Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Thoughts on Michael Vick

I write the following being fully aware of the fact that no one cares what I think. I am not an expert on football, especially the NFL but I do like to think that I have better than a novice understanding of the game. That being said, allow me to weigh in on not only Michael Vick's reinstatement but also where I think he should end up playing.

I am personally glad to see Michael Vick back able to play in the NFL. What he did and was convicted of was at best reprehinsible and I think that his punishment from the legal system was very much appropriate. He served his time, has lost quite literally millions of dollars (some estimate $100 million) and has ruined his name and reputation. Regarding his reputation, as I did a Google image search on my iPhone for pictures of Vick, while the first page of images was full of him in football action, pages two through four was a huge collection of bloody and fighting dogs with a few of Vick during his court proceedings. I quit looking after that point and was very disheartened.

Quite possibly the saddest consequence to me is the loss of the relationship between Vick and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank. While Blank has been the epitome of class and compassion during this ongoing scandal, he has verbalized much pain about what Vick's actions did to him personally and how Vick has hurt his business and the Falcons franchise. Blank is on record of having no desire of Vick wearing his team's uniform again.

Despite the pending six game suspension and the stigma that Vick must somehow outgrow, I am glad he has been given a second chance. Honestly, where would any of us be without second, third, and fourth chances? I failed to understand the debate surrounding if Vick deserved to play again when there are players who have committed far worse crimes against humans not only playing, but receiving fan fare. I personally look forward to the opportunity that Vick being on the field will provide. In that event, a door will be opened for me to discuss with my two oldest sons about how wrong cruelty to animals is, how there are consequneces for our actions, the effect that a good, God-fearing man (Tony Dungy) can have on young men, forgivness, and how to react when given a second chance. I just hope he doesn't mess it up.

The debate now centers around which team will take a chance on Michael Vick. While I do not have a crystal ball to say with certainty, I do have an opinion about where he would best fit. That team is the Cincinnati Bengals. What team in recent NFL history has been more maligned with controversy and legal problems? What team has more forgiving fans? Could Vick not learn from sitting behind a classy quarterback like Carson Palmer? Could Vick not learn how to have fun from Chad Johnson (or whatever his name is now)? What could happen with not only Tony Dungy's influence on Vick but Marvin Lewis' as well. Further, could the players on the Bengals not learn some much needed lessons from Vick? Sure, there is no guarantee that Vick will ever be near the same quarterback he once was, but what if he is, or better? Sure, Carson Palmer's contract goes through 2014 but why can't Vick be used in a role other than full-time quarterback. Just imagine the possibilities....

Besides, imagine the fun when the Bengals play their in state rival Cleveland Browns. The Brown's mascot, a big, brown dog.

-- Post From My iPhone

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