Shutdown Corner

Andy Reid tries his best to wiggle out of awkward interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio (Video)

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had just capped off his biggest victory in a few years, doused in a Gatorade marinade, on the field of the team that had just fired him nine months earlier.

[Related: Andy Reid gets standing ovation in return to Philadelphia]

Party time, right? Er, not so fast.

Reid was grabbed by ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio for a post-game chat, and Reid didn't appear too thrilled with it. Why? Well, the two have a history. Paolantonio has been stationed in Philly for years, reporting on the latest to-dos with the Eagles, and much of that was during Reid's tenure. Plus, when Reid was fired and heavily rumored to be headed to coach the Cardinals, Paolantonio openly flamed Reid and wondered why the team would make such a hire.

So let's run through the awkwardness of the SalPal-Reid blowoff, blow by blow, shall we?

• As the video rolls, Paolantonio barely has time to utter, "Terrific win" when Reid shouts back, "Are you blocking me?" SalPal retorts with a "no, sir" before Reid cold-shoulders him and hugs Michael Vick. Ouch, bro.

• Undeterred, Paolantonio soldiers on. "What did you think of the performance here —," he says cut off by yet another bro hug: this one between Reid and his former running back, Duce Staley, now a coach with the Eagles. "Only you I'd let grab me like that," Reid says, and Paolantonio's smile remains plastered. Oh, and a Chiefs staffer now has planted his large dome right in front of the ESPN camera. Oh, to have heard what the producer was saying in their ears at this point ...

[Related: Andy Reid's old-school Chiefs prevail over high-octane Eagles]

• Give SalPal credit. Dude sticks with it. Paolantonio, who has a military background, stands his ground and re-approaches his initial vector: "What did you think of the performance of your quarterback, Andy?" Fair question. But if we didn't know that Reid was nonplussed, we do now. Reid: "Uh, I thought he did a great job. I thought he played really well. Keep walking, Brad!" We assume this was to Brad Gee, manager of communications on the PR staff. Reid continues as he looks to Paolantonio: "This guy's not that important here." Oof. Body blow. Full point! Sal Pal keeps on laughing like he's slinging beers with the boys.

• It's far from over. SalPal: "Alex had a third and 10 on the 5-yard line and completed that ball—" Reid: "That was huge. That was a big one. That was as big as Sal Paolantonio, baby." WHOA! Retreat! Run away! Reid then says he feels very good and soon hopes to scrub the SalPal, er Gatorade, off his body.

• It should be noted that lurking off to the side at the start of and the end of that clip is NFL Network's Alex Flanagan, who works for, you know, the network that broadcast the game. There's a contractual agreement with the coaches that they will first meet with the network the broadcast the game for a post-game interview, and maybe Reid was upset that Paolantonio wedged his way in, sunk his teeth into Reid and wouldn't release.

Or maybe there is something deeper here. It's not stunning that Reid might be upset at what he could have viewed as Paolantonio sabotaging Reid's chances of getting another head-coaching job. So Reid then tried his best to prevent Paolantonio to have a clean, nice interview after the game.

Of course, we're just speculating here. But the guess is that revenge is a dish that's best served as cold as an iced Gatorade bath.

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