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Michael Vick: Point/Counterpoint

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Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick will most likely miss 2-4 weeks with a crack in his rib cartilage, although the team has yet to issue an official report.

The injury, suffered late in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to division-rival Washington, comes at an inopportune time for the Eagles. Vick had taken over the quarterback job from Kevin Kolb (concussion in Week 1), was 2-0 as a starter with a 6-0 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio and the NFL’s second-rated passer going into last weekend. It was generally felt that Vick was the missing element the Eagles needed to reach the playoffs.

Many people — dog lovers or not — are still repulsed by Vick and the actions which led him to prison and they don’t believe justice was adequately served.

Pro-Vick camp: He did his time and learned his lesson plus he’s more than thankful to be getting a second-chance. He’s been speaking to inner-city kids about the need not only for second-chances and learning from them but not making the mistake in the first place. He admits he surrounded himself with the wrong crowd and was selfish. “I didn’t dedicate myself. I didn’t listen,” he said. Now he’s inspired with a new work ethic and he’s sincerely grateful for the opportunities he’s been given. He’s taken a leadership role on the team that nobody in the organization expected of him and he should be commended for grasping tightly on life and keeping his under control this time around. This is a man who’s been offered a shot at redemption and done so much more with it than anyone would have imagined.

Anti-Vick camp: The kids he speaks to realize that if that idiot can do what he did and still get a second-chance, there’s nothing in this world that can’t be forgiven if you have talent and there’s a lot of money involved. It’s outrageous that Michael Vick is even back in the NFL — he should have been never been reinstated so quickly. There was talk that he’d be suspended for life, he’d most definitely serve his entire federal prison sentence plus face state charges and serve each sentence consecutively. He served two of his 23 months at home, the Virginia charges were dropped and he was back in the NFL after a few public apologies and well-placed pecks on the buttocks of the NFL Commissioner. Plaxico Burress is serving 24 months for shooting himself in the leg, Vick got off way too easy. He’s hardly hanging with a different crowd. Healing a rib cage injury for 2-4 weeks under the luxury of the finest premium health care the world has to offer is nothing compared to the pain and suffering he caused countless dogs and every single person he associated himself with.


Conclusion: In order to set an example, the Philadelphia Eagles should make the hard choice and put Vick down. He’s lost his fighting edge and once that spirit is broken, will never play the same way again. His instincts will be to flinch in anticipation of pain and that split-second might cost the betting public some serious coin. The safety of the participants is not the concern, it’s about wagering that will never support Vick to the same degree — he’s lost his value — especially not in a crucial match now that he’s tasted pain and learned to accept losing as an option. Whether as a message to curb dog fighting or to prevent cracked rib cartilage injuries in the future, the Eagles really only have one choice.

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