Friday, September 16, 2011

Go Vick, Go! (Just Not This Weekend)

Photo: elvis_payne, Flickr Creative Commons

I used to hate Michael Vick. The only professional sports team that I have ever really cared about is the Atlanta Falcons. I have teams that I prefer in the other pro sports (and they're almost always from Atlanta), but if the Hawks lose, I'm not really going to care. I'm a little bitter about the moving of the Thrashers to Canada, but I will survive.

I would murder Arthur Blank if he moved the Falcons out of the state.

And to any FBI or other law enforcement agencies, that is hyperbole. I would not actually murder Arthur Blank. This is just to make the point that I'd be really pissed off. I'd probably resort to a nasty blog post here and leave it at that.

Back to Vick, I hated him because he was on my team. He had so much talent, so often flashed signs of genius, but never consistently rose any higher than mediocrity. It was painful. At least Joey Harrington was supposed to suck, so seeing him suck was never painful. I was actually relieved when Vick was shipped off to prison because it meant his time in Atlanta was over. I was better able to bear the miserable Bobby Petrino season after Vick's arrest simply because I knew the Vick era was over.

That doesn't mean I'm a complete asshole, though. When the guy was released and picked up by the Eagles, I really hoped he'd changed. I love a good story and a guy like that turning things around and regaining what he could have lost is a great story. I love positive exceptions to the rules. When it turned out that Vick at least turned around his game last year, I immediately started pulling for the guy. Listening to what people who are more likely to know than me have to say, it really seems the guy has grown as a person as well. If it's true, I wish the guy nothing but the best. I hope he plays his last years in the NFL at a Hall-of-Fame level and retires before it's obvious that he's washed up...

Except this weekend. I hope he gets smashed into the Georgia Dome turf repeatedly, throws nothing but interceptions, and limps off the field a broken man. He's playing my Falcons, after all.

Next week, I'll be cheering for him again, and that's why sports are so awesome.

On a related note, if you get the time, read this article about Atlanta receiver Roddy White. It's another redemption story, although this one a just-in-time about face. This is the second article about how White recovered from being a near bust just after Vick's last season that I've read, and they both make me appreciate the guy even more.


Mickey said...

Fly, Eagles, fly! On the way to victo... Oh, sorry- wrong song.

Falcons ri-ise up! (Do we have a fight song, or do we have to settle for that Sam Jackson commercial?)

Let's just forget about last Sunday and start fresh.

Julie said...

I could care so little I don't even know who won.

Personally, I am 'meh' about the whole issue. Some of me agrees that people should be able to move on after being rehabilitated. Part of me thinks that what he does is horrendous and it does make him a bad person and I dislike that we'll allow celebrities to get away with so much just because they're famous.

Jacob said...

What he does or did? From what I can see, I'd be surprised if he's still doing the dog fighting thing. Maybe you consider football to be horrendous? He still does that.

But honestly, I don't think his celebrity got him off easy in this case (although I do think celebrities and the wealthy often do get better treatment.) Honestly, what he was involved in is pretty common where I live and a blind eye is usually turned toward it. Now, part of his problem was that he had such an organization going, but it was really the tax issues related to the gambling that sent him to jail.

If he hadn't been a big name, it's very likely this would have received the same treatment in this case. If he hadn't been so wealthy, it may have just resulted in the dogs being taken away and the people directly involved in the fights (he had no proven direct connection with the dogs outside of owning the property and money connections) receiving small punishments.

Even when someone is punished, I like to think when they've done their time they've earned a second chance. If they take advantage of them, great. If not, then they can be written off. You've got to remember, Vick wasn't a real problem before this. He had some issues with attitude, but he wasn't a career thug like some of the guys you hear about. This isn't one of a string of second chances for him.

Courtney said...

I admit when I heard Vick would be playing for the Eagles after he was released from prison a few years ago, I bristled a little. I don't like to see people who do horrible things get paid lots of money.

But then I thought about it and realized I was wrong. He paid his debt to society and now he's working again, just like he's supposed to. If a plumber was incarcerated for dog fighting, served his time, and then went back to being a plumber, no one would care. Vick just happens to be highly skilled at a job that pays a shit-ton. What else are we going to do, punish him forever? All we can do is hope he learned his lesson and let him do what he does on the football field.

Meaghan said...

Yeah, he did his time, so I wish him well overall. That said, he should never be allowed to adopt/buy an animal again. I think that's fair. Of course, I also feel that if you've had your children taken away from you by the state you should be sterilized. Call me harsh.

On the topic of football, it would be nice if the Falcons go all the way this year. I don't really care, but it seems that the fans could really use a boost ;)