On Saturday, Arrowhead Pride user SiouxlandChief wrote a short FanPost posing an interesting question:
Anybody know if there’s a coach that has hoisted the Halas, the Lamar Hunt, AND the Lombardi? Seems like there outta be somebody, but considering how difficult it is win any of them...
I didn’t know the answer, so I decided to find out.
SiouxlandChief’s question, of course, has to do with something Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid could accomplish during the next three weeks: become a head coach whose teams have won championships in both the AFC and NFC, and also win a Super Bowl.
Reid won a NFC Championship as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004, but lost Super Bowl XXXIX to the New England Patriots 24-21. With a victory against his 2004 nemesis at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, Reid would win an AFC Championship. So a win in Super Bowl LIII two weeks later would give Reid what I’m going to call an NFL Triple Crown.
The list of coaches who have accomplished the exact feat is very short. It has only one name, and it happened more than two decades ago.
Bill Parcells won two Super Bowls as head coach of the NFC’s New York Giants in 1986 and 1990, and then became head coach of the Patriots in 1993. He won an AFC Championship with them in 1996, but lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers.
But the history of the NFL is a bit more complicated. Two other head coaches accomplished something similar.
Weeb Eubank won NFL championships in 1958 and 1959 as head coach of the Baltimore Colts, and became head coach of the New York Jets in 1963. The Jets — with quarterback Joe Namath — won the AFL championship in 1968. The Jets famously went on to defeat Eubank’s old team in Super Bowl III, becoming the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl.
The other coach was across the field from Eubank that day.
Don Shula was head coach of the 1968 NFL Champion Colts. Shula became head coach of the AFC’s Miami Dolphins in 1970, and won the first of five AFC championships with the Dolphins in 1971. The following season, the Dolphins would be the only team in the Super Bowl era to go undefeated through the regular season and the postseason, finishing the year 17-0-0. The Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl champions in 1973.
Two other coaches have had championships in both conferences, but have never won a Super Bowl.
Dan Reeves won three AFC championships as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 1986, 1987 and 1989, but lost all three Super Bowl games. After a stint as head coach of the New York Giants from 1993-96, he became head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 1997. The following year, the Falcons won the NFC Championship, but lost Super Bowl XXXIII to Reeves’ former quarterback and team — John Elway and the Broncos.
John Fox won an NFC Championship in his second season as Carolina Panthers head coach in 2003. He became head coach of the Broncos in 2011, and won an AFC Championship with Peyton Manning at quarterback in 2013. The Broncos, as you’ll remember, lost Super Bowl XLVIII to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8.
So with a win at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday against his 2004 Super Bowl opponent, Reid could become only the fourth post-merger coach to hoist both the George Halas and Lamar Hunt trophies, and the sixth to achieve a similar feat in the complicated history of the AFL and NFL.
With a Super Bowl victory — which would be against one of two other teams to which Reid has lost significant NFC playoff games — Reid would become only the second post-merger coach to win the NFL Triple Crown, and the fourth all-time.
We’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about exorcising playoff demons — many of which had nothing to do with Andy Reid.
But in an article on Sunday, Pete Sweeney pointed out that Reid did something unusual after Saturday’s 31-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts: to both the team and the media, he mentioned not only the next game, but the one after that, too.
“Two more, baby... two more,” Reid told in the team in the locker room.
Could it be that Reid has a few demons of his own to exorcise? After researching the NFL Triple Crown, I think it’s fair to wonder.
Either way, #TwoMore is all it’s going to take.