Friday, August 14, 2009
and thus I find myself in the completely unexpected role of defending Michael Vick. As someone who is almost absurdly fond of animals and will readily admit that he's the least dedicated male football fan he knows, I can say it's a strange position.
Still, I can't pretend to be outraged by the Eagles' choice to sign Mike Vick. He's a talented guy and they got him for cheap. and I while I'm horrified by what happened at his house or farm or whatever, I also believe in second chances and rehabilitation. Vick did what he did (and while I read those initial reports, I'm not going to pretend to know just how involved he was in the whole thing), and he got caught and then punished for it. He got punished more than anyone has ever been punished for a crime like that. His fame and money put him in front of a bus, and he paid the fines and served his time. He lost a fortune and two of the most profitable years of his life, and I haven't heard him complain once.
Look. I'm sure that Vick regrets his little dogfighting adventure more than anyone. And I'm even more sure that considering the scrutiny, he's not going to think about so much as sneezing towards an animal for the foreseeable future.
So I'm fine with signing Vick. Shit, we have a better chance now than we did yesterday, right? Vick didn't circumvent the law. He didn't manipulate jurors. He did his time and how he's ready to play ball again. Good for him. and good for us.
I can't blame the Eagles for signing him. On the contrary, they'd be foolish to pass up on the offer. They're not condoning what he did. They're not harboring some unrepentant killer. They're giving the guy a second chance. and while I'm proud of the progressive mindset, I think it has far more to do with the Eagles organization's desire to win, and I'm just as proud of that. I want my team to have that desire. I want them to be willing to do almost anything to win, aside from cheating or doping or whatever. If you take a few knocks from PETA, so be it. There were worse people in the NFL than Vick 3 years ago, and there are worse people than him there today. I think he knows what he has ahead of him, and I hope we can help him do it. and maybe we'll impress everyone in the process.
update: there's a good article by John Gonzalez here that does a good job of summing up what you just read here. I'm pretty sure he wrote his first.