"If you don't believe in second chances, you don't believe in second downs."
This was lifted straight from the comment section of a web article about Michael Vick going to Philadelphia - I wish I could take credit for such a pithy, right on the money phrase, but to who ever wrote this originally, all I can say is "thank you".
I actually had another post, a more congratulatory one, that compared Vick to Ray Lewis, who went from a murder trial, where he wasn't found guilty of murder but was shown to have legions of questionable associates, to Super Bowl MVP - because in America, we are supposed to believe in second chances.
We are supposed to be able to put the past behind us, especially when the crime in question DID NOT go unpunished.
But yesterday, I know my blood pressure went off the charts when I read the comment by Jeff Lurie, the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, regarding his meeting with Michael Vick before he signed off on his contract.
"I needed to see a lot of self-hatred in order to approve this," Lurie said.
Excerpted from "With Eagles, Vick gets second chance"
Are you serious, Jeff Lurie?
The quote above, the one that I started this post with, Jeff Lurie, is for you. "If you don't believe in second chances, Jeff Lurie, you don't believe in second downs."
More importantly, sportswriters at ESPN and SI, why aren't you calling the Eagles front office in droves to see just what generated this kind of attitude from a team owner?
What the hell kind of statement is "I needed to see a lot of self-hatred"? Why does Vick, who is nothing more than a very good football player who has had off the field legal problems, need to hate himself before you can sign him to potentially quarterback your team, should injury befall McNabb, your starter, and Kolb your backup?
Any grade school teacher will tell you that they teach children to despise the bad acts they may commit, not themselves.
Does Michael Vick have to jump off the Empire State Building and rise again from the dead in order to move on from the sordid segment of his life that he just finished paying almost two years of his life for?
Will you pay him in crumpled up dollar bills every week to prove your point, Mr. Lurie?
Your coach Andy Reid can't keep his heroin and meth addicted thug sons out of jail for more than ten minutes at a time, an OFF THE FIELD distraction that has to have affected his decisionmaking.
Your fans are so nasty and rowdy during your home games that the Philadelphia police have a jail IN THE STADIUM.
In a redemptive society, where we believe that HUMAN BEINGS have the capacity to change, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE SO YOUNG, to write off an entire person means you don't really believe in whatever religion you claim to espouse, Mr. Lurie.
Pretending to possess a choir boy level of sanctimony in a business where you pay grown men to knock the snot out of their opponents every forty five seconds is beyond hypocrisy.
But more than that, what I want to know is why Michael Vick has to play the role of the sub-human negro in order to MAKE YOU RICHER.
In order to help your team get over the hump to GET TO THE SUPER BOWL.
Will you refuse to accept the Lombardi Trophy if Philadelphia can somehow make it through the playoffs this year and notch a victory in the big game if Michael Vick's hands touch the ball during regulation play?
I won't hold my breath for your answer, Jeff Lurie.
But I will be watching you in your owners box when Vick scores his first touchdown for your team.