Bwahh?! Michael Vick, star football quarterback and notorious dog fighter, has reportedly agreed to sign a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, worth as much as $10 million. This is surprising for a few reasons. First, $10 million seems like a lot for a QB who is only getting older and has been shunned by much of the football world. Also, Eagles head coach Andy Reid has been known for his loyalty to another aging Eagles QB, Donovan McNabb, who will now have to fight with Vick for the top spot.
As a former Philadelphia resident, I was disappointed that the Eagles decided to sign Vick. For the past few years, the Eagles have been a scrappy team that never succeeded as much as it deserved to. The public can get behind this kind of team. But signing Vick undermines that underdog status. Now they're just another middle-of-the-pack team hoping to capitalize on an aging star...who also happens to be a dog killer.
Unsurprisingly, many animal rights groups are outraged. In a statement on its website today, PETA wrote that Vick has given little indication that he regrets his actions. "At this point, all Eagles fans can do is cross their fingers and hope that they won't ever have to explain to their sons and daughters what a 'rape rack' is and why their favorite player was using one, as Falcons fans once had to," it said.
But others take a more... uh... sportsmanlike approach. Citing Vick's recent volunteer work with the Humane Society, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a HUGE football fan, said "I also believe strongly in the tenets of rehabilitation and redemption. I believe Michael Vick has paid a strong and just penalty for his horrific acts, but he has endured that penalty with dignity and grace. He seems to be genuinely remorseful for what he has done."
Who knows? Maybe Vick will become a leading advocate against the torture and murder of animals. I can see it now: "I don't torture dogs anymore and neither should you." Thanks for the heartwarming PSA, Mike.