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S.C. Zuba: Eagles offer Michael Vick second chance
Posted By Brandon Reid On September 1, 2009 @ 1:42 pm In Happening Now | 1 Comment
By S.C. Zuba
Michael Vick is back.
This story is sure to be the headlining story of the 2009 NFL season.
It is not often that a first overall pick is federally indicted, serves 18 months in prison, and then returns to play football.
Vick has been given a second chance by the Philadelphia Eagles—a second chance that will undoubtedly be questioned by many.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal rights group, was the first to oppose the signing of Vick.
“PETA, and millions of decent football fans around the world, are disappointed that the Eagles decided to sign a guy who hung dogs from trees,” PETA spokesman Dan Shannon told the Associated Press. “He electrocuted them with jumper cables, and held them under water. You have to wonder what sort of message this sends to young fans who care about animals and don’t want them to be harmed.”
However, for the Eagles organization, it was the right the move. Donovan McNabb actually petitioned to bring Vick in with the Eagles.
“I pretty much lobbied to get him here,” McNabb said. “I believe in second chances, and what better place to get a second chance than here with this group of guys?”
Vick’s role with the Eagles is still undetermined, but many imagine the Eagles will use him in some type of wildcat offense that will complement his ability to scramble in the pocket.
Ravens Wide Receiver Derrick Mason believes that if given the opportunity, Vick still has what it takes to compete in the NFL.
“He’s better than 95 percent of the quarterbacks that are starting right now in this league,” Mason said. “He can sit behind Donovan and learn, and hopefully he’ll get an opportunity to get in there some games. But if he just takes this time to grow as a player, his future is going to be bright.”
In his prime, Vick could play with the best of the best. He could pass, he could run and he could lead a team. Vick took the Atlanta Falcons to the NFC Championship game in 2004 and lost, coincidentally, to the Philadelphia Eagles.
PETA offers legitimate concerns about Vick’s presence with a professional football team, but the bottom line is that Vick has served his time, and is paying back his debt to society. This is America, and people will inevitably make mistakes. It is important that the NFL embraces and supports Vick because football is merely a game, and the life that Vick leads from here on out will be much more important than his career as a football player.
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