As a lifetime Philadelphia sports fan, I'm reeling from the Eagles' signing of Michael Vick, justifiably the most hated man in sports.
I mean, the guy electrocuted, hung, and drowned dogs. He only confessed to doing it after all of his buddies blew the whistle on him. He operated his Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring for six years.
My initial reaction to the signing is disgust. What's the upside of adding this cretin to the team? Vick can run a "wildcat" formation, but he's certainly no contender to be an every-down player. Does that justify inviting the protests and ill will that will follow the Eagles everywhere, including at home?
And if he plays well, will he be portrayed as the comeback story of the year? I can't swallow that.
I get that voices in Vick's "circle" have said that he's now remorseful and deserves a second chance. Eagles president Joe Banner and coach Andy Reid have echoed their belief in "second chances" for Vick.Bullshit. When the Eagles' brass introduces their pariah, I know they're going to blather more sanctimony about second chances and media-friendly themes of redemption. And now we -- the fans -- will have to live with this garbage story all year. Commentators and beat reporters will lap up this distraction more than they would a Manny Ramirez-Brett Favre hybrid clone. What the Eagles ought to say is:
"We couldn't care less about Michael Vick's past, the dogs he killed, the families he harmed, or any moral lessons anyone wants to infer. All we are thinking about is winning the Super Bowl and we will put any eligible player on the field we can who can possibly give us an edge in any way."
Because that has to be the truth. If the Eagles cared in any way about the messages they sent to pet-owners, football fans, or human beings in general, they would never have invited this ugliness into our house.