That headline is meant in jest, but this is turning out to be a big deal. Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid has announced that the starting quarterback’s job is Michael Vick’s to lose, and now the debate of whether America is ready for a former dogfighter to lead an NFL team has been re-ignited.
Look, when Vick signed with the Eagles last year, we all knew we’d get to this point eventually. Vick is not the first convicted felon to come back to pro football. He won’t be the last. Vick has earned the job; it’s clear to most everyone that the Kevin Kolb era is still not ready for prime time. But while a lot of people have been supportive of Vick’s return to national prominence, some, more interestingly, have been critical of those who aren’t.
It’s important here to make a distinction between a man’s record and his reputation. As a citizen of this country, Vick is (and should be) free to pursue his livelihood. He has paid that debt.
But as a public figure, we’re not dutifully bound to forgive the guy. Or forget.He also has volunteered his time to speak on animal rights issues. Regardless of his motivations, that is a good thing. But I’m going to postpone revising my views on Michael Vick; I need more to go on than “Has done a good job of not torturing or murdering animals over the last four years.”
And I really don’t understand the mindset of people tripping over themselves to sh*t on anybody that still has a problem with him. Hey, I’d be even more bent out of shape if he had been banned from the league. That doesn’t mean I have to welcome the guy back onto my television with proverbial open arms. Or that I won’t do a double take when I see the next guy wearing a “VICK 7″ Eagles replica jersey walking down the sidewalk. That’s not playing God. That’s simply having an unfavorable opinion. We don’t have to see eye-to-eye, and you need to understand that.
There’s another post out there floating around about how great the Bad Newz dogs are doing. “You should get over Vick! The dogs did! You know, except for the dead ones.” I had no idea that Vick’s PR was being handled by the NCAA. If that’s good enough for you, fine. But don’t expect me to forget about what Vick did. I simply can’t. So stop asking.