Equally aggressively covered were the legal problems of another Reid son, Britt. In 2007, he was sentenced to eight to 23 months in prison after flashing a gun at a driver in a road-rage incident in West Conshohocken.
They were personal glimpses into the anguish of the Reid family and a reminder that well-to-do, accomplished parents are not immune to the worries and heartache that plague more ordinary parents.
Sadly, that reminder was driven home Sunday with word from tearful Eagles executives that Garrett Reid had been found dead in the early morning in a dorm room at Lehigh University, where the football team is in training and Garrett Reid was assisting strength coaches.
Again, the Philadelphia region - from fans to mental-health professionals - found itself agonizing and empathizing with a mother and father they don't know personally, but whose newfound pain was nonetheless tragic to them.
"As a father, I don't know if I could go on," said Eagles fan Keith Moriston, 35, of Roebling, Burlington County, who was in Philadelphia on Sunday to attend the 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties.
Said another parent, Mayor Nutter: "Losing a son or daughter is a parent's worst nightmare."
That sentiment was echoed again and again in the hours after Garrett Reid's shocking passing.
"On a fundamental level, you never recover from the death of a child," said Natalie Gluck, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Temple University School of Medicine. "It's a loss you live with, not a loss you ever recover from."
That Garrett Reid had his demons became clear in January 2007, when he ran a red light in Plymouth Township and crashed into a car, seriously injuring a woman from Northumberland County. He told police he had been using heroin before the crash.
At his sentencing in November that year to two to 23 months in prison, it was learned that Garrett Reid had smuggled a variety of pills into the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.
In May 2008, he was referred to the State Intermediate Punishment program, a drug-treatment course.
In May 2009, Garrett Reid was sent to Graterford Prison after testing positive for narcotics when he returned to a halfway house from an approved furlough.
In recent years, he had been spending time working with his father and the Eagles.
An autopsy is expected to be conducted in the next two days. A private burial was planned for Tuesday, two days before the Eagles' first preseason game. It was not clear Sunday whether Andy Reid would be present for the game.
How such a high-profile person decides to handle his grief - whether from the sidelines or in seclusion - is for no one to judge, mental-health professionals cautioned.
"On a very basic level, nobody can imagine what it's like to be in his shoes," Temple's Gluck said. "We should not be judgmental whether he chooses to take time off or decides not to take time off. Everybody deals with this differently.
"We just need to be mindful of what a difficult time this might be for [Andy Reid] and for his family and also for the team."
Andres Pumariega, chairman of the department of psychiatry at Cooper University Hospital and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, said the challenge of dealing with such a sudden loss was magnified when the grieving takes place in the public eye.
Emotions, which can range from pain to anger to sadness, "can be potentially misinterpreted," Pumariega said.
Not known for expansive communication, Andy Reid must make it clear just what he needs during the difficult days ahead - whether it's privacy, not wanting to talk to the media, or not being forced to make a statement before he wants to, Gluck said.
"If he needs time off from work, he should ask for that," she said. "Some people compartmentalize well, and some people really do welcome the distraction of work."
Whether Andy Reid's grieving takes a public or private course, he should be assured of one thing - the support of a region that has had much to cheer about because of his efforts leading the Eagles, Nutter said.
"For more than a decade, Andy Reid has personified hard work and athletic excellence," Nutter said. "He is an enduring and significant part of our city and sports culture, and we've experienced with him the ups and downs of the Eagles.
"And now, in this moment of great suffering, we all join together in sending our condolences to the Reids, who have given so much to the Philadelphia region."
Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or email@example.com.
Inquirer staff writer Claudia Vargas contributed to this article.