15) The UFL just got a lot less interesting
14) Ironic gift purchases to Eagles fans just got remarkably easy
13) Donovan McNabb gets to answer repetitive questions about a topic other than his contract status
12) There's finally been a positive development from Andy Reid's kids going to jail
11) Kevin Kolb just learned that his camp injury is much worse than he knew
10) A.J. Feeley just became the least relevant man in Philadelphia
9) David Akers' game-losing miss in tonight's preseason game will be (mostly) forgotten about
8) Philadelphia's lovable image and spotless PR takes a teeny little hit
7) Cincinnati's Mike Brown wonders what more he could have done to attract a man of Vick's singular character
6) By mid-September, strident PETA protests will create a frightetning amount of sympathy for the player
5) Every Eagles fan in the world receives, on average, 47 workplace jibes, forwarded emails and snide comments
4) The current season narrative ("Jim Johnson is dead, and far too many players don't feel very good, either") just got changed
3) Vick adapts to the strange new phenomenon called "coaching"
2) Jerry Jones strangles, sodomizes and finally set a hobo on fire on live television, just to get ESPN's attention back
1) Talk radio, the media, and 20 million fantasy football players drop everything to talk about someone who... probably won't actually play that much
* * * * *
And now, the Intentionally Not Funny...
Honestly, my gast? It's flabbered. When I heard the rumor, I honestly wondered if it was in error. It's just not something that my team -- my publicity-shy, avoid the problem child, Terrible Owens' burned team -- does. It's also not something that a team that spends a high pick on a possible reach that hasn't played (i.e., the #2 for Kevin Kolb two years ago, though there are now rumors that the Kolb injury was more severe than was previously let on) does.
As for the actual on the field ramifications... well, um, they are kind of fascinating, but only in an optimized fashion. People remember all of the big plays Vick made, as well as his huge capabilities and talents... but we're talking about a guy who never, as a passer, did more than lock down on Algae Crumpler and force the ball. He was also injury -prone, turnover-prone, wildly inaccurate, and, well, possessing of the judgment skills of a guy who'd lose a starting job and a vast fortune for the joy of fighting animals to death. Not exactly the guy you want a heartbeat from, well, anything.
There's also the more or less mind-boggling complications that this leads to for the 2010 season. Vick's two-year deal escalates to $5 million in 2010, which isn't that much really, but it makes McNabb and Vick more or less mutually exclusive, assuming, of course, that Kolb's still part of the plan. It also means that everyone involved will do nothing more than spend the year dwelling on what the position will look like next year, and lo, that won't be tiresome in the least.
Bird Apologists (and thanks to the decade of success, there are many of them) are talking up how Vick is coming to a stable organization that knows what they are doing, and how it's going to give them incredible Wildcat opportunities. That's all true enough, I suppose, but the risk involved is just huge, really. Vick could easily have another incident, which would be a fresh new PR problem. He could also be just plain ineffective, inaccurate or inconsistent -- and, of course, a fish out of water in terms of running a highly complicated West Coast offense with a mostly stationary QB, rather than, well, whatever run-first improv experience that Vick is most comfortable with.
And well, the single biggest issue happening here is that Vick, on his best day, isn't the QB that their current starter is, and has been. However, it's not as if Philly Fan has ever been down with Five's down times, or that when the bad streaks come, they won't be all too interested in seeing what the offense looks like with Vick.
There's also the simple fact that... well, fans don't talk about this very much, but it's less fun to root for a team where you know the players are, well, kind of morally challenged. Vick's crimes, for the most part, don't keep me up at night; they were pointless, cruel, and bottomless in their stupidity, but plenty of people (see Stallworth, Dontae) have done much worse things. But that doesn't mean it's going to be easy to root for him, or fun to endure the taunts and jibes of other fan bases.
Andy Reid has had any number of faith tests with the fan base in the past few years; the McNabb benching in Baltimore, the Kolb draft, letting any number of high-priced and popular veterans walk, etc., etc. But this? This is a whole 'nother level of show me. I'm hoping it works out, but I can't say I've got nothing but faith and good feelings about it.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
15) The UFL just got a lot less interesting