Are you sick of Michael Vick articles yet? Me too, that's why I'm writing this one. I know I'm exacerbating the issue and further perpetuating undo attention on a man who deserves none, but someone has to say something, and I guess it's me.
The Philadelphia Eagles phucked up. Big time. They have shamed themselves and their city. And let me tell you why. The signing of Michael Vick by any NFL team is emblematic of what is wrong in this country. If he were a garbage man (sorry, sanitation engineer) he'd be hard pressed to find a job emptying trash somewhere. Yet in America, even the appearance of fame or talent buys you freedom from your past transgressions not matter what they were or how frequent.
I can already hear the wind of lips flapping and arms waving, screaming, back off, he served his time. Yes, he did. Good for him. I hear Wal-mart is hiring. The arena football league always needs skilled players. Vick does not deserve a second chance at the NFL. Our most watched and coveted sport has become like an episode of America's Most Wanted, and we keep slapping wrists and saying no desert for you. I applaud Roger Goodell for taking a harsher stance, but where do we draw the line? I think committing a felony has got to be a good place to start. I honestly don't care if someone wants to put steroids in their ass, or smoke a doobie, but if the abuse of other living entities (girlfriends, wives, animals), or firearms are involved, I'm thinking they don't need to be representing America or any city in it, as a role model for our nation or our kids. Are you reading this Plaxico? I don't want to see children hanging VICKtorious posters on their walls. Honestly, do you?
If you are in the spotlight and have the privilege to represent your city, country and community, you also have higher expectations of behavior. Children look up to sports heroes , movie icons, and rockstars. Yet too many of them lead a life of no integrity and reckless behavior while the world adores them.
Michael Vick is not a changed man. He had no integrity before he went to prison, and while he may say the right things and walk the walk of humble reconciliation, he has the same dark soul and broken ideals. As a reminder, the dog fighting fiasco was not the first sign of trouble and personal character deficiencies on his part. He was involved in numerous incidents involving drugs prior to the dog-fighting scandal. The dog fighting itself is known to date all the way back to at least 2001 in his parents own garage. And let us not forget flipping the double bird at fans, which he was fined for, or being sued for giving a girl genital herpes and visiting clinics under the name Ron Mexico. Some backward thinking fans actually bought #7 Falcon's jerseys and put Mexico on the back. So it's clear his abhorrent behavior impacts those who watch him. So what does rewarding him with another NFL contract say about us as a nation?
Finally, let's look at the man as a football player. Vick was talented. No one yet knows what his age and time off from the game have done to that talent, but it used to be there. Yet it was always given in selfish fashion. Michael set a lot of records as a QB for Atlanta. They were all for making plays on his own. Most rushing yards by a QB in a game, most rushing yards by a QB in a season, most rushing yards by a QB in back to back games... Vick has never been a team player and the Falcons always suffered for it. Imagine if they'd kept the pick they traded up to draft him with. Perhaps they'd have take Ladainian Tomlinson instead. It is easy to say it's Philadelphia's problem now, but it's America's problem. Roger Goodell must never allow him active reinstatement to play. It sends the wrong message to the nation and other sports celebrities that any behavior can be forgiven. Is murder next?
Vick deserves a second chance, but we fans should not have to be a part of it. He had his chances with the NFL and the American stage. That fat lady sang and his 15 minutes are up. Go back to Newport news Michael, and maybe this time choose a better circle of friends. Just sayin'.