Last offseason the Philadelphia Eagles, because they’re just better people than the rest of us, saw through all of the negativity and cynicism and signed Michael Vick. Nay, this was not a decision based upon some selfish desire to make their football team better, as most of us would do, but a selfless sacrifice at the alter of humanity, a lone hand reaching out to pull a troubled soul back from the edge of the Abyss.
Wow, that was tough to write. The PR people in the NFL who have to say and write stuff like that with a straight face don’t get paid nearly enough. Truth be told, I still haven’t quite figured out why the Eagles signed Vick. I would love to have been a fly on the wall at THAT meeting (and not just because of the tasty cheesesteak that was undoubedtly sitting in front of Andy Reid). I would have thought the conversation would have gone something like this:
Jeff Lurie: Well I gotta wrap this up. To summarize, you want me to consider signing a player that set up a dog fighting operation, oversaw and participated in the torture and murder of defenseless animals, and then perjured himself initially before finally admitting it?
Andy Reid and/or Tony Dungy: Jeez, when you say it like that it sounds terrible.
AL: Anything else?
AR/TD: Well it’s possible he may have embezzled some money from one of his companies. And knowingly spread STD’s. But that hasn’t been proven, and you know what they say.
JL: I think I am going to have to pass on this one, fellas.
Alas, the allure of signing a sociopath who hadn’t played football in two years and had a passer rating lower than David Garrard, David Carr, Jon Kitna, and JP Freaking Losman the last year he did play was just too much for him to resist. Or were they so in love with the Wildcat offense that they were blinded to the fact that it really only works when a RB runs it, because trotting out an otherwise useless QB kind of tells the defense what you are going to do?
And oh, how they have been rewarded for their magnanimity (it is so a word, I looked it up) – 6 for 13, 86 yards, 1 TD. Bad stats for a game, embarrassing for a season. The good news is that after taking a year to get reaclimated (may be a word, you look it up) to playing NFL football, and repaying the Eagles for their faith in him by openly campaigning to be traded, Vick is once again showing signs of being the inaccurate, low percentage turnover machine he was becoming before his “vacation” (12 for 22 overall with 0 touchdowns, 2 fumbles, and 3 interceptions this preseason). Am I the only person who hears the Price Is Right loser horn (hear it here) playing in the background every time someone from the Eagles defends his signing?
So why do NFL teams do this? Why do NFL rosters continue to be populated by people who’s criminal records would preclude them from getting a job at McDonald’s? It so rarely works out (I’m looking at you PacMan. I’m sorry….Adam), and they seem like so much more trouble than they typically wind up being worth.
And why don’t fans get more outraged about it? Sorry folks, but it looks like it isn’t only the owners and coaches who’ve sold their souls.