The Michael Vick Saga: Why Eagles Fans Need to Give Him a Chance

Andy BenschSenior Writer IAugust 14, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 14: Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles speaks at a press conference at the NovaCare Complex on August 14, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Vick signed a one-year contract, with a second year option, with the Eagles.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Less than five minutes after turning on the TV, I had made my way to ESPN and their coverage of Michael Vick's signing with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Yet, it didn't take longer than seven minutes to hear the infamous Philly fans (who have a love/hate relationship with Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and almost every other professional athlete in the city) to share their displeasure with their team adding Vick to the roster.

Phrases such as "Hide your beagle, Vick's an Eagle" or "this move was the worst move ever, worse than TO" or "I figured there would be a team stupid enough to pick him up" and lastly "I am not going to watch a game until he is no longer with the Eagles" have been heard on ESPN's coverage.

But anyone in Philadelphia who doesn't endorse giving Vick his second chance is making the statement that change is not possible. Failing to accept Vick into the community would be a straight up denial to anyone's capability to change for the better. And if that isn't the most pessimistic outlook on change, find me another one.

However, I guess it is understandable for Philadelphia fans to write Vick off before he gets a chance. Considering its the Philadelphia fan-base, then what more should we expect? Fans from all other marquee sporting markets hear time and time again that "Philly" fans are the most difficult to please.

Well, they aren't failing to live up to that hype this time around.But what they really need is a reality check.

The Eagles organization is nothing more than a business corporation that decided to make a move to acquire more talent in order to help their business compete in the local market. The move is not binding and does not hurt the Eagles if it weren't to pan out. With just a 1.6 million dollar deal for the upcoming season, the organization has not put any risk to their chances by this move.

So tactically, (just based on football reasons alone) there is no reason not to make this move. For essentially zero cost, the Eagles could be getting an effective new weapon to their offense that opposing teams have to game plan for and be ready to defend.

Whether or not Vick were to appear in just 10 or fewer plays per game doesn't matter. Every time he touches the ball he becomes dangerous. His throwing abilities combined with his feet make him extremely valuable on trick plays. The presence he brings to an offense forces opposing defenders to over think and figure out how to set their defense.

Granted, after two years in prison, nobody knows what skill set Vick has left but essentially he is still the naturally athletic runner. Can he play every down? No, he isn't in football shape and hasn't played in over two years. But in short intervals, his natural talent can still be effective.

But back to the quotations/written signs that show the displeasure on the minds of a hefty amount of Eagles fans.

First off, when it comes to "Hide your beagle, Vick's an eagle," I just have to respond with my infamous sarcastic response of "reaaaaaallly, seriously? C'mon!".

To the fan that made that sign, you need to realize that Vick is no longer a threat to dogs. He's working with humane societies, he will be working with the city of Philadelphia, he's being a responsible adult for the first time in his life.

The guy appears to have changed and if you don't want to believe it then your taking an extremely pessimistic outlook. Furthermore, if you don't believe my word for it, at least take Tony Dungy's.

The former Indianapolis Colt and Tampa Bay Buccaneer head coach has been working with Vick for some time and genuinely feels that Vick has changed. If there is someone in the NFL to trust more than Dungy, please tell me because I can't think of one.

And as for the fan who "won't watch a single game until Vick is off the roster," well, if she follows through on her statement, then not only is she not a true fan but her stance is the wrong one for dog lovers across the nation.

First of all, if you're a fan of a team, you watch them no matter what. Secondly, if fans really want to make sure Vick is a changed man, then having people like Tony Dungy, Andy Reid, and Donovan F. McNabb around him, is a superb idea.

As I mentioned earlier, Vick is no longer a threat to dogs. However, the fans who don't want him anywhere near the NFL, are kidding themselves if Vick away from the game is better for society.

With the extremely high rates of prison inmates returning to prison, it is clear that people can fall back into similar patterns if they aren't put in the right environment in order to change.

Therefore, with Vick all but broke, what do you think would happen if he weren't allowed back in the NFL? He would be in a bind to make a living and could easily fall back into bad habits.

However with good people around him, the chances for him to fall back into those ways are absolutely zero.

If fans want the best for society and the best for the future of dogs and the decrease in dog-fighting around the world, then Vick back in the NFL is the best solution to all these issues.

Fans need to stop hating and start embracing.

Vick has served his time and deserves the benefit of the doubt as a changed man. Until proven otherwise, Vick now has the ability to change people and society as a whole for the better.

Vick belongs in the NFL, and if he weren't allowed back into the league, the world would be worse off for it.