Following the loss by the Kansas City Chiefs to the New England Patriots, you’d think everyone would be talking about Andy Reid’s poor clock management. Or the winning Patriots team. Nope. Instead, the big news following the Chiefs’ defeat is Reid — and the challenge flag that was seemingly stolen right under his nose.
Hope there are no close calls. Sly guy just stole Andy Reid’s challenge flag. pic.twitter.com/FkNhwGVnje
— Cris Collinsworth (@CollinsworthNBC) January 16, 2016
Viral footage of the “theft” shows one of Kansas City assistants casually walking up behind Andy and reaching into his pocket. The unnamed individual then casually walks away with the challenge flag. The situation was so bizarre that some rather outlandish theories prevailed.
First, given that the Kansas City Chiefs were up against the New England Patriots, some sports fans (without a smidge of irony, mind you) suggested that the assistant was a “plant.” Somehow, taking that flag represented a serious desire to sabotage the losing team. It’s not too surprising that such an outlandish claim would be made about the Patriots. After all, we are only a year away from the much-talked-about “Deflategate” scandal.
Fox Sports reports the accusations of on-field foul play against Reid’s team actually followed an earlier incident. Someone pulled the fire alarm at the hotel where Kansas City teams were staying. There was one very specific suspect in mind according to social media.
— Casey Scott (@KCScott7) January 16, 2016
If you’re a Patriots fan, or just someone tired of sore losers bringing up ridiculous scandals to explain away losses, you’ll be happy to know that the home team is in the clear over “Challengeflaggate.”
According to CBS Sports, Andy Reid didn’t actually have his flag stolen. What actually happened was Andy made a request that the red flag be taken away from him once the Saturday game entered the final two minutes.
No challenges are allowed once the game enters the final two minutes. That sly removal was nothing more than a “safety net” against Andy Reid getting himself into trouble. Unfortunately, and as CBS Sports writer Will Brinson pointed out, the need for such a reminder could represent a much LARGER problem.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 17, 2016
Remember that whole “time management” problem? Well, the need to have someone save you from yourself because you aren’t keeping eyes on the clock is a red flag (pun intended) in and of itself. The inability to properly manage time throughout the game ultimately cost the Kansas City Chiefs. If you need an example of just how costly this issue was for Reid, look no further than ESPN.
“The Chiefs trailed 27-13 and had a first-and-goal at the New England 1-yard line with 2:33 left. They had all of their timeouts remaining. Instead of throwing a pass that would stop the clock if it went incomplete, the Chiefs were stopped for a 1-yard loss on a running play.
“With the clock moving, the Chiefs huddled and didn’t get off another snap before the two-minute warning.”
Yes, a two-minute warning that saw Andy pickpocketed to protect the head coach from himself. Despite the problem being apparent to virtually every bystander, Andy Reid has little to nothing to say for himself when asked about it at the Kansas City post-game press conference. “I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about,” was his answer when a reporter brought it up. “We wanted to get a play off. There was 2:20 on the clock. We wanted to make sure we got our best personnel on the field for that play, and we didn’t get that done.”
Poor time management is a problem that has haunted Andy Reid for some time. Some believe this was one of the issues that cost him his job in Philadelphia — ahead of the now ousted Chip Kelly. If Andy Reid’s not careful, it could ultimately run the clock down on his time in Kansas City.
[Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]