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"I don't want to die doing drugs. I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion."
August 7, 2012 9:59 PM   Subscribe

"Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at training camp at Lehigh University." Garrett's legal troubles and struggle with addiction were widely publicized over the years due to his high profile father. After leaving prison he fought hard to change this legacy and was employed as a trainer with the team at the time of his death. "Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart."

Garrett's funeral was held on August 7th at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Broomal, PA with over 900 in attendance, including a long list of well known NFL figures.

Andy Reid will
likely return from his leave of absence to coach the Eagles during their preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Thursday.

"Your first reaction is sorrow for Andy Reid and his family. We don't really know them, we can't really feel their pain, so we grieve for them from a distance. But what really hits home, whether you're an Eagles fan or not, is that what happened to the Reid family could happen to your family and you know it and it scares you to death."
posted by furiousxgeorge (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
A similar story can be told a thousand times over for children of any family who find the lure of the high stronger than their own will until they find they are bound in chains to a substance and are unable to shake it.

Is the fact that this one child happened to be the son of a football coach something that makes this story somehow more tragic than any of those other stories?

I don't think so.

My heart goes out to his family in their time of loss. But it also goes out to all those other families who have lost loved ones this past week to drug addiction. I wish their stories were also so well publicized.
posted by hippybear at 10:37 PM on August 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


But it also goes out to all those other families who have lost loved ones this past week to drug addiction.

Is the fact that those loved ones happened to be lost this past week something that makes their stories somehow more tragic than any of those other stories?

I don't think so.

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posted by ericost at 11:20 PM on August 7, 2012


I think it's got the 'the father was an NFL coach (who was away a lot so maybe he turned to drugs to fill the void)' mixed with the 'the father was a sports coach (and we all know the players use steroids so he figured why not try other things)' gratuitous publicity sets involved with it.

So you get the 'tragic loss of a talented young man' with the 'implication of parental neglect and/or being involved with a crowd that pushes drug use' stories mixed together to hit as many buttons as possible.
posted by mephron at 11:27 PM on August 7, 2012


i consider myself a huge nfl fan and i've watched a lot of andy reid. i'm also a (former) 3rd generation mormon. i had absolutely no idea he was LDS. i have no clue how that passed me by.

i think a lot of families would prefer to not be playing this bit of tragedy out publicly and i don't think less famous families who have lost love ones to addiction envy the reid's position this week.
posted by nadawi at 12:00 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't it be nice if young men like this got help, instead of prison?
posted by Malor at 2:01 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The woman he smashed his car into while fleeing police armed with a gun and high on opiates forgave him, she was pretty seriously injured.
posted by fixedgear at 2:48 AM on August 8, 2012


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posted by cashman at 3:49 AM on August 8, 2012


Wouldn't it be nice if young men like this got help, instead of prison?

Did you read any of the articles? He did get help, lots of it. His family helped him go to rehab, and he got sent to court ordered drug counseling. But he continued dealing, and at some point, he ran out of chances. He did his time, got out, got a job at Lehigh (probably through some family connections), and well, wound up dead. Sad. Sad. Sad.

I feel like this is almost the same story as the McCullough (the kid drug dealer from David Simon's The Corner) one from a couple days ago. Even with all the advantages in the world Reid couldn't stay clean. Money doesn't seem to be a deciding factor.

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posted by bluefly at 4:04 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


It isn't known yet how he died. "Drug-related" seems to be an assumption based on his life. That's the way I'd go if I was a gambling man, but I would wait for the autopsy results before jumping to conclusions.
posted by Renoroc at 4:36 AM on August 8, 2012


and at some point, he ran out of chances.

Why should there even be a concept of 'chances' about what you put into your body? If there's any property that's ultimately yours, to use or abuse as you see fit, that would be it.

Mostly, we as a society inflicted his troubles on him. Maybe he would have overdosed anyway, maybe he wouldn't, but his prison time and his need to flee the police were OUR doing, not his. It's our bullshit rule that we're enforcing, quite literally at gunpoint. We're mostly the ones at fault here.

Haven't enough people died in the drug war?
posted by Malor at 5:04 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why should there even be a concept of 'chances' about what you put into your body? If there's any property that's ultimately yours, to use or abuse as you see fit, that would be it.


I think I misinterpreted your original comment. If you are advocating for legalization of drugs, ok, I see your point. It should be noted that Reid was sent to prison following drug charges stemming from an incident in which he was driving a car while high on heroin which resulted in a crash that injured another driver (I think there were also some gun charges from another incident as well).
posted by bluefly at 5:16 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huge Iggles fan here.

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posted by JKevinKing at 6:35 AM on August 8, 2012


It isn't known yet how he died. "Drug-related" seems to be an assumption based on his life.

The statement from the Reid family has been taken as confirmation that it was drug related.

got a job at Lehigh (probably through some family connections)

To be clear, his job was with the Eagles. He was in a dorm room at Lehigh because that is where the Eagles hold their training camp. And yeah obviously most addicts with a record will have a seriously tough time getting a job that good if not for family connections.

Andy's family experience with this (Garrett's brother Britt had some similar issues) has been regarded in playing a role in his decision to bring Micheal Vick to the team when he left prison, to try and send the message that folks coming out of prison deserve a second chance. I really hope Vick stays away from the activity that ruined his life and is able to commit to that second chance long term.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:45 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


*as playing a role
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:57 AM on August 8, 2012


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:44 AM on August 8, 2012


Andy just spoke at a press conference and was great. You can see the character of the guy. His Wilford Brimley stache obscured his mouth but his recent weight loss is still evident and I hope he is able to keep getting healthy. He made the comment that garret was going through that battle, but that doesnt mean you stop loving your son.
posted by cashman at 9:01 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reminded of this...


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posted by sibboleth at 12:18 PM on August 8, 2012


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