Those of you familiar with the quote above will recognize the slightly altered words of none other than Jeffrey Lebowski, a.k.a. The Dude, from the Coens' masterpiece, The Big Lebowski. It's a great movie that I had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen recently. I've talked about this movie at length (or, ad nauseam) on this blog and on other blogs before, so I'm not here to talk about it more (unless any commenters want to).
What I would like to discuss is how I now hate the Philadelphia Eagles. I've never been much of a football fan - no dig here, it's just not my thing - but, I never minded the Eagles. Matter of fact, I always supported them as my home team and wanted to see them succeed. Coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb seem like good guys all in all.
But I will not watch them play a game this season.
As most of you have probably heard, in a move that surprised a lot of people, the Eagles picked up Michael Vick.
Yes, they hired the same guy that operated an illegal dogfighting operation for SIX YEARS. It wasn't much of a prediction, but as I previously said, "someone is going to pick him up eventually and he'll make more than enough money to forget about his time spent inside." As it turns out, the Eagles of all teams decided to hire him.
I hear a lot of people say, "Everyone needs a second chance." And yes, that's true. Throughout my relatively short life, I myself have needed a lot of second chances. But Vick got off way too easily. If I had been caught running a dogfighting operation, I would have been disbarred and never allowed to practice law again. But not Vick. No. After all, he's an professional athlete. He's somehow not subject to the same rules as the rest of us.
Sure, he had to endure a lot of bad press and a two-year stretch inside, but at the end of the day, he's right back to playing in the NFL and earning more money in a couple of seasons than most will see in a lifetime. And besides, he has an agent, a PR rep, and probably countless other handlers who will help him restore as much of his image as they can.
If you still feel bad for Vick, consider this: he was caught doing this. This didn't come to an end because he turned himself in. Oh no. We can be almost certain that, if he hadn't been found out, the dogfighting would still be going on.
Forgetting for a moment the moral objections to allowing such a person to play for your team, I still wonder why the Eagles did this. Before this move, they were projected to make a run at the Super Bowl. But bringing Vick on board is going to alienate a lot of die-hard fans. Maybe some teammates. And wherever they go, whatever town they play in, this controversy is going to rear its ugly-head. It will follow them everywhere this season. Why would they willingly choose to face such distractions when their team was arguably good enough to make it to the Super Bowl in the first place?
I don't know the answer to that question, but obviously Andy Reid thinks this was a good idea. I have always supported Philadelphia sports, but I will no longer continue to do so with the Eagles. It's really a shame for the other players on the team, who will be forced to deal with this all season long.
7 hours ago