AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.
It's common knowledge what the life of a NFL coach entails during the season. The grueling 18-hour work days, suffocating pressure and lack of job security ensures that most of them are not the most fun people to be around. Their families sometimes feel the full brunt of this. For every unhealthily obsessed successful coach, there are always the accompanying battle scars of their success: sleeping in the office, hypertension and, most often, a total lack of recognition for what goes on in the outside world between August and January.
Sometimes, there's more serious collateral damage from this sacrifice - your family. Andy Reid's sons are currently atop the coaching casualty list thanks to their recent legal indiscretions and emotional troubles. Of course, it's a little quick to call them totally hopeless. Much of what the Reid kids are going through (in particular, the pill-popping, swerve-driving Britt) can be chalked up to just plain old growing pains. Granted, he's 22, a legal adult, but come on, who didn't do dumb shit when they were in their late teens/early 20s?
I know I did. In fact, I spent three separate nights in jail before my 22nd birthday. The charges:
• 1991, Ocean City, N.J.: Underage drinking
• 1992, Sea Isle City, N.J.: Underage drinking, public urination, indecent exposure
• 1995, Bethlehem, Pa: Public intoxication, assaulting police officer (dropped)
It's different, obviously, since I don't blame those little missteps on an absentee father. I'm more a product of my environment. It's definitely a gritty life in the farm animal-shaped, mailbox-lined streets of Churchville, Pa. When you spend a childhood riding Huffy bikes around well-lit cul-de-sacs, splashing around in-ground pools and playing soccer at St. Vincent De Paul's, ya grow up hard. Thank God I got out of there. I'd either be dead or in prison.
Andy Reid's troubled children may not be direct results of his profession. But Andy's all-night film sessions and meticulous coaching nature leave little time for him to be a part of his family's everyday life. Britt Reid won't be the last to get swallowed up by this cruel reality of the NFL coaching lifestyle. In fact, given his "problems," he actually might be one of the lucky ones.
So this week, I'm running around, robbing banks all wacked off of Scooby Snacks, and placing odds on the next NFL coach's family to fall apart.
Let's go check in on that cat and silver spoon, after this MORE.
Brian Billick: 1/2
This guy's been a dick since the first moment a microphone was stuck in his face. The Baltimore Ravens head coach is an unabashed self-centered tyrant, a bully, and there's not an airplane hangar big enough to store his ego. Brian Billick is convinced that's the solar system buzzing around his head each day. His approach to coaching has to spill over to family life, and it's probably his younger daughter Keegan who'll most likely suffer. How awful must it be to grow up in a house with a Dad who's written a book called " Competitive Leadership: 12 Principles for Success"? She probably related to Little Miss Sunshine on a personal level. Now, she's a college field hockey player at THE Ohio State, but who's to say she's not spending her weekends carving "Fuck You Dad" into her forearm with a screwdriver and taking her patriarchal frustrations out on top of the faces of the Buckeyes offensive line? Yeah, DAD, which chapter talks about how I can be "successful" at THAT?
Another hot-head who has probably missed most of his family life due to football. Holmgren's temper is legendary, and he's always resorted to barking orders and having very little patience for people who don't respect them. Just ask Marty Mornhinweg about the time he played a tape of Holmgren's high school doo-wop group for Packers players. Marty shit a ghost. So far, it appears like Holmgren's dodged a bullet with his four daughters — one's a successful doctor, another's a lawyer — but resentments have a way of festering and revealing themselves later in life. Sure, Dr. Calla Holmgren sounds like she's got her act together, but there's a reason she chose gynecology as her medicinal field. She grew up hating men. Oh, and she loves a daily dose of uterine lining. YOUR FAULT, Coach.
The San Francisco 49ers coach's decision to wear a suit on the sidelines tells you a lot about his character. The man likes to keep up appearances and has no tolerance for people lacking self-respect.
He's young, but he embraces a military-sense of discipline. His poor sons have probably had a childhood of daily bed checks and inspirational sayings from Korean War vets taped to their foreheads while they sleep. Of course his two young daughters can look forward to their young adult years filled with constant demands for longer skirts, extra buttons on blouses and background checks on all their boyfriends. Nolan should be hopeful their rebellion doesn't come in the form of double-teaming Kevan Barlow one day. But his sons will probably live a life comparable to Ricky Fitts, wandering around with video cameras videotaping their neighbors reading on the toilet.
Bill Belichick: 1/8
He's just terrifying. Growing up with Bill Belichick must have been like growing up with Martin Sheen when he was filming Apocalypse Now. Just a dark, haunted man, whose connection to humanity was lost sometime during his press conference turning down the Jets job. After that, he willingly accepted the Robert Kraft anal probe and left all remnants of his past life behind. His soon to be Rutgers Lacrosse playing son, Stephen, has already been busted for smoking pot. Most likely, Belichick's already given up on the other two and left them to fend for themselves and learn their life lessons on their own; it's a cold and cruel world, but you must learn to survive in it wearing only a gray sweatshirt.