Oh, Andy Reid.
Coach of the team I love dearly. Part genius, part conundrum. Your brilliance and stupidity have made me love you so. As a philosophy student, how I have desired to critique you in a philosophical way. You have the brashness of Nietzsche and the stoicism of Aurelius. I can never pinpoint what you are, so as a good philosopher would do, I will offer what you aren’t. I will agree with your theory that you are not Plato. Furthermore, I will offer a critique as to why this is so.
The first comparison between Andy Reid and Plato must revolve around how we as measly humans have come in touch with their ideas. Plato wrote dialogues, many of them chronicling what Socrates’ did, but the gist of the dialogues was to enlighten readers to the point where the truth of life was revealed. Andy Reid has press conferences, many of them chronicling the evolution of the cough and the gist of them is to do everything possible to avoid enlightening everyone that listens. Plato sought the light of truth. Reid loves the darkness.
In an extension of the dialog/press conference example, it is important to know that in Plato’s dialogues the Socratic Method is often used. This method involves asking a person questions so that they may come up with their own conclusions, thereby realizing what it is that they truly believe about human nature as it pertains to life. Andy Reid hates questions. He gets bristly and disturbed whenever anything is called into question and simply deflects the questions away until he reaches a point where he can cough which is supposed to signify, “Next question, if you really have the intestinal fortitude to ask one.”
Another sharp contrast between the two men relates to how unique their ideas truly were. For Plato, this is sometimes called into question. It’s not known whether Plato actually had any dialogues which were unique to his own mind, many feel that he simply plagiarized whatever Socrates did and took credit for it. With Reid, there is no questioning where his ideas come from. Although he too is a pupil of a great teacher in Mike Holmgren, there is little doubt that his theory of holding onto all of his timeouts so he can spend them at halftime are his and his alone.
Plato believed in the idea that human beings have a recollection of ideas and forms. The human mind in his opinion, could recall things that they may never have learned, a type of knowledge independent from experience (a priori is the philosophical term). This is a bit tricky. Reid seemingly has no recollection of things that have happened in the past. For instance, he has been a head coach for over eleven seasons. In all of those seasons, his approach towards any type of short yardage situation is one that is unsuccessful. Yet, the same situations seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times and the same answers are applied. It would seem that his recollection is flawed. However, an objection to such an idea could be easily made. It could be assumed that Reid has all knowledge without experience, and was born with an innate sense of ignorance to the running game, therefore leaving him without any type of reasoning to change his approach. While the argument is certainly compelling, I will stick to my belief that Reid has no capability of recollection. Especially not in reference to the form of third and short.
Although these are only some of many possible illustrations to show the differences between Plato and Andy Reid, they produce a compelling argument. “I’m not Plato”, Andy said. Got that right.