once hoped to become. After his troubles, Britt remade himself. He reverted, really. Once again he became a personable kid, the affable redhead kid who everybody liked as soon as they saw his sideways smile. Garrett never was that kid. Garrett was quieter, more withdrawn. Always very sensitive. Tall. Awkward. It turned out that, between the brothers, Garrett had the larger issues. While serving time in county jail for a 2007 traffic accident while high on heroin, Garrett got caught smuggling drugs into jail. When he got out, he failed a drug test and while at a halfway house, he got into a fight with another resident. He was sent back to jail. Eventually, Garrett, like Britt, remade himself, too. Differently. Garrett Reid grew into adulthood tall and awkward … and massive, and hardened. After the two stints in jail, his smile came less frequently. He tended to look past people. He moved through the world, but where he had been engaging, he now rarely engaged. The hardening was physical, too. It seemed to suit him. What was soft and gangly for its first 27 years became chiseled and massive. His chest expanded. His belly collapsed. His shoulders broadened. He was still tall. Awkward. But, now, imposing. He had been assisting the strength coaches at Eagles camp, but as a specimen only 29 years old, Garrett Reid almost looked like a player. He had a girlfriend. He looked fit, stable. He looked great. Just like his father said.
I don’t think anyone at Barstool claims to be George Plimpton or anything, but how the fuck does this shit get published? If you read the full story, it reads like a sonnet–one without a point. He can write in short, choppy sentences that take up the entire length of a page. Got it. Really, there are a few questions worth asking here: Did Marcus Hayes put the final period on this thing and hit send with a shit-eating grin across his face that was all like “Man, I just killed that piece.” Better yet, what the fuck editor actually read this and said, “God damn, Marcus, that’s the good stuff right there”? He would have been better off writing “Reid’s kid used to be alive, but now he’s not. Don’t have much else for you guys here.” Or, he could have saved up some steamy dumps from yesterday, molded his shit into a ball, put an Eagles hat on it and taken a picture. It would have been more meaningful and creative.
I’m not here to criticize the guy’s body of work. Anybody who has ever written anything knows it’s impossible to bang out top notch stuff all of the time. But come on. The son of the most scrutinized and high-profile coach in town dies. At training camp. There’s a story all lined up dripping with tragedy and hundreds of subplots and emotions for you to capitalize on, and that’s what you bring? Something that basically says, “Yo, seven days ago Andy Reid said everything is great. Guess it’s not now, ‘cuz your kid is dead and all.”
PS–Good move on the paper’s front page layout by strategically dropping that smoke right over Reid’s shoulder. Nothing says “Check out these Philly girls still looking for some dick” by contrasting it with an untimely death. Strong plays all around here.