They were funny and honest. They even made sense - for a little while.
After the Eagles announced Andy Reid's contract extension the other day, the head coach and the owner sat next to each other in the NovaCare Complex auditorium. It was a surprisingly candid, entertaining show. Jeffrey Lurie said sweet things about Big Red, and Big Red said sweet things about him, and both of them teased the media a little about how the news conferences aren't always a gas for any of us. People laughed.
Somewhere in there, Lurie made a good point. He said they all want to win a Super Bowl, but before you can do that you have to be in the mix. As my buddy Wax is fond of saying, "You have to be in it to win it."
"You can't win a Super Bowl unless you're in line to get to the playoffs and be in that championship game," Lurie said. "That's the only path there is."
It's no secret that I haven't been the biggest advocate for Reid, but it was hard to argue with Lurie's logic on that front. (Quick aside: Is it me, or does Lurie talk and look a little like Adam Arkin, the actor who plays Ethan Zobelle on Sons of Anarchy?) Reid has the most regular-season and playoff wins of any coach in club history, and his teams are always in the postseason conversation.
While Lurie was lauding him, Reid was making self-deprecating jokes about his waistline and praising the fans. It was disarming, even charming, stuff.
"The fans have just been unbelievable," Reid said. "They're fair. If we stink, they let us know we stink. If we're doing OK, they let us know we're doing OK. But they're always there. My hat is off to them."
He should have stopped while he was ahead. He didn't.
"This is just another statement by Jeffrey and Joe [Banner] to say we have the top organization in the National Football League," Reid said.
If it had been a concert, that would have been the ear-piercing, microphone-feedback moment.
It's one thing to point out your success - and, again, Reid and the Birds have had quite a bit of it - but it's something altogether different to pretend you're U2 when you haven't won a single Grammy. It was the same sort of mystifying, arrogant self-aggrandizement that led people to criticize Banner during training camp for congratulating the Eagles on having the best roster in the NFL.
Is the organization completely deaf to its collective, blatant hubris? How can the Eagles have the best organization in football when the only thing that ultimately matters is a parade and they have yet to host one? It would be like Marv Levy extolling the virtues of the Buffalo Bills and claiming leaguewide supremacy after his gang got its teeth kicked in by the Giants and Redskins and Cowboys back in the 1990s. That's break-out-the-meds delusion.
Lurie said Reid has a "burning desire" to win a Super Bowl, and both of them talked repeatedly about having unfinished business to address. That's wonderful. Truly.
If Reid secures the Lombardi Trophy before his new contract expires in 2013, he will be rightly hailed, and so will the franchise. That's the way it works - you win it all first, then you trumpet yourself as the best swingin' jazz cat to ever toot a horn. But you shouldn't reverse that process. When you do, the tone sounds flat.
Went to the Sixers game the other night. While I was in the men's room someone shouted, "Hey, Gonzo - I missed the fantasy football playoffs because of you." It was weird. I mean, what was my mom doing in the men's room?
QB: Kurt Warner, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo
RB: Jamaal Charles, Fred Jackson, Knowshon Moreno
WR: Donald Driver, Derrick Mason, Robert Meachem
TE: Greg Olsen, Visanthe Shiancoe, Jermichael Finley
QB: Eli Manning, Vince Young, Jay Cutler
RB: Larry Johnson, Beanie Wells, Ahmad Bradshaw
WR: Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe, Jeremy Maclin
TE: John Carlson, Bo Scaife, Ben Watson
(Home team in caps)
Last week: 2-4
Bengals +61/2 over VIKINGS: Worst commercial: Brett Favre in the jeans ad where he plays football in the mud, or Chad Ochocinco in the ESPN the Magazine spot with Cole Hamels?
Chargers +3 over COWBOYS: December is never kind to Jerry Jones and the 'Boys. I'm sure you're sad about that.
Packers -4 over BEARS: Full disclosure: Every time I pick a Packers game it goes the other way. I think that means I'm due.
RAIDERS +1 over Redskins: Anyone see Mark Cuban get driven through a table during a WWE match the other night? Someone needs to sign up Dan Snyder for that.
Panthers +13 over PATRIOTS: The Hoodie's troops are having a tough time right now. They should win this game, but that's an awful lot of points.
Eagles +1 over GIANTS: I know the Giants beat the 'Boys. And it's going to be cold and windy and miserable in the Meadowlands this evening. But how are the Birds getting points here? Maybe Vegas is setting a trap, but I'm walking into it anyway.