Yesterday’s big New York Times article on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick saw him shrouded on the sideline with a big warm jacket, much like any other player who wasn’t acting on the command of a snap. But NYT opportunist, err... journalist, Juliet Macur used a chance photo to manipulate her audience to describe him as “...a spectator on the sideline, looking helpless and anonymous...”
No writer reaches the NYT without an immense command not only of the English language, but also an understanding of how to use those words much like an artist. Macur’s gifted in the sense that if given an audience, she can make a subject look either triumphant or, in the case of Vick, defeated more by his realization that his time in Philly is up, than as a member of the Eagles who lost Sunday’s NFL Wild Card game to the New Orleans Saints.
Macur, who normally covers cycling for the respected publication, like most of us, knows Vick’s past. But with her platform, she viciously attacked a man who has paid for his wrong doings and done nothing but openly attempt to right his wrongs. I won’t do her the favor of linking her article in this column, because that’s exactly the attention she sought to gain from beating a dead horse. If you really want to read it, google it. If not, here’s what she said:
The NFL owes it’s fans better role models than Michael Vick, who was convicted of felony dog fighting in 2007.
Macur painted him as a “mastermind” behind the dogfighting ring.
Vick, and any other offender of a crime or social snafu, shouldn’t be given a second chance at the game they’ve dedicated their lives to.
Ms. Macur suggests that NFL teams should draft or sign players based more on their morals than their abilities on the football field. Sorry to inform her, but athletes make it to the NFL because of their talents not because they’re nice guys. A current example of that is Texas A&M star quarterback, Johnny Manziel who’s friends with rappers, is no stranger to controversy and has been known to have fun on and off the field. By her standards, NFL teams should bypass Johnny Football for players of higher moral standings, pro qualities be dammed.
The public fell in love with Vick because he was a weapon on the field like no other. A new notch on the evolutionary chart of the quarterback, who had a a golden gun of an arm, the swiftness of Lynn Swann and the foot speed of Barry Sanders. I mean, he did things on the football field that couldn’t even be done on Madden. Before news broke of Vick’s dogfighting days, he was judged solely on his ability to disrupt defensive coordinators game plans. As it should have been.
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