Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All Dogs Go To Heaven

My Mom told me never to talk to strangers. But I had to break the rule this one time. New York City was buzzing, all of the heels of his decision to rip apart our unusually flaccid defense.

Plus, I wasn't talking to one person in particular. My sordid cheers were being transmitted to the entire world.


A simple tweet, no? I had it resting in my queue, but declined to share it with the masses. It was too straightforward, too easy, too matter-of-fact. What's the point of adding more junk food to an online society craving fiber? Of course he's playing well. My eyes can tell me that.

Plus, that would be an admission of his departure. And I'm not so sure that's the case.
Thanks to a 24-7 sports news cycle, stories once buried now have more shelf life. There's more inches to squeeze, more storylines to cover, and more empty web pages to fill. Vick, being the polarizing figure that he is, begs for more coverage and more footage. Even though he was gone for almost two years, it felt like he never left.

Is Vick training in jail? Does he need protection? Why did he go to jail for 23 months when some killers of humans go free in less time? Who's going to sign him once he's free? Will he ever play professional football AGAIN? Should I wear my Vick #7 jersey outside?

All the while, Vick served his penance. Amazingly, he stayed in game shape. His desire for greatness never receded, and is only now complimented by a hope for acceptance. Vick doesn't play through those ancient shadows, but as a new man, his challenge is creating a new legacy.
Through fifteen weeks, Vick's been stellar. He's en route to crush his career-high marks in passing (20) and rushing TD's (8). He's already make light work of the outdated passer rating stat (103.5). And he's got his team sitting in the driver's seat of their division (NFC East).
Sure, I get it. He oversaw dogs getting skulls smashed into concrete. The jury's still out on his resurgence. PETA probably still sends letter to the Eagles brass declaring his guilt. But Vick did the crime, and Vick did the time. Everybody deserves a second-chance. Even a dog killer.

Michael Vick is the undisputed MVP. And I dare you to challenge me on it.
M.B., II

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