Michael Vick Playing For the Rams? Let's Hope Not.

Brian McDowellCorrespondent IMay 20, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - DECEMBER 10:  Animals rights activists Joel Bartlett (L) and Eric Deardorff (2nd L) wait outside a sentencing hearing for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in federal court December 10, 2007 in Richmond, Virginia. Vick and three associates pleaded guilty to charges related to their roles running an interstate dogfighting ring.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

John Clayton, the nerdy ESPN football analyst who is a dead ringer for the guy that plays the PC in those annoying Macintosh commercials, wrote a column today  suggesting the strong possibility that the disgraced former Falcons quarterback, Michael Vick, could end up playing for the St. Louis Rams. Clayton's reasoning is that Billy Devaney, the Rams' general manager, knows Vick, and that the Rams are desperate and need all the help they can get.

I, for one, hope that this unsubstantiated rumor isn't true. The Rams already have a quarterback, and some of us are interested to see what Marc Bulger can do behind a beefed up offensive line.

I realize that Michael Vick, who was released from prison this morning, has dutifully done the time that he was sentenced to, and I won't begrudge the man the right to earn a living. So, I do think he should be reinstated and allowed to play. That doesn't mean that I want him to end up on the team that I root for.

I do not think I could see Vick on a football field and not mentally picture the horrible things that he did to those undeserving animals. Someone who is heartless and sociopathic enough to commit such acts is not worthy of my attention, admiration or my spending cash.

Maybe this has more to do with me than it does with him; I'm a bit of a softy when it comes to animals. And I will admit that is an interesting question to ask: If Michael Vick could lead the team to the Super Bowl, how willing would fans like me be to overlook his troubled past?

It's a false premise though. Vick has always been, at best, an overrated quarterback. In his physical prime, he had a couple of winning seasons and impressive playoff performances, but he never led the Falcons to the Big Dance, so to think that now, after two years of athletic unproductivity, he would be the magical key that would improve the prospects of any struggling team is delusional. The Rams should know better, and if they don't, they will deserve the loss of local fan support that will happen as a result.

Let's face it. Being a fan of the Rams has been hard enough the last couple of years. The general manager of the team shouldn't take a step that would make it much harder.

I hope that Michael Vick has learned something from his prison experience and is fully  committed to improving himself as a human being. And if he can redeem himself a little bit on the football field, I'm willing to give him a chance to do so. I just don't want that to be done in the uniform of the St. Louis Rams.