If you’re looking for objective commentary on sports, this isn’t the place to stop today. All I really have for you is emotion this time, a rage that requires me to offer this disclaimer before I even begin.
In the early hours last Friday, a shooting took place outside the nightclub where Michael Vick had been celebrating his 30th birthday in Virginia Beach, Va. The only serious injury was to the reputation of a player who had just been voted the most disliked person in sports. Vick reportedly was not present at the time of the shooting. We can only pray that he will not be present when Eagles’ training camp opens next month.
At this point, the NFL and the Eagles are investigating the incident. Since the dispute that led to the violence apparently started between Vick and his former dogfighting partner, Quanis Phillips, the issue is whether Vick violated the strict terms of his probation and the “extremely limited” margin for error cited by the NFL. In both cases, he was told not to renew acquaintances with his deeply troubled friends.
Well, here’s one voice screaming for his banishment, or at least his departure from Philadelphia. I loathed his bravado when he played in Atlanta, I despised his acts of merciless savagery against dogs, and I never for a second believed his words of contrition last season.
Andy Reid acknowledged last week that his urge to rehabilitate Vick began when the Eagles coach was dealing with the drug problems of his own sons three years ago. What Reid never has understood is that while he was trying to save a soul, he was losing fans because we will never root for Michael Vick.
The Eagles are hoping to improve their image in a city that has transferred much of its adulation to the Phillies, but they refuse to pay the price we demand. They refuse to admit their own glaring mistakes — whether it was the heartless farewell of Brian Dawkins or the nauseating addition of Michael Vick. They refuse to embrace the fact that the Eagles are owned by the fans, not by them.
When Vick won the “most disliked” voting conducted by Forbes Magazine, I rejoiced. When Vick got into trouble last weekend, I was overjoyed. But my greatest jubilation is being reserved for the day Vick takes his sorry act and leaves Philly.
Second chances, you say?
Go tell that to all the dogs who never got one from Michael Vick.
– Angelo Cataldi is host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30-10 a.m.
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