There's a fairly well-known psychology exercise known as the "marshmallow experiment" in which young children are given a choice between eating one delicious marshmallow right away or the promise of two delicious marshmallows if they're able to just wait a few minutes (all while staring at the marshmallows -- check out the kids in the videos, they're super cute). The test is meant to determine a child's ability to delay gratification, and it turns out that the presence of this trait tends to predict all sorts of future goodness for the child (higher SAT scores, better self-esteem, etc).
We all thought that Andy Reid was the sort of person who doesn't eat the marshmallow. He traded his venerable starting quarterback and partner in crime last April in order to groom said QB's young successor for a new era of Eagles football. That was the plan that we were sold. And given the organizational support thrown behind Kevin Kolb as well as Andy Reid's (somewhat unfair) reputation for stubbornness, well, we all expected that Andy Reid would stick to the plan.
Sure, maybe McNabb (or, later, Vick) would have given the Eagles the best chance to win this year, but that wasn't the plan. The Eagles, unlike those shortsighted Cowboys or Redskins, are willing to prudently and patiently invest for the future. Andy Reid would not eat the marshmallow, as delicious as it might be.
Well, Andy Reid just ate the marshmallow.
(Of course he did. Dude's pushing four bills.)
Screw the plan! Screw our preconceptions about his stubbornness and sticking to his guns! Andy Reid changed his mind. There's no master plan about investing for the future at the expense of short-term profits. There is only today and next week -- Big Red's just renting time in the National Football League. Bring on the marshmallows, a whole bowl of them: Andy Reid is making s'mores.
Did anyone see this coming? Even those who were begging for it didn't think it would actually happen. Not quite so soon, at least. Why not? Because we took Reid's stubbornness for granted. Wow again.
A few additional Vick items:
- While we're going to need a full audit of all the completely incorrect things we wrote about Vick, I'd like to raise my hand and offer this gem to start. I suppose I'm still waiting for that trade!
- This is more Sam's beat, but you have to wonder if the looming labor situation factored into the Birds' decision. That is, do the Eagles really want to invest a season in developing a young QB if it looks like said development would be interrupted by a labor dispute? That is, why invest in a mediocre 2010 if there isn't going to be a 2011. One can wonder.
- Who's getting the first quote from Dunavin? And will it include a reference to text-message exchanges with both Vick and Kolb? UNDOUBTEDLY.
- I guess Joe Banner doesn't have to be concerned with definitions of insanity in re: his head coach anymore?
- If you haven't seen it, the video of DeSean Jackson learning that Vick is the new starter is telling. DeSean is not bummed.
- Let's not waste any time or effort complaining about Andy Reid being a liar or not telling the truth in press conferences, etc etc. Whatever. He is allowed to change his mind. I would be more worried if he didn't change his mind. (See above in re: insanity.)
- That said, I mean, I'm not sure that this is helping Kevin Kolb's maturation. That was a bit silly. Unless Reid is referencing the three games that Kolb will start while Vick is inevitably injured this year.
I've got to level with you -- I'm pretty psyched about the move. I want to eat the marshmallow as well. I was prepared for an investment (not rebuilding, not rebuilding) year, but after seeing a few quarters of Vick, well, it's tough not to get excited. If we were looking at a middle-of-the-road season this year and no football next year, then why not have this year be a bit more fun to watch? Vick is more fun to watch. He's a highlight waiting to happen. And I also think he'll give the team a better chance to win games.
S'mores for all.