One of the top offseason debates in the NFL this year is whether Michael Vick, having completed his prison sentence, should be allowed to play football and, if so, be forced to wear the name R. MEXICO on his jersey. Opinions vary.
Vick first came to national prominence at the turn of the century when he led his Virginia Tech squad to the Bowl Championship Series Championship Game Series Bowl Game game in 2000. Chosen to play for the national title under the original BCS formula that gave extra weight to nicknames starting with "H"(since adjusted downward to "G"), the Hokies were defeated by Florida State 46-29 in a game for the ages that I totally fucking forgot was on that night.
Vick was chosen first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, which immediately guaranteed failure in the professional ranks. Although his running ability (he set an NFL rushing record for quarterbacks with 1039 yards in 2006) was astounding, as a passer he was never able to correct numerous bad habits he had developed, such as leaving the pocket too quickly, throwing off his back foot, and, worst of all, throwing with his left hand. His passer rating (based on a formula the league recently divulged at gunpoint) was usually stuck in the 70's, which is not a decade you want to be trapped in.
Still, his promise and the exciting nature of his play led the Falcons in 2004 to sign him to a then-record 10-year, $130 million contract, which he pretty much wiped his butt with.
The organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals maintains that Vick's 18 months in Leavenworth and lost income of $70 million is not nearly enough suffering to make up for torturing and killing a beloved pet that sometimes thinks he's people. "Aw, he thinks he's people," said a PETA spokesperson. "Awuzza wuzza wuzza."
If Vick is reinstated, PETA has vowed "serious, meaningful" protests at his games, promising clever signs featuring angry, dog-related puns, in addition to lots of barking.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is currently faced with making a decision on whether or not to re-instate Vick and allow him to play or continue his suspension from the league. Arguments in favor of re-instating him usually center on WHYTH FUK NOT HES PADE DET NOT LIKE IT HUMANS LIK IF HE WHITE NO, while the argument to continue his suspension is FUCKTARD.
Despite a lot of wild speculation in the sports media, as well as the usual jacking off on crap that passes for sports reporting these days, no team has expressed interest in Vick's services since his release from prison. Several teams, including the Jets, Seahawks, Lions and Panthers, have specifically excluded the possibility of signing Vick. "We already have quarterbacks who haven't taken a meaningful snap in years," said one NFL general manager who wished to remain anonymous. "We're the Bills, remember? Oops."
On July 28, 2009, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Vick would be re-instated for eligibility to play after serving up to a five week suspension if there are no more incidents of misbehavior. The question remains: which team, if any, will sign Vick? Which team will risk the public relations hit they will take, and will want to deal with the canine-themed protests that will inevitably ensue?
One NFL personnel director, who wished not be named or, it turns out, mocked, said recently "We just won't want to deal with dog-themed protests. The horrible barking and howling noises, and the puns...cat themes we can deal with. We do it all the time. Most sports teams are named after cats. But it's less common with dogs, so you have to make special preparations, a special game plan, so to speak. Like preparing to face an unusual offense, such as the wishbone. Oh...why did I say that? And maybe PETA's bark is worse than its ...anyway, allowing a protest group to dictate our game-day preparations would be too much a case of the tail wagging the dog oh God make it stop make it stop..."
Since the announcement, several more teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, have said publicly that they will not sign Vick.
The other concern is the layoff of more than two years Vick has had from football while serving in prison.
"There's no way he's in game shape." said a coach who will not be named because I made him up. "there's no way to stay in elite condition with sharp game skills when you're locked up, or even during house arrest since they keep you on such a short leash."
As for what sort of situation would offer Vick the best chance of success, the coach said "he needs to be with a team that can make use of his running skills first and gradually build up his role. You don't want to make him the top dog right away; you just want to use his natural talent and give him room to run and play and be happy."