Michael Vick – An Eagles Fan’s ReponseSaturday, August 15, 2009 21:52
Mea culpa, I’ve been an Eagles fan my entire life. My family has had season tickets since before I was born. And though I am used to failure and embarrassment, nothing in the team’s history has struck me quite as hard as this signing did. Even when McNabb barfed away a Super Bowl, I never found myself questioning my very fan hood like I am today.
Let me preface by saying, I’ve never liked Michael Vick. Even before his reprehensible actions were brought to light, I disliked him for some very petty reasons. You see, as he dazzled at Virginia Tech, one of the teams frequently shown on the opposite end of the highlight reels were my beloved West Virginia Mountaineers. When I found out about the dog fighting ring, it only compounded a hatred that was already brewing within me.
Now Michael Vick is a Philadelphia Eagle. It’s surreal. It seems like only yesterday the Eagles defense completely shut him down in the NFC Championship game.
I was just getting used to LeShon McCoy being an Eagle because he played for much-despised rival, Pitt, and now this?
I’m going to try to avoid the more obvious reasons why I hate this move. Anyone who knows me knows that I love dogs and could never abide by someone who deliberately hurts one. Instead, I’m going to try to focus on the football and business sides of the arguments why I think this is a terrible move.
First of all, it would seem to me that unless Kevin Kolb’s MCL sprain is far worse than we’ve been told, this spells the end of A.J. Feeley’s days as an Eagle. They’re certainly not going to carry four QB’s on the active roster. I don’t have too much sympathy for him because he gets to go home to Heather Mitts, but it still sucks to see someone lose his job so unexpectedly.
Secondly, for a team that was bitten so hard by the Terrell Owens media circus, how can this possibly seem like a good idea? This will be a distraction of epic proportions. I had a nightmare last night of Vick conducting dogfights shirtless in his driveway surrounded by helicopters and TV crews.
However, I can see the flip side to this argument, and that is that Vick now becomes the focal point for the media and the fans while the Eagles quietly conduct their normal slow-start to the season in the background. And don’t think it won’t happen. Andy Reid’s teams generally take about three lackluster games to start the year before they start to play like the records count. The Vick frenzy may also divert some of the attention away from McNabb, who doesn’t always seem to respond well to adversity. See, all but one NFC Championship Games he’s played in for proof of this.
From a business standpoint, I just don’t get it. Actually, on second thought, I do. The Eagles got a former Pro-Bowl QB for pennies on the dollar. And he might even have something left in the tank, to boot. That’s absolutely their model. Save money and to hell with how many fans it may alienate–they’ll still line up buy tickets when the playoffs start. The NFL is a business, and the Eagles understand that better than most teams. They manage their salary cap like Mussolini managed train schedules.
That said, I still think if Vick doesn’t make the team after week six, the PR hit isn’t worth his bargain price tag. There’s going to be protesters at every game, we lose credibility with fans from other teams around the league (not that there was much to lose, but for those of us living in “enemy territory” it’s a concern), and Andy Reid can no longer claim that this team focuses on signing so-called “character” guys.
Now, as a side-note, no one outside of the organization knows what toll the struggles of Andy Reid’s sons over the past few seasons have affected him and his role with the team. As he said in the press conference, perhaps Reid did see parallels between his children and Vick. Though given his sons’ levels of recidivism, I don’t think that bodes well for Vick. In fact, if the Reid boys are any indication, Vick’s probably got two fighting Chihuahuas hidden in his ass right now.
On the field, the Vick signing brings up all kinds of questions, most of which focus on Vick’s readiness to play after a two-year hiatus. He was beginning to show signs of slipping athletically before the charges caught up with him.
It seems like a no-brainer that Vick will be used in some sort of hybrid formation that mimics the NFL’s offensive gimmick Du Jour, the so-called “Wild Cat.” But how well-suited his diminished skills will work in that regard and how much McNabb will resent the focus being pulled away from him remains to be seen.
One of the most common complaints about this Eagles regime is that they’ve been content to merely be competitive and afraid to make big splashes (the TO and Kearse signings notwithstanding) and risk long-term competitiveness over short-term success. That’s their business acumen. Some people are categorizing this as being out-of-character for them. I disagree. On the football side, this is a low-risk, high-reward, type of signing and is absolutely the kind of signing I expect them to make, arrogance and all. In hindsight, I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming.
In the end, all the flailing and complaining isn’t going to do a bit of good. The Eagles got a bargain if Vick’s able to bring even a fraction of his former electrifying self to the field during a game that counts. When the sun comes up, I’m still going to root for my team, even if it makes me a little sick to my stomach. I mean, if your President appoints someone morally reprehensible to his cabinet (cough, cough, Karl Rove, cough, cough) you don’t stop being American, do you?
What this robs me of is the right to feel pride in my team. When an opposing fan starts in on the Vick jokes, I’m going to nod my head and agree. Maybe he deserved a second chance, maybe he didn’t. I just didn’t wish it had to be in Midnight Green.
26 Responses to “Michael Vick – An Eagles Fan’s Reponse”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.