A friend of mine asked, me on an UCF Knight Fan Forum that I help moderate, how I felt about my beloved Eagles signing Michael Vick. I wanted to post my reply to him here. Mind you, this was originally written on a very close knit fan forum (prob less than 15 loyal readers), which I will not link to (this isn't an ad). And the guy I'm replying to and I have a history of bickering over the pointless.. but we know each other outside the forum, he knows my love for the Eagles.. and he knows my love for animals (and that I've got a rescue dog, and he's the best ever.)
The original post... unedited... is after the jump...
As with any other Eagle Fan, my feelings are still in the state of "Processing". But I will say that a few weeks back I wrote an email to a reporter in the Yahoo Sports stable.. His story had said something to the affect of "Vick had his career and accolades 'taken away from him'", which I strongly objected to that statement.. mainly because it set the tone for Michael Vick being victimized. And I am 100% against that... he didn't have anything taken from him.. he did something stupid, unethical, horrifically inhumane... and lastly illegal. And he, like anyone else had to pay for it and is definitely not a victim and should not be treated like one, and I objected to the writer using the words he did.
BUT, I also said (and I'm trying to find this email as it was before the signing, before Eagles were possible destination in my mind) Vick has spent time in prison paying his debt to society, as seen fit by the law. His next step would be to reapply for his job with the commish having to check "Yes" in the "have you been convicted of any crimes".. and that the standard set by Roger Goodell has been pretty high as he sees how much NFL players are viewed as roll models, and has been pretty strict... then which ever team takes him it's up to them, and how they feel he's done and what road he's on.
That being said... I heard about this at the end of my vacation... and am still figuring things out. I will say that he impressed me in that "Introduction to the Eagles" press confrence. And I'm not the only one. He had no prepared speech or notes, so everything he said was direct. The Eagles were not controlling of the conference and allowed it to be real... and he answered every questioned asked of him without shying away, or ducking for cover. He really did stand up and take responsibility, and seemed different than he was 2 years ago.
Other things I'll say, this is one of his best scenarios, and the also for NFL in general. Goodell wants (some may say needs) Vick to be a success story, to show that it is possible to change.. and The Eagles are one of a few teams able to showcase a "clean" Vick. He's not going to have much room at all for error in Philly. It's a well controlled 'clean cut' team with an almost-zero tolerance for ill-characters... some may say the 2004 TO experiment is the only real stray, and when he failed he was benched then traded. Smaller examples would be any salary bitcher... Eagles don't take crap (Lito Sheppard - benched then traded, to Jets). Lurie and Reid run a tight ship and Vick needs that. It also helps that they don't need Vick, he doesn't have much pressure in Philly, he can as he said "learn to crawl before ...walk"... he's able to focus on his one and only second chance. And that's good for him.
He's set up well, the league is set up with one of it's best scenarios.. as for the Eagles... idk. They did get a potential play maker for dirt cheap.. and that's only in money.. as they're paying for it with the crowds outside the Nova-Care Complex. It gives them (if it works out) another weapon and potentially the worst offense to plan against in the league... Defenses must be scared, especially now that I also hear Westbrook is cleared for practice... any fear of "will Westie be ready" is gone.
So me.. Eagle fan #746214... how do I feel. I'm still 'processing'. I was sickened by Vick when his crime was fresh, and the Feds were coming down on him.. and info was leaked, about the events and practices, and whatever shit he had actually been involved in 2 years ago. I was happy and felt vindicated when the judge gave him the harshest sentence he could. I felt it was deserved and wish more could be done. But Vick did it, he did what the law required (the max of what it required, I believe)... and as someone that believes in the legal system I must accept that.. A part of me is disappointed my team signed him, but the rest of me sees that if he is to become a true success story, a real turn around.. this is probably the best place to be. I can't talk about the integrety of my team without being willing to have it's intregity be tested like this, and with whatever happens in the next year (with an option for a second)... I'm sure the Eagles will act to their highest standards. Which means that we'll know the truth. If Vick has truely changed, we'll definitely know by the end of his term in Philly... cause if he hasn't, he won't be there long. I trust Jeff Lurie's word.
[Added for BGN] Here's my Dog (Pic Taken last Christmas).
Neko (via sparki1980)