Andy Reid was the Philadelphia Eagles head coach for 14 years. Jeff Fisher was the Tennessee Titans head coach for over 16 (15 seasons). Andy Reid took the Eagles to the playoffs in 9 of those years, including 3 straight conference championship losses followed by a trip to the Superbowl. Fisher took the Titans to the playoffs in 6 different seasons.
While Andy Reid meant a lot to the Eagles franchise, I dare say that Jeff Fisher meant much more to the Titans. Fisher brought the Titans through a transition few teams go through. From playing games in Memphis, TN to spending a year playing at Vanderbilt University, all the way to the Superbowl. He helped forge a new teams identity with the help of iconic figures such as Steve McNair and Eddie George and solidified a relationship with the teams new home. Had Jeff Fisher's early years with the team been more turbulent, who knows how strong the Titans fan base would even be?
The Philadelphia eagles fan base is widely known as one of the most wildly passionate and vehement ones in the NFL. We all know they boo'd Santa Claus and were infamous for having a jail in the basement of their stadium.
On a Thursday night earlier this season, Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia wearing red and they gave Andy Reid a standing ovation. The Eagles organization played a tribute to Andy Reid and thanked him for his years of service .
Nashville, TN is not known for it's die hard, fist fighting, Santa Claus booing rabid fan base. Far from it, the laid back southern atmosphere embraces rival teams' fans as everyone takes their time getting to the game. Many even stay in the parking lot for the entire game watching it on TV as if going inside the stadium would take too much energy (I still haven't figured that one out). While not near as passionate, I would dare say that the Titans fan base was "nicer" if nothing else.
Yet with all these differences in fan bases, combined with the similarities in what the coaches meant to their respective franchises, why do I have the feeling that if the St. Louis Rams were to play in Nashville this year as opposed to the other way around, Jeff Fisher's reception would be far from that of Andy Reid's?
Is it because Fisher is too calm, cool and collected? Is it because Andy Reid is that much more of a love-able figure? Is it strictly because of the number of playoff games Reid had taken the Eagles to?
I'm sure the fans would give a mixed reaction to the return of Jeff Fisher to LP Field. But I'm also sure the organization wouldn't play a tribute.