Not This Again…

Tarvaris Jackson wont be the Vikings starter at QB again for a while

Tarvaris Jackson won't be the Vikings starter at QB again for a while

Yeah, he’s back again, probably much to the chagrin of the man pictured above.

This may not be fake for long...

This may not be fake for long...

Wouldn’t it be funny if the Packers win one or both meetings with the Vikings this season, and Aaron Rodgers outplays Favre? We know one person who would probably give a lot to see it happen.

Ted Thompson and Aaron Rodgers, enjoying a brief Favre-free moment.

Ted Thompson and Aaron Rodgers, enjoying a brief Favre-free moment.

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It All Sounds Right…

But how will it play out? Michael Vick basically said exactly what you’d expect to hear in his press conference this morning. He made some big, really horrible mistakes, and hopes that his actions going forward backup the second chance he is receiving. For Eagles coach Andy Reid and chairman Jeff Lurie (a dog-owner in the past), it took lots of questions to Vick and former NFL coach Tony Dungy (who has done a lot of work trying to help rehabilitate people in Tampa and Indianapolis), plus the apparent support of Donovan McNabb, to convince them to bring in Vick.

So far, reaction in Philly seems to be pretty mixed. John Gonzalez likes the last bit of teaser footage he saw in advance of Vick’s 60 Minutes interview this weekend- “Football doesn’t even matter” (compared to his crimes). But Phil Sheridan doesn’t see a general fit with the Eagles’ organizational culture (whereas others praise its sturdiness as being great for Vick). He also can’t get past the probability that we will think of Vick’s crimes every time he takes the field. That’s certainly true, for as Lurie said in the presser, Vick’s legacy will be almost entirely written off the field. Only by what he does there- i.e. working with the Humane Society to help eradicate cruelty to animals in the many places where it happens more than any of us could ever imagine- can he possibly remove any of the stain off his legacy.

Pete Domowitch takes it in football terms and says that a very good offense just became dynamite. Plus, Andy Reid is an offensive guru (he once worked with Mike Holmgren and helped tutor Brett Favre) who can figure out a way to use all of the Eagles’ pieces (including Vick, McNabb, Bryant Westbrook, Jeremy Maclin, and DeSean Jackson). “Domo” couldn’t be more right. If all falls into place, the Eagles may have taken that last step to get buy the Giants and Cardinals to become the NFC’s team-to-beat. I wouldn’t want to be any defensive coordinator who has to game plan against Philly this season.

Fans? Predictably, also split. BountyBowl loves the signing. Everyone is taking a risk (PR/financial/job/whatever) and then some to bring in Vick, and it just might pay off in a Super Bowl. This blogger also sees the dynamic plays which the Eagles could concoct. InsidetheEagles, like Phil Sheridan, can’t figure out why the Eagles should be the team for Vick, even if he may have earned another chance. Some fans are even trying to get rid of tickets. In a month, I’m sure they’ll be in the minority. Listen, I’m not gonna argue with people if their principles say some crimes can never be forgiven– at least not with another opportunity to play football for a living. Or, that they can’t seriously believe Vick is sincere in his remorse.

Another fan is really torn on many levels, and I can’t blame her. She and other bloggers delve into some of the religious teachings one might consider in this debate as justification for Vick’s opportunity. Tony Dungy also has made those allusions, and I think it’s not even so much religion (of any kind) as reflective of our country’s society. At the end of a punishment for breaking the law, you’re eventually freed. What you do after that is your story to write alone. But having a good support system can never hurt.

Stay tuned…

On Michael Vick

I’m turning over somewhat of a new leaf. Trying to go to sleep earlier most nights so that I improve my productivity during the day. Yes, that includes the quality of this blog. At least, I hope so.

Apparently, the Philadelphia Eagles and especially the man pictured below are convinced that Michael Vick will too. Obviously, his would be on a far different level from my own, but sports and hyperbole are almost like peanut butter and jelly. Vick’s now back in the NFL, and potentially for more money than most seemed to expect he (and/or his creditors) would get.

Image Courtesy of Delaware County Times

Image Courtesy of Delaware County Times

Image Courtesy of the Express-Times (Lehigh Valley)

Image Courtesy of the Express-Times (Lehigh Valley)

It seems like the players are thrilled to have him, despite all of the protests and media circus fun that you know are coming. Even Donovan McNabb apparently is okay with this. I disagree with the venerable Bob Glauber’s piece in Newsday though. McNabb won’t be worried about Vick threatening his job, because if he stays healthy, this isn’t a contest. Donovan McNabb is just flat-out a better quarterback and will be the starter. Vick will probably be involved in a lot of trick plays or some variation of the wildcat. But Glauber and SI‘s Peter King are correct about Philadelphia’s organizational stability being a plus for Vick. If he doesn’t stay in line, he’ll be out the door, plain and simple. And Yahoo! Sports makes an interesting point about how the problems Andy Reid went through with his kids’ a few years ago could have influenced his decision. Of course, he will frame this as no more than bringing in a veteran backup.

What do I think? I say, the guy did his time for a heinous act (as judged by the legal system), so if the NFL and Tony Dungy think Vick is on the way to cleaning up his life, I see nothing wrong with the Eagles finding out if this is true, and if Vick can be an asset to their football team. They won’t let him become a clubhouse cancer, so the risk is virtually nil in my view. Fans won’t give up their tickets- even if Eagles fans weren’t known for their loyalty.

Gonna check out a live blog of Vick’s press conference now. Back later with my thoughts on it.

Friday Links

No, I’m not hitting the golf course today. Can’t remember the last time I actually did pick up clubs and try to play (emphasis on “try,” of course). But maybe a haircut or trip to the gym…?

So here goes…

Rick Klein’s daily Note with everything you need to know from the Capital and beyond.

Yesterday’s news that the Senate won’t finish up its healthcare debate before a scheduled recess will apparently trigger a multimillion dollar interest group war in the weeks to come. Lovely. Get the popcorn ready! Or youtube…

Cillizza also thinks that despite Republicans still have an uphill climb as far as gaining seats in the Senate next year, even though President Obama has clearly taken some hits lately and his party will most likely lose some seats in the House (especially in districts which voted for John McCain last year). On the other hand, the GOP may find it easier to hold some of the seats that conventional wisdom held might be tough ones because of all the swing-states which Obama won or narrowly lost last year (especially Ohio, Florida, and Missouri).

The President hasn’t given up hope on a speedy resolution to healthcare (and he insists he won’t be ‘broken’), as he’ll meet with two very important senators today. Probably won’t be able to goad either Max Baucus or Harry Reid that much, the Senate tends to do things in its own sweet time, and was, after all, designed to be a deliberative, federalist body. At least President Obama can still bask in the glow of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, and DeWayne Wise’s spectacular catch to preserve it. Buehrle was actually on the mound for a little over 30 minutes, and didn’t need more than 3 minutes for any one hitter. Amazing.

Apparently, New York does not have a monopoly on corruption and greed at the local levels of government. You only have to cross the Hudson River for evidence

California’s budget crisis is getting closer to resolution. It’s not going to be pretty for anyone.

The federal minimum wage officially goes up to $7.25 per hour today (states are allowed to set higher minimums if they wish). For workers in a few states, the increase could be worth $1,400 or more over the next 12 months- which could really help with paying debts or stimulating local economies-, but some economists worry that it could kill jobs for businesses lacking strong profit margins. I don’t think the wage has gone up so much in recent years that it’s going to be a huge problem yet. But we should keep an eye on the small businesses most affected by minimum wage laws, because they do provide a lot of jobs when put together.

This won’t happen, but I think it would be nice for cooling off our political discourse and providing voters with competitive elections.

Michael Phelps returns to action this weekend. What can he possibly do for an encore? In fact, it might really be a second encore considering he took home quite a few medals in the 2004 Athens games.

Michael Vick may also be back soon, but he will apparently face a suspension to start the new NFL season. Oh, and he has to find a team. Obviously, Vick hopes that a definite decision on his future will lead one or more teams to show real interest.

Roger Federer now has twins to go along with all of his trophies. At least one oddsmaker is already taking bets on whether or not his daughters will win tennis majors.

Nike is no longer trying to suppress videos of LeBron getting dunked on. Not that what we saw turned out to be much of a big deal. Nor is it really that big a deal that he apparently tried marijuana while in high school.

Urban Heat Island? What Urban Heat Island?

It looked like a nice day outside, and I knew I had plenty of time to make a train home at the desired time, so I decided to walk down Central Park West and then Broadway for a little while this afternoon until I finally boarded the subway at Columbus Circle.

Well, according to the giant CNN sign atop 3 Columbus Circle- don’t let the images in this post fool you, it stands out from well up Central Park West as you look to the south- it was 64 degrees around 5:30 in the afternoon. Seemed reasonable given today’s predicted forecast. But man, I could feel the wind most of the way down. Not many sunny spots to walk towards either. It wasn’t winter, but not exactly as pleasant as a day in the mid-60s should be. And this was still about two hours from sunset.

I guess 70-75 on Friday and Saturday would be hard to ruin, though! At least, so long as I can get outside for a little while…

Before I go, a quick farewell to John Madden. Watching the NFL won’t quite be the same without him (even if the quality of his insights have probably declined over the past few year), but at least the video game’s going nowhere fast!

Photo sources: NY Times and John Lumea

Quick Hitters

Not much time for a long blog post, so just a few things. First, check out NYC Food Guy’s review of Citi Field’s cuisine. Looks great! We already know about the new Yankee Stadium’s sports bar, Hard Rock Cafe (opened by Bernie Williams), and steakhouse, but hopefully the remaining offerings are likewise spectacular. Sure seems like the other aspects of the stadium will be. The fans and players already like it.

Next, a bit of humor I saw on the train home tonight and a quick reaction to the Jay Cutler trade.

A belated April Fools joke from my old paper. Can any Colgate student or alum honestly imagine life without the Old Stone Jug (or as I sometimes termed it, “the place which shall not be named.”)? I mean, yes, it actually needs some renovating and an expansion in size, as some nights I remember it being a small miracle if anyone could move a foot. If you weren’t right at the bar or on the dance floor, you might have to wait a while. And you could say plenty of other not-so-kind things about it. But what would life at Colgate be without it? I really don’t think many people want to find out, because there has never been too much else to do at night…

As for Cutler, I didn’t expect him to be dealt so quickly, or that the Bears would get him. While the Bears did probably need an upgrade over Kyle Orton at quarterback, the players liked and fought hard for the incumbent, who was sent to Denver as part of the trade. Cutler’s ability to work with others is questionable. In fairness though, the Bears say that one of their scouts got to know Cutler while he was in college and was comfortable with him both on and off the field. Plus, the Bears defense is certainly better than anything Cutler had supporting him in Denver, so if he continues to put up big passing numbers, he could win a lot more games. And while Chicago had to give up two first-round draft picks (including #18 overall this year), they weren’t likely to be in position to get anyone with the potential to be much better. So this could definitely pay off for the Bears, especially in a division lacking a powerhouse team. They also signed Orlando Pace to help protect Cutler.

Bugs…

Apologies for the lack of postings this weekend and yesterday. Lots of stuff to talk about. Great Super Bowl? Not sure. Fabulous fourth quater? You bet. Unbelieveable catch at the end? Yep. Elsewhere, Michael Phelps incident? Pretty bad judgment, but not the end of the world for him or us. Rafael Nadal? Freak of nature. Oh, and the circus over the stimulus continues in Washington. It’ll be interesting to see what position Obama takes on it, once the Senate passes their version and the two chambers head to conference to thrash out a compromise. His presidency may depend on whether or not the final plan works, as he admitted this weekend. Of course, that says nothing about the direction of our country and economy!

Unfortunately, more computer troubles means I have sent my laptop to be looked at by a professional, rather than risk a big mistake by working on it myself. So probably no big entries until tomorrow night or Thursday. If it means no more bouts with Vundo, fake protection programs, and other junk- at least for a long while- then it’s worth it.

Catch you then. Just don’t bring any viruses… or wascally wabbits.