Morality Play

November 16

Before Monday night’s game between the Eagles and Redskins there was a brief skirmish among the players. The Eagles’ DeSean Jackson says it got his team fired up, and they were like “pit bulls, ready to get out of the cage.”

Wince.

Jackson is an athlete, not a politician, but considering his quarterback is Michael Vick, that was a colossally poor choice of words. It also reminds us, and Vick, that even the most mobile quarterback in the NFL can’t completely escape his past. There will always be a “yeah, but.”

Even so, The Redemption of Michael Vick reached a new stage Monday night.

Some people questioned whether Vick could become an NFL quarterback again. He’s not only back, but is a better player than ever. Monday night was Exhibit A — what he did against an admittedly mediocre Redskins team was still nothing short of spectacular.

Some people questioned whether Vick SHOULD become an NFL quarterback again. That’s a question that will never be resolved to the satisfaction of many. But he’s back and ( ugh ) it is what it is.

Many believe Vick should still be in prison for the horrible things he did to those dogs. Some equate his crimes to crimes against people. The law, and a judge, saw it differently.

I am glad Vick spent time behind bars. I’m also glad he lost $30 million or more and went bankrupt. I wanted him to pay dearly for what he did.

That’s not enough for some people. My answer: if you really despise what Vick did, work to pass tougher laws — and don’t ever patronize the Eagles. You have that right.

Still others want Vick to show more remorse. They wonder if he is truly sorry for what he did, or just sorry he got caught. They want the Walk of Shame to continue.

I don’t think it matters at this point if he is contrite or not. Just don’t get involved with dog-fighting anymore. Don’t profit from it, don’t associate with those who do, speak out against the practice. That’s all that matters now.

Otherwise, little about this story will change, except Vick’s play on the field. There are those, such as my animal-loving wife, who will never forgive him, and I understand why they feel that way. Others, like me, say he has paid his price and it’s time to move on.

The lines are pretty clearly drawn. There are a few fans still on the fence, but the better Vick plays and the more he wins, the more fans will jump off ; and if not pro-Vick, they won’t be anti-Vick any more.

That includes San Francisco. I know the publicity-conscious 49ers didn’t want to touch this third rail last year, but they also weren’t sure if Vick could fully regain his ability. I wonder if they’d pass on another chance at this kind of talent. I know this: there would be initial shock if Vick became a ‘Niner, and there would be protests, but they would die down if he led the team to the playoffs and stayed on his best behavior.

That’s a fact, regardless of the city’s supposed “moral compass.” You would see “VICK #7” jerseys in the stands at Candlestick if he helps turn the 49ers into a winner. And some of those jerseys will belong to dog-owners.

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One Response to “Morality Play”

  1. smallbeans Says:

    yo, Ray! Awesome piece you have here and I only happened to stumble across it while wander around KNBR.com. Fortunately for you there aren’t too many places to wander about. I didn’t know you had your own little blog with articles like the preceding one. I’m sure some of KNBR hosts object to the credibility of blogs, you know which ones I’m talking about, especially ones with wide pools of followers. I know this isn’t necessarily that type of blog, but it seems cool nonetheless. I’ll look forward to some of your next pieces.

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