Michael Vick signs new contract
Point of Touré's ESPN piece mainly missed
When word broke that the Philadelphia Eagles were going to make Michael Vick a hundred million dollar man again, commenters on the Internet immediately dug into their trenches and started lobbing grenades at the other side. After all, this is Vick we're talking about. If the hype on either side is to be believed, he's either a vicious, unrepentant dog killer who deserves nothing, or he's one of the greatest quarterbacks of the modern era.
All this controversy came on top of an earlier explosion, this one being totally out of Vick's control. On Thursday of last week, ESPN ran a piece that will appear in the September 5th issue of ESPN the Magazine titled "What if Michael Vick were white?". The author of that piece, Touré, says that he asked ESPN not to title it as such, but obviously that request went unfulfilled.
Touré's article was actually a nuanced piece on how asking such a question is, in the world we live in, impossible. However, the title was what a vast majority of people saw. Those who did not see the title nor read the piece, though, had plenty to take away. Accompanying the piece, ESPN commissioned a photo illustration, literally depicting the titular question. All subtlety and nuance from a gifted writer went out the window.
Instead what we were left with was very reminiscent of the political landscape of today. The aforementioned trenches were dug, opinions were honed to an even finer point, and pithy, five- to ten-second commentary abounded. No one's mind was changed by Touré's article, nor by the comments that followed as it was reposted on site after site. Those who thought we live in a post-racism world before reading the article still do. They hold up the article as an example of minorities harping on a problem that no longer exists. Those who were sympathetic to possibilities of racism in the world finished the piece by shaking their heads, finding yet another textbook case of proving their viewpoint right.
It's difficult (nigh impossible) to honestly discuss these sorts of issues nowadays. If you want to talk sports, you've got to be able to get on TV and give a thirty-second opinion. If you're not screaming, you've got to be issuing some sort of fierce rebuttal to the person who screamed before you. If you want to discuss things at length, you're an academic: out of touch with the world and only interested in perpetuating ideas, refusing to deal in reality.
There are serious questions that are raised by the Touré piece, including but not limited to: race and racism, black style and black lifestyle, the ever-changing morals of bringing up children in America—regardless of race— but keeping in mind how that race (something no person has a choice on) affects that upbringing. There are questions on the American judicial system and the penalties that any person should have to pay for any crime, whether it's against human, animal or another form of life. There are questions on how worthy any thought experiment really is.
But, at the end of the day, instead of those questions being discussed, most people saw the picture, read the headline, and started screaming.
The Daily Word in bile-harvesting bear farms, Mike Vick’s shiny new contract, and impalement by pruning shears
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I don’t know how you impale yourself with pruning shears, but it can’t be pleasant.
Social networking helps balloon this Colorado State University megaparty to nearly 4,000 people.
CBS takes full opportunity of the obvious joke, but TSA agents find exotic snakes in a passenger’s pants.
Climate change also makes people, not just the weather, substantially more batshit crazy.
Chinese doctors call for bile-harvesting bear farms to be closed. Wow.
One of New Mexico’s finest is caught on camera having sex with a woman on the hood of a car.
The damage caused by Hurricane Irene, in incredible pictures.
The hurricane caused 38 deaths and left 3.3 million people without power.
Former dog fighter and current NFL QB Michael Vick gets a $100 million contract from the Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s funny when the frontman of Maroon 5 lashes out against MTV for not being about “music.”
A Big-style fortune teller is found in a Montana restaurant.
Obama’s uncle Onyango Obama is stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, then tells police he wants to dial the White House.
Michael Vick continues to leave the world in his wake
In the history of comebacks, Michael Vick on Monday night has got to rank high up there.
As previously discussed, Michael Vick made some bad, bad choices. And when he went to jail to pay for those choices, a lot of people were writing him off. In fact, as he was getting started with the Eagles last year (reportedly at the behest of Donovan McNabb, it's worth noting!) many people still were willing to write him off.
They claimed that he'd lost a step, that his time away from the game would irreparably damage the way he played. He ran the ball too much to begin with anyway, people said, and he'd never amount to much more than a decent back-up. This was quickly proved wrong.
However, what he did on Monday is on another level. If Michael Vick continues to put up numbers at this clip, there'll be very little debate about the MVP of the National Football League this year.
Vick's performance on Monday night immediately qualified him for the best individual line of the season, and it thrust him into a tie for the third spot on the top fantasy performances since 2000! Beyond the fantasy line, though, the pure numbers were gaudy: Vick threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Vick wasn't the rushing leader for Philly—that honor went to Jerome Harrison—but he did carry for a mere 80 yards and two more touchdowns.
All this on the same day the Washington Redskins announced a contract extension for Donovan McNabb, the quarterback that's at least partially responsible for Vick's second chance in Philadelphia, and it adds up to a fairytale Monday Night Football game. The two teams may be done with each other, but Vick's story, to some people's great surprise, is seemingly just beginning.
The Daily Word 11.16.10: The Beatles on iTunes, Prince William engaged, violent tamale assault
Sorry, ladies; Prince William is engaged.
Take a look at these incredible pictures of Earth from the International Space Station.
This man was brought back to life during a high school football game.
A Florida woman is arrested after assaulting her boyfriend with a plate of tamales.
The Beatles catalog is finally available on iTunes.
Gay activists against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” chain themselves to the White House gates.
Japan brings back asteroid dust from space for the very first time.
The Philadelphia Eagles completely obliterate the Washington Redskins while Michael Vick has a career day.
E.coli was discovered in cheese sold at Costco stores in the southwest region.
You still won’t be able to get booze at The Pit, University Stadium or the SUB.
Who the hell uses a baby as a shield during a traffic stop?
This Florida car dealer throws in a free AK-47 with the purchase of a new truck.
Thank God they tracked down this stolen meerkat from the Kansas City Zoo.
If most of us love a tragic story, there's very little that we love more than the story of the come back from that tragedy. And right now, there's no greater come back in the national sport that Michael Vick.
Michael Vick was Kanye West before Mr. West ran on stage to interrupt Taylor Swift. With the short national memory, some people might have forgotten about Vick's prison sentence. When Vick was found guilty and shipped off to jail, he was absolutely despised by the nation. There was next to no one who would even think about defending him, and it was thought by some that he might even be done with the NFL for good.
However, the nation loves the chance for a man to be redeemed and so, with Donovan McNabb traded to the Washington Redskins, Kevin Kolb knocked out by a concussion, Vick has had a chance to shine. He’s getting the job of starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vick had his share of trouble even before he went to jail. There were rumors constantly swirling about him that he wasn't a true quarterback, that he was more prone to run the ball himself than to actually toss it to his receivers. He'd flipped off the fans in New Orleans and he'd had a negligence and battery lawsuit filed against him.
But now, he's getting another chance to shine. He's performed well in the six quarters that he's been in the position for the Eagles thus far. That is not to say there are no questions—or doubters. But the chances are pretty high that he'll do well in this position for this season. The real question becomes: What will this mean for Vick and for the NFL in general?
Be sure to tune in this weekend as the Eagles get tested by the Jacksonville Jaguars and see how the saga continues to play out.