Michael Vick "Maligned"?
From today's lead story:
Before Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid changes his mind yet again about his starting quarterback, many Delaware County fans are lining up behind the man once maligned as a “dog killer.”The definition of "malign" is
To make evil, harmful, and often untrue statements about; speak evil of.Michael Vick wasn't maligned as a dog killer. He is an admitted and convicted dog killer.
He not only killed them, he tortured them. In saying so, I am not maligning Michael Vick, just accurately describing his past actions.
Still, count me among the people who believe he deserved the second chance the Eagles have given him. He did his time, paid his fines, and lost $100 million in the bargain. He has apologized for his crimes and past behavior. He is taking part in animal cruelty prevention programs. It is hard to say what more he could be doing to deserve the second chance he has been given.
Having signed him and paid him millions of dollars, the Eagles organization can be expected to use him on the football field as it sees fit. Starter or back-up, Vick has so far proven himself a capable (and exciting) NFL quarterback. Millions of football fans will be interested to see how he does this Sunday and the rest of the season as the Eagles starter. And why shouldn't they be? His is a fascinating story of a poor kid rising to the height of sports stardom only to fall almost as far as a man can fall. He is working his way back to excellence on the field and respectability off it.
What football fan won't be interested in how Vick and the Eagles do this weekend?
Some critics of Andy Reid starting Vick, say he is postponing the Eagles chances of going to another Superbowl. They say that young Kevin Kolb, the man Reid said was is his Number 1 quarterback, will need time to develop and Reid is denying him that time by starting Vick. These same critics say that Vick doesn't have what it takes to take a team deep into the playoffs. To win in the playoffs you need a well-defended pocket passer, who can surgically pick apart a defense. Maybe so. But right now the Eagles's offensive line isn't among the best in the league. And right now, the Eagles are a better team with a QB who can escape the rush and run for a first down when one is needed.
Good sports franchises have the patience to develop young players who appear to have great potential. All the Eagles have to do is look across the parking lot to see such a franchise. But then, football is a little different than baseball. The season is shorter. Every loss means more.
As far as the Eagles are concerned, that they let a team like Detroit put up 32 points against them, does not auger well for their defensive talents. If they aren't going to stop teams, they are going to have to score a lot of points against them. Who better than to have a double-threat like Vick behind center?
Suddenly, this is not the rebuilding year, Eagles fans were led to expect it would be. Suddenly, the Eagles are thinking now, not tomorrow, not two years or three years into the future. Now.
For a fan-base as demanding, as invested, as emotional as the Eagles fan base is -- the future is always NOW!