During the post game, all Ray Didinger, a reporter whose work I enjoy, could focus on, was his disbelief over the signing of one Michael Dwayne Vick. For Didinger, the move made no sense in his eyes and he went on as if his opinion was the only one that mattered.
He went on to rattle off Vick's lackluster numbers: 53.8 Completion percentage, 75.7 percent quarterback rating, etc...
Well at least he kept the conversation to football, which at the end of the day is what should matter most. What bothered me is that Didinger had nothing positive to say about the man who was once the most feared athlete in football.
Nothing about his cannon of an arm or about the running ability second only to Barry Sanders. Nothing about the athleticism that any coach would try to take advantage of.
Nope. Just, "Vick is not a good fit for the West Coast Offense."
Well knock me out with a feather, seriously?
I didn't know that!
Despite the overwhelming evidence supporting his claim from when the Atlanta Falcons tried to run a similar version and all the game film showing Vick's inaccuracy, I had no idea!
Say it with me now: Duh!
I'll give Didinger a pass since he was ill-prepared to address this situation properly.
Then came the fan reaction and I have to tell you, I was a little shocked.
This is the same town that gave Brett Myers a second chance after publicly beating his wife. Sure it was only the first time...he got caught, but there was hardly a murmur of public discontent when he returned from counseling.
Here, Michael Vick had his life and livelihood completely destroyed in a very public manner. He received death threats, lost millions of dollars, served time in jail, and was put on house arrest thereafter.
And the popular opinion was that Vick served his time and thus deserved another chance.
I guess that meant only if he played for someone else's team.
The reaction varied, but the majority of it seemed angry.
Not upset, or surprised, flat out angry.
Fans uttered statements like; "I'm no longer an Eagles fan!" or "I'm selling my tickets!" even "What kind of message does this send my kids?"
Well I imagine it let's them know that if you do something horrible, but pay the penalty for that act, you have an opportunity for a second chance. Isn't that what all of us are taught by our parents? That if we do something bad we should own up to it and yes, we'll be punished, but once that's over we'll be forgiven? Isn't that one of the themes, to drag greater wisdom into sports, of the Bible itself?
I was frustrated last night, but I felt confident that given time to sleep on it, the public would come around.
This morning the talk is centered on two stories, the overall disgust by the Philadelphia fans and the media speculating the end of the Donovan McNabb era (after this upcoming season).
The latter was postulated by Sal Paolantonio, another reporter, who until this signing, I enjoyed on Mike and Mike the popular ESPN radio show.
Here, he concluded that this move, more than the drafting of Kevin Kolb meant McNabb would be done in Philly after two years. I'm not sure how he could have drawn such a conclusion given what we know about Andy Reid and what we know about the West Coast offense, but apparently the one-year deal Vick received (with the second being a team option) is tantamount to a changing of the guard in his eyes.
Again, no talk about how defenses will be pulling their hair out trying to account for Brian Westbrook, Desean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Donovan McNabb, and Michael Vick.
He chose to focus on the fact that there is only one football.
He made this statement to illustrate how someone will be the odd man out and that man will likely be McNabb. Wow.
Never have I seen the signing of one player cause such unadulterated stupidity. This is truly unprecedented.
The fans of course are blowing up the phone lines at WIP and as any real fan knows this is not the most intelligent collection of Eagles Nation.
These tend to be the guys on their third "Irish coffee" by 8:00 AM, so you can imagine the commentary.
As an Eagles fan since the tender age of five, I've seen a lot in my time.
From bounty bowls to Kotite blows.
From making Lomas Brown frown to 10 yards to go on fourth down and everything in between.
I can truthfully say I've never seen anything like this.
Vick is not O.J. Simpson; he wasn't on trial for murder.
He's not even Donte Stallworth, who recklessly caused the death of someone, paid the family off, and didn't serve any time in jail.
The Humane Society has assured the Eagles organization that they have been working with Vick and that they are pleased with his commitment to right his wrong.
The Mayor has assured the Eagles that while he doesn't agree with Vick's actions, (and honestly who does?) he has no issue with the signing.
Two of the most respected men in Philadelphia sports; Reid and McNabb have expressed that Vick has paid his debt in society and this is a fresh start.
So why the outrage?
I honestly don't know.
I just know that we're taught from an early age that we are imperfect. We will make mistakes, we will offend and hurt people we love, intentionally, as well as unintentionally.
We're also taught that the measure of any man, woman, or child is what we do next.
What we do after we've made that mistake.
How many of those crying out in righteous indignation have atoned for all of their mistakes in life?
The silence says it all.
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