Ken Hitchcock isn't necessarily a Kansas City Chiefs fan, but the Hockey Hall of Fame coach will be rooting for them in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

Hitchcock and Chiefs coach Andy Reid have a relationship that dates to their time working in the same city, Hitchcock as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and Reid as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I don't miss any games that Andy's involved with," Hitchcock said. "People ask me what team you're for and I'm an Andy Reid fan. I'm not necessarily a Chiefs fan or an Eagles fan, I'm an Andy Reid fan."

Hitchcock's five seasons with the Flyers, from 2002-03 to early in the 2006-07 season, overlapped with Reid's tenure with the Eagles (1999-2012). But the relationship blossomed during the NHL lockout in 2004-05.

With no team of his own, Hitchcock began to visit others, from the Princeton University men's hockey team to the Trenton Titans of the ECHL and run coaching clinics in British Columbia and the Central Hockey League in Texas.

But before those trips, he spent some time in the NFL.

"I was with Andy and the Eagles for the first six games," Hitchcock said of the 2004 NFL season. "I attended training camp, exhibition games and then the first six league games. There were three home games, and I was on the sidelines with Andy's staff."

Hitchcock said Reid referred to him as the "quality control officer."

"All I did was observe practice and sit in on meetings and things like that," Hitchcock said. "It was a chance for me to learn how another professional team operates.

"I've said to people before, I thought I ran a regimented session, practice, but it was nothing compared to what Andy and his staff did."

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Hitchcock, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Builders category in November, is sixth in NHL history with 849 wins and seventh with 1,598 games coached in 22 seasons with the Dallas Stars, Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers during a career that spanned 1995-2019. He won the Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999 and the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year with the Blues in 2012.

Reid likely is headed to Pro Football Hall of Fame when his coaching career is over. After being fired by the Eagles after the 2012 season, he was hired by the Chiefs in 2013. His 258 wins in 25 seasons with Philadelphia and Kansas City are fourth in NFL history, and he'll have a chance to win his third Super Bowl in five seasons if the Chiefs can defeat the San Francisco 49ers, following championships in 2019 and 2022.

Hitchcock knows his 1-on-1 time with Reid in 2004 helped his career, and he's positive it helped Reid.

For Hitchcock, it was seeing how Reid and his staff organized and implemented their daily practice plan.

"Where it really helped me was understanding about execution and exactness," he said. "Andy ran such a precision training camp and such a precision practice that I was just amazed at how articulate it was and how emphatic it was. Everything was at another level that I'd never seen before. They still talk about Andy's practices and Andy's training camps and stuff like that. I was able to observe them firsthand and I couldn't believe how things were done. They were so well-organized.

"It was a real eye-opener for me moving ahead because it showed me the precision that you need to have if you're expected to have success, and I found it really, really helpful."

For Reid, it was a look inside the mind of an athlete from a different perspective.

"He saw the sacrifice that hockey players made for each other, and he wanted to know how you got the players to do that, and how you got them committed to do that," Hitchcock said. "He asked a lot of questions about blocking shots and physical contact and things like that. He wanted to know how you sold it so the players bought into it.

"They were great conversations."

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