You didn’t think that was a one-night stand, did you? I’m so fired up for change that I even have a contingency plan: Billick-Losman 2009. Fired up, ready to go! Let’s get this kicked off with a little Michael Vick-related comedy…
Chris Rock has a point. What the dude did was terrible, but these were animals, not people. Animals like deer and, well, moose. Domesticated animals that I’m very fond of, but animals nonetheless. He made a mistake and he’s paying his debt to society. In fact, I think he’s paying for his crew’s mistakes more than his own. His biggest mistake, in my eyes, was allowing this thing to happen. I still don’t think it was his shindig. Why? Well, mostly, because Vick didn’t have the time, but also because what I’ve read leads me to think this was a guilt-by-association crime.
Did he like dogfighting? Yes, it seems like he did, and he definitely didn’t condone it. Still, I think he’s paying a hefty price for his actions. Look at guys like Leonard Little and Pacman Jones–guys who either killed people or crippled them, yet still walk around as free men and ball players–and tell me Vick is getting off easy.
Everyone also acts like Mike Vick is going to emerge from prison looking like Anthony Anderson. C’mon, people. This dude is quarantined from the rest of the prison population. Like Martha Stewart, Mike Tyson and Pete Rose, Vick doesn’t have it that rough right now. He’s basically staying in the penthouse of the Leavenworth Hilton.
You can also bet your ass that he is working out and running, and that those still in his corner are doing everything to help make that happen. After all, Vick is still quite a few people’s meal ticket. Additionally, he should be in good health. His diet may not be perfect, but he’s not drinking, smoking (anything) or absorbing the ginormous amount of punishment a running quarterback subjects himself to during a season, or in this case two seasons.
Now let’s look at some other counterpoints that have been thrown my way (and I’m paraphrasing here):
It will take at least two years for him to knock the rust of his game.
Yes, that’s true. But even those same people admit that drafting a quarterback is a commitment of three years or more.
It would be safer to just draft our own quarterback in the first round.
I loved Matt Ryan last draft, but even I realized the risk. Look at Jay Cutler‘s draft; two other first-round quarterbacks were selected ahead of him in the top ten and both have been busts. Look at the class of ’99; Daunte Culpepper (retired), Donovan McNabb and a near handful of busts like Akili Smith and Cade McNown. Or what if the guy we want goes right before we pick and we get Ryan Leaf instead of Peyton Manning. Additionally, the Chiefs can’t draft QBs. The last time a Chiefs-drafted QB won a game for the Chiefs was 1983, folks–Michael Jackson was still a black man and not a white woman! Who knows if Brodie Croyle will change that, or even be available to try.
Vick’s not that good of a quarterback.
Three Pro Bowls, the all-time single-season QB rushing record and a trip to the NFC Championship game (Trent Green never accomplished that). He also lead the league’s top rushing attack at least once playing alongside T.J. Duckett and Warrick Dunn–not exactly Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes. Also keep in mind that his receivers were garbage. All he had was a tight end named Alge Crumpler, which he built a great rapport with.
The fans would hate him.
Some, yes. But remember that his jersey has been the NFL’s top seller in the past. If Vick fulfilled his debt to society, came in, played well and was a role model, I would absolutely buy myself a Vick jersey (King Carl‘s nipples just perked up Ishmael Boorg style). Sorry if I just hosed in your Cheerios, but I’m all about second chances. I’m guessing a lot of other fans are, too. Second chances can pay off. Chris Carter is the living embodiment of that. Personally, I’d rather have Villain Vick winning games than Cutie Pie Croyle losing with class.
Lastly, there are the excitement and predictability factors. We are the most boring and predictable offense in the National Football League, maybe this decade. Who is the one player who could change all of that and at a bargain price (Arthur Blank would just be happy to get anything for him at this point)? Vick. Watching Vick after what we have now would be like watching Batman & Robin on 19-inch antique television then going to see The Dark Knight on IMAX. At least Dick Vermiel‘s teams were fun to watch.
I’m also still totally on the Bill Cowher train. But I actually agree with Jason Whitlock on his assessment that he’d only come back to K.C. if Carl was no longer in power. Oh well, Brian Billick is still out there, sitting in a booth, waiting for his phone to ring. Not only has he boasted the league’s top defense, but he was the engineer behind a 15-1 Vikings team with a potent offense led by a running QB (Randall Cunningham). Both have won Super Bowls as well, which I think holds sway with the players.
And if we can’t get Vick? Well, A.A. fave J.P. Losman will be a free agent. He’s got a big arm and is somewhat mobile.