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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Enough Already

And I supported the Eagles' decision to sign Michael Vick.

Today the Eagles announced that Vick won their Ed Block Courage Award, which is given to the player who shows commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.

The decision was the right move. I'm not in the clubhouse, so I have no idea of telling whether Vick deserves this award or not. That said, as an observer of the Eagles, and particularly the public statements of owner Jeffrey Lurie and coach Andy Reid, they're a little to, well, close-to-the-vest about many things, self-righteous about some others. Should they now give him an award for supporting these principles? Sure, if the award is for recent converts or born-agains, as oppposed to those who have walked the talk for much longer periods.

Such as wide receiver Jason Avant, whose life story is compelling and who, along with his wife, is raising a teenaged cousin even though Avant himself is in his mid-20's.

Notoriety is one thing. Carrying life's lunch pail day to day and doing much more than the right thing is another. Michael Vick still has a way to go to rehabilitate both his image and himself. The Eagles, today, put the former before the latter, and, in so doing, overlooked a hero in their midst -- and a pretty good possession receiver, while we're at it.

So, enough already, Philadelphia Eagles. You did a good deed by giving Michael Vick a chance. Don't use your public relations machine to overdo the situation.


Blogger Escort81 said...

As Brian Baldinger pointed out on DNL, it's voted on by the players in the locker room, so the award is an indication of how the players feel about Vick. The coaching staff and front office have little to do with it, although one would guess that someone in the front office is media savvy enough to anticipate that reaction to this might not be entirely positive.

The upside here is that it seems pretty likely that Vick really has turned over a new leaf, because he probably could not fool the entire locker room.

2:30 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Good points.

But it makes you wonder how seriously the locker took Vick's past activities and how much thought goes into awarding the award. If you look at past recipients, Montae Reagor recovered from a bad car accident and Jerome McDougle recovered from a shooting. My guess is that no one else on the team who has had struggles has made them known or had them made known the way Vick's were in the media for so long.

In other words, he was a very obvious choice for a group who probably spent all of 30 seconds thinking about the award. I hope that he has turned over a new leaf, but it seems premature to conclude that he has or has not.

8:54 AM  

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