The NFL has been clamoring for parity at all costs in recent years going so far as to add a third wild-card team in 2021. It marked the first playoff expansion since 1990 as the league continues to push back on dynasties. They prefer to spread that money around the country while highlighting a variety of markets and superstars.
Still, amazingly, the cream always rises to the top. The best-oiled organizations tend to find themselves wearing conference championship gear and competing for Super Bowls year after year after year. For example, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. Those two franchises have won two of the past five Super Bowls as they prepare to go head-to-head in this year’s title game.
More impressively, the Eagles and Chiefs have combined for only 13 losing seasons since 2000 (5 for Philly, 8 for KC). They have also racked up a whopping 27 playoff appearances (15 for Philly, 12 for KC), including 19 division titles (10 for Philly, 9 for KC) while advancing to 12 conference championship games (7 for Philly, 5 for KC).
Parity? Not so much. Credit two forward-thinking franchises built on a great foundation of stable ownership and a savvy front office.
Legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg told this reporter that the Eagles and Chiefs are “two Super Bowl organizations.” He serves as Patrick Mahomes’ agent so he’s slightly biased toward Kansas City, although he has had plenty of dealings with Philadelphia brass over his storied career. Steinberg never ceases to marvel at how both those organizations are run, arguably the gold standards of the NFL.
Here is what Steinberg told Mike Greger about the Eagles:
The key to winning in football is the quality of the organization. It’s stability at the ownership level, its vision, if the front office can evaluate talent and that understands the cap, it’s the coach that has the system, and the fact of the matter is that Jeffrey Lurie has owned the Eagles for some time. He’s a great owner. He’s stable. He has vision.
Howie Roseman is an outstanding chief executive with a real eye for players and the bold move, even just the fact that they moved off of Carson Wentz to Hurts. It was a controversial move, but they aren’t afraid to pull the trigger. And then [Nick] Sirianni has been a great coach, an outstanding coach. They’re as solid of an organization as there can be.
Here is what Steinberg told Mike Greger about the Chiefs:
You’ve got Clark Hunt who is classy, stable. He inherits the team from his father. They’ve got Brett Veach as the general manager, he’s an astute judge of talent, and they made a controversial move which was letting go of Tyreek Hill. And, somehow, it’s worked out.
So that’s an assembling of players, and then you got a dream for a coach in Andy Reid who is a quarterback whisperer but also an innovator in terms of schemes. And he’s won everywhere he’s been, Ironically, you have his current team against his old team. But Andy Reid is as good as they come at the coaching level. And, again, they have ways of designing offensive plays that are sensational.
Bye, Bye Parity: No Rebuilding Process for Chiefs, Eagles
Steinberg touched on the issue of parity during a lengthy conversation previewing this year’s Super Bowl matchup. Andy Reid is getting ready to face the franchise he helped bring out of the NFC East basement two decades ago.
After a mutual parting of ways in Philly, Reid has guided the Chiefs to 117 regular season wins since 2013. Incredible. Meanwhile, the Eagles have accumulated 92 victories over that same timeframe under three different coaches (Chip Kelly, Doug Pederson, Nick Sirianni). Again, it all goes back to stability.
“So, you have two Super Bowl organizations going up against each other,” Steinberg said. “Super Bowl owners. Super Bowl front offices. Super Bowl coaches. The game is supposed to have parity, so parity would mean that a team would go through a long, long period where they would have to go through a rebuilding process, which would be a period of a few years of losing, but that hasn’t been the way the Chiefs have done things. This will be Patrick’s third Super Bowl. And the fact that the Chiefs – and five years ago Philadelphia won the Super Bowl – so if parity were the key, then both of these teams would be in major rebuilding processes, but they haven’t been.”
Andy Reid Embraced New Personality Since After Philly
Andy Reid was a bit robotic during his 14-year reign in Philadelphia, preferring to stare stoically at his call sheet on the sideline and spew cliches in his post-game press conferences. “I have to put players in better position to succeed” was a favorite catchphrase. The jokes and smiles were few and far between.
Now, mentoring Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, Reid has flashed a brand-new bag, baby. He dabs up his players, appears in TV commercials, and sometimes dances with his team. The new Andy Reid is warm and real, according to Steinberg.
“Absolutely. Some of that comes with age, some of that comes with comfort level,” Steinberg said. “He’s been charming and with a great sense of humor and relates really well with the players. If you watch him on the sideline with Patrick you can tell they have a connection that greatly helps him in the game but, again, it’s all about stability, to be able to have a coach like [Nick] Sirianni, in his second year he takes his team to the Super Bowl, that’s a pretty stunning achievement.”