Mere hours ago, it seems, I was creating a fantasy in which benched Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb was either addressing reporters or talking to himself, saying that Michael Vick, undisciplined player that he is, would soon replace him on the pine. Oddly enough, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan also tied the notion of poor discipline to another tangent to the weird circle that is now the Eagles. Sheridan suggested that Andy Reid’s selection of Vick as his starter might indicate some sort of mid-life crisis, an obsession with “the enigmatic, talented, and troubled quarterback.” And he actually wrote this down next: “Captain Andy and Moby Vick.” The implication there would seem to be that Reid might well go down with the whale who wears number seven. (I doubt that Sheridan meant for us to read anything into the Melville analogy about animal rights, but anymore, who knows? He does see a connection between Vick and Reid’s own troubled sons.)
In any event, as though to prove that he’s more than an undisciplined, somewhat dim ath-a-lete, or the equivalent of a sports car bought at a silly age to be seen in it, or even an existential evil that will sink the good ship Iggles, Vick promptly went out and hammered the Jacksonville Jaguars, 28-3, throwing three touchdown passes and running for a fourth. His performance, dubbed Vick 2.0 by Fox announcers John Lynch and Ron Pitts, was disciplined and startlingly effective. And although he did throw at least one pass at a receiver’s feet, whatever Donovan McNabb was doing in his game wherever it was, quite a few Philadelphians have to be asking why Reid didn’t rid himself of McNabb earlier and sign Vick…oh right, he was in jail. I do hate to bring that up.
People actually haven’t forgotten that. As Sheridan points out Vick was recently voted the “most despised” athlete in all of sports, but he sees Reid on a mission that, if successful, “transcends even pursuit of the almighty Lombardi trophy” – saving Michael.
And you know what? If Sheridan has correctly diagnosed Reid from afar, Reid is right to do what he’s doing from both a football and a human perspective. As disturbing as Michael Vick’s past actions were, maybe it is time to move onto football with this guy. We don’t execute people for the senseless slaughter of animals in this country, and we shouldn’t. If people who have killed people are allowed to start over, then maybe it’s time to simply report that in the first quarter the Eagles quarterback threw a strike across his body down the right sideline that DeSean Jackson hauled in for a 61-yard pass-and-run TD. Later he stood tall in the pocket and found Jeremy Maclin in the front right corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown. In the second half, he hit Maclin for another (45-yard) TD, and ran for the fourth score himself. His passer rating was 119.2 with those three touchdown strikes, 291 yards and no interceptions.
“Defense, Smart Offense Lead Day in Big Win.” philadelphiaeagles.com. 26 September 2010.
“Philadelphia (1-1) at Jacksonville (1-1).” NFL Football. Fox 29, Philadelphia. 26 September 2010.
Sheridan, Phil. “Making the switch is another sign of Reid’s obsession with Vick.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 26 September 2010: E1.