Guarantee or Not, Michael Vick's Cryptic Tweet More Harmful Than Helpful
The Philadelphia Eagles might have had their second "Dream Team" moment in less than a year, but this one could do more damage than the original.
We've entered the age of digital guarantees, which are a little less romantic and quite a bit murkier than those of the Namath/Messier variety. But if this isn't a guarantee or a prediction from Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, what exactly is it?
But what made this so dangerous is that the Eagles proved last year they're sensitive to brash proclamations.
Just ask Vince Young.
That was presumably off the cuff, and Young has stated ever since that he wasn't intending to make that statement in vain. That, like the majority of guarantees and cocky remarks, was somewhat of an accident.
And yet that statement, made by a backup quarterback in less than three seconds, stuck to every member of Philadelphia's roster from the moment it was made until the moment the team walked off the field on New Year's Day in Week 17.
What Young said put unnecessary pressure on a team that was already trying to adjust on the fly after dramatic offseason personnel changes. But at least those adjustments combined with the lockout to give the Eagles an excuse in 2011.
Will Michael Vick's tweet have an effect on the Eagles?
In 2012, there will be no excuses. The on-field pressure to deliver is significantly higher than it was a year ago. There's no buffer anymore. This is the deepest, most talented team in football.
Succeed in 2012 or become a punch line.
On top of all that, now you've got your starting quarterback making cryptic "Super Bowl" declarations on Twitter. Vick's words carry more weight than Young's. The pressure is now officially higher than it has ever been.
And again, even if Vick wasn't making a guarantee, simply stating for the record that it's a Super-Bowl-or-bust season is just as harmful.
Could such a statement serve as a wake-up call? Sure, but is that necessary? This is a team that already has the pieces in place and is, by all indications, practicing like a championship-caliber unit thus far in organized team activities.
If Vick's implication is that the Eagles must get to the Super Bowl this year, his ambitions are in the right place and he's probably right. If he's making a subtle guarantee or prediction, he is by no means delusional. Fact-checkers would sign off on such a tweet, but sports psychologists would likely wonder if it was an example of ego-trumping logical intentions.
I'm neither, but I believe an action like that in a situation like this does more harm than good. Sometimes, the boat needs to be rocked.
It doesn't appear this is one of those times.
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