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Would Pittsburgh Steeler Fans Accept Michael Vick?

RICHMOND, VA - AUGUST 27:  Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick speaks to reporters at the Omni Richmond Hotel after agreeing to a guilty plea on charges stemming from his involvement in a dogfighting ring August 27, 2007, in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
David MatuszakContributor IJuly 30, 2009

In the few days since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Michael Vick, talk has arisen from the dust of a certain betting Web site that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be a good fit for the former star Falcons quarterback.

Since these rumors started bubbling, courtesy also of ESPN's SportsCenter, there is no doubt in my mind that Steeler fans across the country have looked down deep inside themselves and asked one question: Do I want Michael Vick, an accused and convicted dog fighter, playing for my beloved Black and Gold? Now I am not a journalist, nor am I looking to become one, but I am a Steeler fan.

There are a few things that a true fan should take into account before jumping to one side or the other:

1. Ben is GOOD, but he is NOT GOD. Yes, No. 7 has led his team to two Super Bowl victories in his young career; his numbers are often good enough to make any sports analyst's eyes bulge out of his or her head, but stop right there. Every football fan across America, Steeler fans included, remembers Tom Brady early last season. One weird hit and the season is over.

2. Charlie Batch has proven to be a very capable go-to guy if Ben tweaks a muscle or something and needs to sit out a game or two, but let's face it, Charlie is getting old. Beyond him who is there? All the others, whoever may come out of training camp as the No. 3 will be largely untried and untested. Vick is still very young, and although removed from the game for a while, is still capable of very much.

3. This is not a democracy. This is football. The only people who can really control whether Vick wears the Black and Gold are Mike Tomlin, the Rooneys, Michael Vick himself, his agent, and maybe a little Tony Dungy. The fans do not have much of a say here, despite what they may wish.

4. Last, are Steeler fans really as dedicated as history has shown? While browsing the blogs last night, I stumbled upon several fans who would dissolve their loyalty should the Steelers sign Vick. Really? You would walk away from the only team with six Super Bowl wins, and many more playoff runs? You would walk away from a team affiliated with legends such as Terry Bradshaw, Jack Lambert, Franco Harris, and Jerome Bettis? Just because of Michael Vick?

Granted, Vick will come back into the NFL forever marked with asterisk beside him on the stats sheet, a big "But remember..." when he's talked about in newspapers or on any talk show. But Steeler Nation is something larger than a guy named Vick could ever dream of becoming. The fans are almost as legendary as the players they support.

So in conclusion, those Steeler fans who are asking themselves if they want Vick, should be asking themselves am I a true fan? Or am I going to jump just because my team signed this guy who's done some weird stuff? Do I really bleed the Black and Gold bad enough?

 

 

 

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