The League

Les Carpenter
Staff Writer

Les Carpenter

Yahoo! Sports reporter and former NFL writer for The Washington Post.

Who Even Wants Him?

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The question of whether Michael Vick will be allowed to play in the NFL again is irrelevant. Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to reinstate him. Vick's sentence has been served and in the coming months he will express the proper contrition and volunteer with whichever animal rights organization will take him on regardless of how insincere the gesture might truly be. He will re-polish his image enough for a league governed by public relations to take him back.

The much greater issue is who should want him?

Of course there will be a small pack of true suitors among the legion of the curious. He was at a time one of the NFL's brighter quarterback prospects, and it wasn't that long ago. Vick was a player who promised to take the professional game to a new place with a mix of passing and speed. For awhile, he did. But in the months before federal authorities stumbled across his dog-fighting compound, he showed the signs of a player in a free-fall.

While he rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards in his final season, he oversaw the complete collapse of the Atlanta Falcons, one in which his defiant attitude and undercutting personality led to the destruction of his coach, Jim Mora, Jr. By the end of that year he had made obscene gestures toward his home fans and fallen into a statistical whirlpool, completing less than 10 passes in four of his final six games.

Now, after two seasons away from the NFL, it's hard to see where Vick can truly make a difference, especially considering the baggage he will drag along with him -- the public outrage, the image that can never fully be cleansed. Sure teams will be attracted by his ability to run the wildcat offense, which was all the rage in the NFL last year. But the wildcat may prove to be a fad, a surprise that everybody copied last season. Defensive coordinators have had a winter now to devise schemes to stop it. The chances are, quarterbacks who can play the wildcat will probably not be in great demand by year's end. Like most gimmicks that come along in the NFL, it will run its course.

And along with it may go Vick's last chance at football redemption.

By Les Carpenter  |  May 20, 2009; 11:29 AM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Michael Vick Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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You greatly underestimate the passion of animal lovers. No amount of contrition will redeem Vick. Any team that takes him on will not only be in for a ****storm, but the NFL will be targeted as well and there are 31 other teams who will not appreciate it.

If you doubt my assessment of how dog lovers will punish the league simply e-mail Jonah Goldberg at the LA Times. He once wrote a column supporting a proposal in Wisconsin to allow people to shoot feral cats. He cited the studies about how house cats are a holocaust to song birds. He wrote it in a newspaper two time zones away from Wisconsin. He says his editor looked at him like he was an idiot but published it anyway. He says he still lives in fear because of that one column.

Posted by: caribis | May 20, 2009 2:04 PM

WHO WILL WANT HIM, YOU ASK? IDIOT, IF VICK CAN PLAY THE GAME, CAN MAKE THE TEAM WIN-HE'LL PLAY-IT'S JUST AS SIMPLE AS THAT!

AND I HOPE HE DOES COME BACK AND COMES BACK SPECTACULARLY-I HAVE A STRANGE FEELING HE WILL-AND SHOW ALL YOU IDIOT SPORTS WRITERS NAYSAYERS.

VICKS, I REPEAT, IS NOT A THUG. HE IS A GOOD MAN, WITH A GOOD HEART-PERIOD. HE DID HIS TIME, HE ABSOLUTELY DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE. HE HAS NOTHING OF THE THUG IN HIM. IF YOU WANT THUG, THERE ARE THOSE IN THE NFL, BUT MOST OF THEM, AS WE KNOW, ARE IN THE NBA, AND NOBODY DOES A DAMN THING ABOUT THEM!

Posted by: arrabbiato | May 20, 2009 3:06 PM

To Arrabbia

Do you not know how to type, or are you that angry about a THUG not getting back into the NFL? The man is a piece of crap and if he's lucky there'll be no after life, because if there is Mike Vick will come back as a pit bull owned by some sadistic NFL player.

If only you could understand that the difference between what Mike Vick did and what Art Schiester did. Schleister bet on football and was banned for life. Mike Vick torured, killed and bet on animals. Schleister was kicked out of football forever, Mike Vick may still have a chance (which in MY opinion he doesn't deserve). Now turn off your cpas lock and type like you have some sense. Maybe people will actually not take you for the raving lunatic you appear to be

Posted by: thensell | May 20, 2009 4:23 PM

who would hire michael vick?

I fear that the answer is Dan Snyder.

Posted by: j762 | May 20, 2009 5:11 PM

To all posters:

You will be taken a lot more seriously if you eliminate the bad language, even the virtual kind, and the misspelled words.

Posted by: jpslon1 | May 21, 2009 9:05 AM

caribis

There are people who are just animal lovers and never watched the NFL. Then there are people who love the NFL and their dogs who can separate the difference. Animal rights groups are no more powerful than any other group and people who watch football do not like any groups telling them what they should and should not patronize. To them amimal groups are no different than anti gun groups, or anti abortionist groups. They are separate. If you think people who love football are going to let Vick dictate if they will still watch and patronize football you are underestimating the passion of fans. Do you really think if vick ends up being on the roster of the Pittsburgh Steelers their fans will stop supporting them or not watch the supperbowl if they are in it? Sure PETA will use Vick to promote themselves, thats what groups do. You saw that last weekend at ND graduation ceremonies. I bet most of those people had no connection to the university and some of them were not even catholic but they all belong to some pro life group that benefited from the attention. So yes PETA will use this to garner attention each week but the people who watch football will continue and the people who will condem Vick probably did not watch football or him in the first place. I just dont see a true fan giving up watching football or patronizing his favorite team because of Vick playing. PS, in regards to Jonah Goldberg this is Wisconsin we are talking about. Think about how they obsess over and worship the packers.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 21, 2009 1:06 PM

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