Stormy Skies For Mike Vick and The Eagles

Jennette GrayContributor 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)

               With a flick of a pen, Michael Vick’s situation began to look up this week and his future in the National Football League became a little clearer.  He’ll trade one bird for another.  He can’t be a Falcon.  So, he’ll be an Eagle.  Maybe.

                It’s no secret that I LOVE Michael Vick.  Really LOVE him.  I believe him when he says he’s learned a lot.  But, I worry he still has problems distinguishing whose advice to trust.

                I cringed when I heard he’d decided to be a sort of unofficial “anti-dogfighting” spokesperson for the Humane Society.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s a fine thing to do if it’s really what you want to do.  But, from a public relations standpoint, I couldn’t help but think it’s far too soon.   

                It looks disingenuous.  Not that it is.  It just looks that way.  It gives the appearance that maybe, just maybe this is the only way to quiet the protesters.  Maybe it is.  But, where were his advisors?  Didn’t anyone get it?  Weren’t they smart enough to figure it out?

Let them protest.  They’ll get tired when no one gives the attention to it anymore, when we move on to the next play, the next game.  Think about it, do we really sit around discussing Ray Lewis’ legal troubles or wondering if Jerry Richardson really is racist?  No.  It’s all water-under-the-bridge.

So is this.

Truth is both Mike and his advisors need to get over this idea that he has apologies and amends to make.  He doesn’t.  And, no matter what he does at this point, he can not change the way people look at him. 

The reality is the people who hate him or have a problem with him hated him or had issues with him before all this.  They’re the same ones who said he wasn’t a quarterback; the same ones who booed while he was breaking records.

Now, comes the biggest decision Mike Vick has had to make up to this point:  where to start over.  I’m sure his agent will say a lot of nothing; that it was a matter of fit and contract issues, blah, blah, blah.  Bottom line:  this is a shaky decision at best.

Trust me I get it.   You want him in a major market.  But, a major market isn’t what he needs most.  And, with a one year deal, a major market could have waited until next year. 

What Mike should have put emphasis on is going to a place where they would make use of him. Philly CAN use him; chances are they WON’T.  After all, they have to coddle McNabb.

Or perhaps even a place where they can actually handle the influx of press and teach him how to.  Philly has already proven that they can’t actually do that.  Remember the TO saga.

Speaking of the TO saga, much of that was really caused by Donovan McNabb’s inability to share the spotlight.   

                Michael Dewayne Vick will be the center of attention.  Even if this had never happened, Michael Dewayne Vick would be the center of attention.  That means the Vick-McNabb relationship will eventually be the center of tension.  Oh, they’ll play nice for a while.  But, so did McNabb and TO. 

                TO was rather gracious to McNabb.  I don’t see Vick allowing McNabb to make sly, thinly veiled swipes at him in press conferences and getting away with it.

                Eagle fans may be rejoicing, but I see a forecast of stormy skies ahead.  Here’s to hoping I’m wrong.