Then you find out it was YOUR team, and YOUR head coach and HIS FAMILY affected by the tragedy...
At training camp at Lehigh University between practices Sunday, fans milled around the merchandise tent, some stating "What?" and "That's crazy!" upon being told of the news about the tragedy.
Others, who had already heard the news, said they were stunned and saddened.
"I'm heartbroken for his family," said Jason Turner of Lincoln, Pennsylvania, who heard the news on the radio while driving up to camp. This is some sad news."
Garrett and Andy...
Reid's last instruction to the team before he took a leave of absence to bury his son was to "keep practicing"...
Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo oversaw the team's practice Sunday and will oversee the Eagles until Reid returns, the team said.
The Eagles' first pre-season game is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. The team's season opener is Sept. 9 at the Cleveland Browns.
There was a palpable sense of sorrow and shock among the players at Sunday's practice. Even though I was merely watching the afternoon drills via video podcast, I got a feeling that most of the players were not overly concerned about their jobs or their craft during the proceedings.
They were worried about their "Dad" ---Big Papa Bear Andy--- and a lot of them were thinking about their own kids.
Yes, the Eagles as a team and the Eagles community of fans as a whole are pretty down right now. There's no getting around it.
But when Andy Reid returns to the team---and I believe he will return prior to Thursday's night exhibition game with the Steelers--- I think he will have a message for all of us that will be eerily similar to a poem written by the Englishman John Donne over 400 years ago... Many of us were forced to read this poem in high school English class. I never truly appreciated the meaning of the poem until now:
Death Be Not Proud
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
I'm not sure, but I think this poem means "Carry On"... Not so much to deny the tragedy of Coach Reid's and his wife Tammy's losing a son, but to instead bundle up all the pain that this team and its fans feel right now and throw it back into the face of Death.
None of us gets out of here alive. But we sure as hell can live with a vengeance for death while we're here...
I think the Eagles as an organization are going to embark upon the 2012 season with a grief-driven sense of vengeance. There is no justification for holding anything back in total support of Coach Reid's game plan now.
[Note: One of the most emotionally moving messages of sympathy for the Reid family on Sunday came from Tom Coughlin and the ownership of the New York Giants... which tells me something about the genuine class that still exists in the NFL East...]
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