Philadelphia Eagles: If Michael Vick's on the Cover, I'm Not Buying Madden

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IApril 19, 2011

Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  Immediately upon reading the title you’re probably expecting me to be a dog lover who still hasn't forgiven Michael Vick for his deplorable actions.

Part of that statement may be accurate, but I’m not a dog lover.  I love my dog and that’s it.  In fact, I can’t stand dog lovers.

When I visit home, I sometimes take my dog to a dog park that is located on an old nine hole golf course.  There are trails through the woods for my dog to roam and agility courses and ponds for her to play in.  Most importantly, there are other dogs there for her to play with.

My parents don’t pay for a $30 per month membership so that I can mingle with other dog owners while I’m there.  I don’t care about your dog.  I don’t want to hear about how beautiful the spots are on my dog.  I want my dog to enjoy her time for the hour and a half that I’m there and that’s it.  If she’s having a good time, then leave me alone.

Now I may sound harsh or anti-social; I’m really not.  I’ll put a facade on, smile and act like I’m going to remember your dog’s name the next time I come.  I have to since you repeatedly tell me the name, breed and bloodline of your dog like I’m supposed to be jotting down notes.  Talk to me about sports, talk to me about politics; talk to me about anything except dogs.

I think you get the picture.

The point is that this isn't some sort of PETA inspired rant against Michael Vick.  This is a wake up call to a society that forgives and forgets and believes prison time evens out the playing field.

It doesn't.

I’m 26 years old.  I've had Atari 2600, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, Sega Channel, Sega 32X, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox Kinect throughout the years.  Pretty safe to say I've been a fan of video games for a long time.  Every single year since Madden football has come out I've purchased it.  This year may be a different story.

This year, Electronic Arts, the creator of Madden football games, decided to self-promote themselves even more by staging a Madden cover tournament.  Within this tournament, every NFL team had one representative that was selected for a chance to appear on the Madden cover.  After four rounds of voting two finalists have surfaced: Michael Vick and Peyton Hillis.

Some people believe that EA made a fatal mistake now that these two contrasting players are the finalists, but I don’t think it matters one bit.  Madden is perennially the biggest selling sports game for all platforms and the NFL is so popular that even if Peyton Hillis gets the cover, everyone that will be buying knows who he is even if the rest of the country doesn't.

EA’s biggest fault is even having Mike Vick in the running in the first place.

A company that would attempt to have a felon who committed such an inhumane act as their spokesperson should be condemned.  One of their values is to act with integrity and to do the right thing.  Hopefully they follow their values.

The problem with our society is that if you don’t follow the majority then you are perceived as the bad guy.  Since Michael Vick has been released from prison the negativity towards him has faded away.  People believe prison changed him and that he’s remorseful for his actions.  That may be the case, but I’m not changing my opinion after two years.

Nowadays if you’re part of the group that hasn't forgiven him, like me, then you’re the bad guy.

Where’s my compassion?  Haven’t I ever made a mistake?  Didn't he pay his time in prison?

Question after question is directed toward an individual like me, instead of people still questioning the person who committed the crime.

Did you know that 61 percent of felons are repeated offenders?  Maybe I’m not so sure that Michael Vick is part of the 39 percent that won’t repeat a crime.  This is a guy who when asked if he would change anything in his life responded with, “Nothing.”

If you did something inhumane and understood how evil it was, wouldn't you want to go back and change it?

Just because someone’s rich, famous and skilled at a high athletic level doesn't mean they’re a great person.  Saying the right things over and over doesn't mean they are either.

Hopefully EA Sports will do the right thing by letting Michael Vick know that they won’t tolerate the wrong thing.

You forgave Michael Vick already for slaughtering dogs, but did you already forgive me for not caring about your dog?