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Philthy


I must be mad. Out of touch. An anachronism. Hell – I’m certain of it.

I don’t believe Michael Vick was wrong. I don’t believe he was 'misguided’. He wasn’t mislead by his 'cultural upbringing’. Michael Vick wasn’t immature or confused. He didn’t use 'bad judgment’, or make some 'bad decisions’.

Michael Vick was evil.

Yep. The 'E’ word. You know what evil is, right? Raping a woman? Evil. Bludgeoning someone weaker than you and taking something from them? Evil. Knowing something’s bad, bad, bad, and doing it anyway - lacking the compassion, caring, or hell, just the plain humanity to recognize it’s not something you should be engaging in? That my friends is called evil. At least where I come from.

If I have to hear one more ****ing time, we all *make mistakes*, that we all deserve a *second chance*, or that Michael Vick has *served his time*, I’m going to commit virtual acts of violence of my own. Flunking out of college is a mistake. A failed marriage is a mistake. Running a red light is a mistake.

Willfully, knowingly, hell, gleefully killing innocent animals isn’t a mistake.

It’s evil.

Roger Goodell let me down awhile back. Goodell, the self-described moral voice of the NFL, proved he doesn’t really have the cajones to do the right thing when it’s called for. He’s a paper tiger. When you commit evil, and serve the requisite and appropriate punishment for said evil, it’s true, you’ve 'done your time’. But 'doing your time’, and being given a free pass to return to your former life, no harm no foul, are two different things. Goodell believes that too. He’s simply shown he lacks the spine to act on his convictions.

Felons come out of prison every day. It sucks. They don’t get to return to their former lives. It’s ….like….unfair. All I’ve heard over the past weeks is how tough Michael Vick had it at Fort Leavenworth. I don’t doubt it. They call it 'prison’ for good reason. But Vick committed not just crimes but really bad deeds. I’m not a pacifist. I’m not a PETA member. Hell, I only own the singular obligatory suburban cat and dog. I don’t assault oil tankers or whalers in a zodiac boat on the weekends. But I know 'bad’ when I see it.

So when the Philadelphia Eagles signed Vick yesterday, I had a visceral response. Do I think Vick - felon, bad guy, murderer/torturer of innocent animals - should spend the rest of his life being punished for his sins? Probably not. Are there worse crimes than those Vick has been found guilty of (even among active NFL players)? Probably. And yet, I find his reinstatement and signing by the Eagles beyond despicable.

Why?

It’s not a lack of belief in the possibility of redemption. But redemption is earned, not given. Call me a sucker, but if a convicted serial killer suddenly renounced violence from the rooftops and professed his undying and sincere remorse for his crimes, I might well be inclined to believe it could be genuine. But I’d also recognize that revelation changes nothing. He’d still have committed horrible acts, acts that inflicted pain, suffering, anguish on other living creatures. That, in the neighborhood I was raised in, is unforgivable. You might even say it’s evil. Perhaps Michael Vick has changed. Perhaps he now realizes that choking dogs, electrocuting them, torturing them – heck, it’s wrong. I’m skeptical. How could one do those things without knowing they were evil and wrong?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

If there was ever any doubt that all NFL owners believe their fans are idiots, Lurie removed it today by asserting that his primary goal in hiring Michael Vick was to allow him the opportunity to save animals.

How stupid do these guys think we are?

Pretty damn stupid apparently.

I don’t wish Michael Vick dead. I don’t want him to rot in a prison for the rest of his life. I just don’t want him resurrected, rehabilitated, or reinvented as a misunderstood unfortunate.

If Vick’s past is unforgivable, so too has been the NFL’s effort to spin his redemption., fueling nothing short of a national sports media feeding frenzy. They suckle greedily, insatiably, and remorselessly at their NFL teat. Even the great Tony Dungy has gotten into the mix, pronouncing milk any blind man could see is spoiled, fit for human consumption. The Eagles and the NFL know Vick is a bad guy. They know he’s a poster-child for what each of us hopes his children DON’T grow up to be. And yet, they bring him happily into their fold and reward him with millions. The media, who would proclaim Stalin 'misunderstood’ if there was a potential 'feel good’ story in it, is just as unseemly.

Shame on you Roger Goodell, shame on Jeffrey Lurie and his front office, and shame on Philadelphia Eagles fans if they don’t boo Michael Vick right out of the stadium every chance they get..

Everyone deserves a chance at redemption. But not everyone deserves the most desirable and high profile job in America. That we can’t seem to recognize this anymore leaves me feeling dirty.

You might even say Philthy.

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Boone
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