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As a blogger, it’s mandatory that I comment on Michael Vick (it’s in the fine print).  Most of what I’ve read on Vick is redundant drivel, full of hate, and devoid of information.  I’ll try to do better, minus the information part.

Your standard work-release program

Your standard work-release program

Vick is a guy who once signed a contract for $130,000,000.00 over 10 years, and chose to run a dog-fighting ring.  If we can agree on anything, it’s that he’s got some wires crossed in his kitchen, right?

It’s easy to tear a strip off Vick, and he more-than deserves it.  And of course, where is the humanity in some borderline soulless human signing another multi-million dollar contract and getting the second chance at life, which he denied countless dogs?

There isn’t any.

And further, it’s easy to point the finger at the Eagles and say they’ve got blood on their hands, too.  It seems more than any other sport that football is win-at-all-costs.  A sport that almost says “we don’t care who you are or what you’ve done, we just want to win.”  And in reality, that’s what makes football so much fun to watch.  It’s a 16 game season where every game matters, and men put everything they’ve got for effort on the line (hang your head in shame, baseball).

There is no sport that serves as a better metaphor for the rest of the working world than football.  Football has produced more life-mirroring cliche’s than I care to dredge up (see: Lombardi, Vince).  In the end, it’s a rat race of people trying to get ahead under the guise of a team sport, and sometimes, those who fight dirty are the last ones standing in the end.

Is Vick just a heat-deflector for McNabb?

Is Vick just a heat-deflector for McNabb?

But Vick’s not getting ahead.  I’ve always been a “things happen for a reason” guy (speaking of cliche’s), so I feel like Vick’s seeming re-acceptance by the NFL as just the next step in the real punishment he deserves.  Things are going to be miserable for this guy.  Philly?  He signed in Philly?

There’s no worse team in the league, probably in any sport, to go play for if you were worried about fan harrassment.  This guys life might be in danger (this is your chance to get in the headlines, PETA!).  He’s going to be a pinata for sitcks and stone’s that’ll break his bones and words that’ll seriously hurt him.

I’m so glad he didn’t go somewhere out of the headlines like Detroit.  With the ramped up media coverage in the City of Brotherly Abuse of Quarterbacks, we’ll all get to read the hilarious signs, see the funny costumes, and generally join in the torment of Philly’s for-now backup quarterback.

He was with people in jail who probably thought he didn’t commit much of a crime.  Now, he’s being chucked into a ginormous population of people who think he did, and fortunately, some of that same ginormous population occasionally lack the social grace to edit their verbal slander from the sidelines.  What a treat for viewers!

You know what else I take from all this? 

Our lack of belief in our ability to rehabilitate people.

I’m still sort of unclear whether jail is meant to be a miserable holding spot where we punish those who victimize our society, or whether we’re trying to help these people get better.

He did his time.  Is it possible he’s thought about what he’s done, understands it, and feels endless remorse?

Not one of my readers believes that.  Doesn’t that tell us something about our belief in prison’s ability to make people better?

But let’s stick to sports.

Vick is going to say and do all the right things for the first little while.  The second he scrambles for a 40 yard touchdown run, Philly fans will be on his side.  The second he throws a pick, however, Philly fans will come back with the bark and bite of 40 thousand pitbulls.

There’s only going to be one thing more fun to watch than Michael Vick fighting for survival in, and out of an Eagles uniform this year, and it’s approaching quickly:

Vick has been released.  The Eagles have signed him.  The NFL has re-instated him.  The fun part?

PETA?  Your move.


9 Responses to “ConVick”
  1. Far North says:

    Interesting comment about our belief in rehabilitation.

    I’ve always thought that major personality changes are nearly impossible once you’re past your early 20s. Probably the only things that make it possible are either A) a religious conversion, or B) some sort of life crisis.

    Vick’s experienced Option B. But he had to be pretty hardened to kill all those dogs, and on top of that he’s now despised by millions. I know this isn’t a theology site . . . but honestly, I don’t think Vick has much hope without Option A.

  2. Griff says:

    Prison doesn’t make people better. Prison doesn’t make anyone nicer or kinder or like dogs more. However Vick actually feels about the dogs doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing that matters is that the next time Vick thinks about doing something wrong or stupid a little thought bubble appears and says “Prison sucked, I’m broke, I better stay on the straight and narrow.” Unless Vick is one of the dumbest people on earth he will keep his head down, be a good teamate and not do anything as illegal as speed on the highway

  3. ann says:

    I’m not an Eagles fan by any stretch of the imagination. Just about the only football I watch is Penn State football, and that is only occasionally, when I have nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon. That being said, the thing I’ve admired about the Eagles is that they almost always stay away from this kind of distraction. They gave TO his chance, it failed and they cut him loose. They had a kid a bunch of years ago that left a three month old puppy in a park because he no longer wanted it and they cut him loose. Which is what makes this signing so unbelievable to me. Of course, considering all the trouble Andy Reid’s sons have been in, it’s obvious why he all of a sudden believes so much in second chances.

    Justin, you would be surprised at how many people I heard on talk radio today that are supporting this guy. It has to be at least 50/50. It seems like a lot of people have already forgiven him. Eagles fans are the most hypocritical and obnoxious of all Philadelphia fans (I can say this with a clear conscience because I’m from the Philly area). At the same time, I can’t wait to see what the Giants and Cowboys fans pull out for this guy’s visit in Eagles green.

    To be honest, I don’t care that he did his time, I don’t care if he shows remorse, and I don’t care if he “found God” (as I’ve heard he did). I love my dogs. As far as I’m concerned, he is a POS. And I’m glad he’s not playing for a team I care about.

  4. Kyle says:

    Put this story (as a whole, not just this column) in the back pocket, and pull it out in a year when Donte Stallworth gets reinstated. Then we’ll start gauging reactions. 2 years for dog fighting? 24 days for killing another human being? Yeah, I think justice has this whole rehab/holding spot thing under conrol.

  5. Marc says:

    You’re right, it is easy to point a finger at the Eagles. A finger that is well deserved to be pointed, possibly another finger as well for good measure. And one from the other hand at then NFL for creating the chance the Eagles took. I don’t care how ingrained football is in (North?) American culture, no matter how “do or die” it is, none of that should have put a situation forth where he should be allowed to participate in the organization again. I find it shameful that the NFL can fine Joe Horn $30,000 for a cell phone TD celebration “to clean up it’s image” and then reinstate a convicted felon who took enjoyment and profit from the systematic mental and physical abuse of dogs.

    As far as rehabilitation? Prison is a place you don’t want to go to. Prison is goddamn scary. You’d do stupid things like come to a complete stop at every stop sign to avoid going to prison if you had to. Prison is not a place where you go to “get better.” At best a person coming out of prison says “I will never do that shit again” usually however they merely say “Look at all the time, relationships, possessions and money I’ve lost.” Vick however will probably be the highest paid released felon in the country for a long time, doesn’t seem fair.

  6. Neil says:

    My brother is a huge Eagles fan and he is CHOKED about the signing, like finding a new team choked.

  7. John says:

    Vick will be interviewed by CBS 60 Minutes this Sunday FYI.

    JT, you are on the money. If Vick thinks he faced a firestorm when the scandal broke two years ago, it will be 100x worse this time around. I don’t think the NFL has done him any kind of favor by reinstating him. PETA might actually turn out to be the least of his worries.

  8. Tom Curran says:

    Hmmmm……Prison or playing football in Philly? Those rabid, canabalistic, beer throwing maniacs bood Santa Clause for cryin’ out loud! Here’s a question though; Is Vick any worse than the large population of wife-beaters that he is going to be surrounded by in the NFL? I would never condone any form of abuse to a fellow creature, be it human or animal(any real difference?)but there are dozens of pro athletes up on spousal abuse charges at any given time yet the press focusses it’s narrow-minded outlook on Vick and dog fighting. The rap culture comment is bang on DOG! Good luck in Phoenix Justin and Bree!

  9. Pete says:

    two words.

    leonard little.

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