The League

Emil Steiner
Editor and Blogger

Emil Steiner

The author of NFL Crime Watch and Founding Editor of The League.

My Head Is Spinning

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Like most Eagles fans, I'm in a daze right now. There are so many questions: How will Michael Vick fit in with the Philadelphia Eagles? Can he still play? How will the city react? All I can say for sure is that it's gonna be weird -- perfectly Philly.

From a team perspective, presuming his skills are still sharp, it's a great move. Imagine a split QB formation lining up with Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick in the backfield. Defenses that are already spying down against the possible scramble are going to be panicking -- it almost guarantees single coverage against the Birds' explosive passing game. And then there's Westbrook, the Eagles go-to running back who clocks 2,000 yards from scrimmage with the regularity of Big Ben (the one near Parliament, kids). How do you defend on a screen against him? How do you blitz? How do you know who to cover? The offensive options are limitless.

Then there's the PR aspect, which may be even more offensive. Michael Vick was convicted of dog fighting. He tortured and executed pit bulls with sick brutality. How will parents in Philadelphia feel when their kids ask for a Vick jersey, or hoard their allowance to buy one on the DL? How will dog lovers in the city of brotherly love be able to cheer for a man like Vick? I've already heard from an insider that animal rights groups are planning protests at NovaCare, the Eagles practice facility. I would caution activists that Philly is the wrong city to douse incoming fans with paint.

And that leads me to another point. From birth, Philadelphia has been a city of proud contrarians. Citizens have chips on their shoulders so big they often outrank their heads. Anyone who thinks they're a bad-ass and that fashion is the way to prove it, (there are too many in the Delaware Valley), will want to buy a Vick jersey. The more outsiders hate, the more pride they get. This move, although risky, has effectively pushed the Phillies off the front pages. Tickets will sell. WIP will see a huge bump. The bottom line may swell despite the ugliness of its impetus.

But, like a 70-yard bomb from the once great Vick, so much is up in the air. Where the bombshell of this signing lands remains to be seen.

By Emil Steiner  |  August 14, 2009; 5:20 AM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Crime , Michael Vick , NFL , Philadelphia Eagles , Quarterbacks , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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And did we tell you the name of the game, boy? We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

Posted by: hamishdad | August 14, 2009 8:06 AM

Almost every Psychiatrist will tell you, that killing animals is a precursor to killing people. I do not believe his mental disorder has abated in just 2 years. Vick is another O.J.

Posted by: poliltimmy | August 14, 2009 8:18 AM

This man enjoys torturing animals. It is not a matter of remorse or not remorse. It is a matter of a twisted,sadistic human being. Does anyone really believe that just because he can catch a football it means he is no longer the walking personification of everything we should be opposed to? Steiner, you coward, take a stand.

Posted by: pgbmaloney | August 14, 2009 8:44 AM

I thought the Eagles had some class as an organization, but apparently not. I just hope the Vick signing blows up the team chemistry, and the "Iggls" tank this season. Vick should have been banned by the NFL from ever playing again, in any case, but the Commissioner is a coward. Buying a Vick football jersey now is a statement supporting animal cruelty.

Posted by: pookey12 | August 14, 2009 8:56 AM

Fans from every club the eagles visit should boycott the games. Money is the only thing those involved in the NFL understand anymore. Vick is scum and only the low life eagles and their equally ignorant, smarmy fans would have anything to do with him.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | August 14, 2009 9:13 AM

i'm sure all of you fair-weather Skins "fans" would be spewing all this garbage if Vick signed with you. This wasn't the tone of Vick comments until he went to a rival - and if I remember correctly Skins fans were generally in favor of signing Vick two weeks ago.

Posted by: tylerlang | August 14, 2009 9:29 AM

Vick served his time and needs to be allowed opportunity to play. He can also be a leader & raise consciousness in black community re: dog fighting/abuse through his volunteer work. Go, Vick, go!!

Posted by: helenrice | August 14, 2009 10:12 AM

Get over it! While most players get a slap on the wrist for hurting human beings Vick served his 2 years and lost his fortune. Now I fully support Vick and would like to buy his jersey except I hate the Eagles almost as much as the Cowgirls.

Posted by: jercha | August 14, 2009 10:23 AM

The last time I checked, Vick was not trying to become President or get on the Supreme Court, rather to play FOOTBALL. Please, the guy served his time. There are folks in sports and especially the NFL who have done far worse things. Then again, perhaps we do not feel that beating women is as bad as beating dogs? Where is the spirit of forgiveness? Where is our CHRISTIAN morality. Please folks allow this man to redeem himself or is he FOREVER to be......

Posted by: Halbogie | August 14, 2009 11:37 AM

AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, THE ONLY GOOD PIT BULL IS A DEAD PIT BULL-VICK DID US ALL A FAVOR BY HAVING THEM FIGHT IT OUT TO THE DEATH IN CAGES-I DON'T CARE ONE WHIT ABOUT THAT.

THE FACT IS, HE WAS CONVICTED FOR BREAKING THE LAW AND RUNNING AN ILLEGAL GAMBLING ENTERPRISE-HE WASN'T CONVICTED FOR TORTURING ANIMALS-HE TOOK IT LIKE A MAN, AND HE'S PAID HIS DEBT.

HE WILL BE GREATLY LOVED IN PHILLY IF HE PERFORMS WELL. PHILLY FANS WILL GIVE VICK THE LOVE HE DESERVES-HE'S A GOOD MAN-HE IS NO THUG-NOT EVEN IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS RAY BROWN, AND NOBODY SAYS A D AMN WORD ABOUT HIM-A MURDERER-VICK HAS NEVER ASSAULTED OR HURT ANYONE IN HIS LIFE.

WE LOVE YOU AND SUPPORT YOU MICHAEL VICK-WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AT PHILLY-MAKE THE FANS PROUD-THEY COULD GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE DOG THING, THEY ONLY CARE IF YOU'LL HELP THEM TO THE SUPER BOWL!

Posted by: arrabbiato | August 14, 2009 1:04 PM

Yes, Michael, all of us FOOBAW! fans are behind you all the way. You are great. Of course, I, and your supporters have a single digit IQ, but what are you going to do?

Posted by: Vickie803 | August 14, 2009 1:47 PM

Poetic justice would be for the man to get broken in half in his first game. I'd still like to see attack dogs set on him. Now, THAT would be worth watching.

Posted by: Vickie803 | August 14, 2009 1:49 PM

Your head is spinning? Mine's not.

The guy did two years in prison. That's not a light punishment.

Time to move on already.

Posted by: postfan1 | August 14, 2009 2:36 PM

I truly hope Michael Vick gets exactly what he deserves.

Posted by: Vickie803 | August 14, 2009 3:51 PM

How many of you Vick bashers are carnivores? You must know that many of the animals you eat,e.g. chickens, are raised under cruel, miserable conditions. How can you condemn Vick so absolutely while being complicit in the suffering of the animals you eat?

You and Vick are both responsible for the cruel treatment of animals. His cruelty was simply of a different manner or form. The courts do not see that much difference between a killer who strangles his victim and one who shoots them. Why do you exaggerate the significance of the differences between Vick's form of killing and the shootings engaged in by hunters? Is it because he killed dogs and hunters kill deer? But why is a deer worthy of being shot, but not a dog?

Hunters kill for food. But they also enjoy the hunt and take pleasure in the skill exhibited at the moment of the kill. Perhaps they are in some way less dishonest than other carnivores who simply conveniently forget the life the animals they eat have led. But on what basis can it be argued that either of these groups is vastly superior, from a moral point of view, to Michael Vick? I await your answers.

Posted by: jgreene1 | August 14, 2009 7:10 PM

I cannot tell if Michael Vick is being truly sincere by offering to help the Humane Society or if he just did and said the right things so that he could get back into the NFL and make millions of dollars.

What I think that is important to remember is that playing football in the NFL is not a right that Vick is entitled to, it is a privilege that should have to be earned and deserved. Michael Vick in my very strong opinion has forfeited any opportunity of being able to play in the NFL again because of his criminal and inhumane behavior to animals!

Just because Vick paid his debt to society in prison, that does NOT automatically mean that he should be rewarded for his inhumane behavior with a contract in the NFL that is worth millions of dollars which he could never get outside of playing in the NFL. He should still be working hourly jobs right now as far as I am concerned!

If Michael Vick is truly sincere, then he would help the Humane Society out of conviction expecting nothing in return because it is something that he really wants to do. With Vick being allowed to play in the NFL again, there will always be some doubt that he is just using the Humane Society as a photo-op so he can make a lot more money in the NFL than he can by doing anything else right now!

Michael Vick is very lucky that he did not serve much more time in prison for the horrible and inhumane crimes against life that he is guilty of. If I was able to pass judgment on Michael Vick, then he would think that Guantánamo Bay was a hotel resort in a very short period of time after I got through with him!

I will never watch the Philadelphia Eagles ever again even if they are in the Superbowl and I will definitely boycott any products that the Philadelphia Eagles advertise along with their sponsors. I also hope that every Philadelphia Eagles game is so swarmed with protesters that the media pays more attention to the protesters than they do to the actual football game!

My decision is absolutely firm and it will never change under any circumstances!

Mitch Dworkin

Posted by: MitchDworkin | August 15, 2009 8:30 AM

Props to hamishdad for quoting the Pink Floyd lyrics. "Oh, by the way, which one's 'Pink'?"

Posted by: salescoach | August 18, 2009 6:17 PM

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