The real Andy Reid

Much is being made about the celebration that broke out on the Eagles sideline after their last-second victory over the Bucs in Tampa on Sunday.

After all, although the Birds managed to snap an eight-game losing streak when rookie Nick Foles found Jeremy Maclin in a corner of the end zone, the Eagles also were officially eliminated from playoff contention Sunday.

But there was Andy Reid, chest-bumping Duce Staley and offering bear hugs to a number of assistants amid all the jubilation of a win that boosted the Birds status to 4-9. The mood remained upbeat in Reid’s post-game press conference. This was a different guy than the monotone coach who reviews the injuries and then offers the familiar “time’s yours” pitch to the assembled media.

So what gives?

Here’s one theory. What we saw on the sidelines and in his post-game interview is the real Andy Reid, a guy who knows his fate, who knows he will not be back for a 15th year as Eagles boss, and who is only now showing his real personality. I don't think anyone can argue this was a different Reid. I actually watched his entire press conference, instead of turning away in disgust as I have so many weeks when Reid's arrogance actually bled through the screen.

It's a shame Reid waited so long to show the fans such passion. The coach showed more emotion Sunday than he had in all those other 13 years combined. In doing show he also showed a connection with fans that has been vacant for most of his reign here, and which eventually helped turn the Birds' faithful against him.

This is a passionate sports town, and we like our athletes to show some passion as well. That goes for coaches, too.

When Reid allowed, if only for a few brief minutes, his personality to bubble over in reacting to that last-second winning TD toss, he did something every fan was doing in front of their TV in the family room.

Sports is a shared experience, a common bond that weaves through our communities. Too often the haughty, arrogant Reid would hold himself above such things. In doing so he alienated fans who mistook that for a guy without emotion.

On Sunday, Reid offered proof that wasn’t the case.

Too bad it took him 14 years to do it.