Now that Mike Vick has signed with the Eagles, the ridiculous speculation that he may end up on the Steelers can stop. Anyone that has been a Steeler fan for any length of time knew that there was no chance Vick would be wearing black and gold. It is the exact kind of signing the Steelers never make. However, the speculation got me thinking whether I could bring myself to cheer for Vick if the Steelers had signed him.
Here are various reactions from facebook statuses from my Eagle fan friends:
-"is not happy to be an Eagles fan right now! Vick is a P.O.S.!!!!!!!!!"
-"Vick What???? Eagles?? This could definitely be an interesting season."
-"how fitting that Vick would go to the Eagles..."
And a quote from my roommate, who is a die hard Eagles fan from Philly, responding to my question:
"Hell yeah, I will root for him, I am willing to look past his former mistakes and give him a chance to prove himself" -Dave Higham, life long eagles fan.
Seems to be a mixed reaction from the Birds faithful. As I sat here watching my roommate field many calls and texts and discuss his reactions with other fans, I felt myself wondering how I would have reacted had Vick signed with the Steelers. Normally, I blindly root for the Steelers, regardless of who is on the team and what they have done in the past. Two recent examples are James Harrison and Santonio Homes. Harrison got into a domestic dispute with his girlfriend/baby momma if you remember, yet I still cheer for him and even considered getting his jersey. Santonio had numerous run ins with the law soon after being drafted and recently was busted with blunts in his vehicle, yet I was going crazy when he scored the first TD in the AFC championship game and I was jumping with pure glee when he caught the winning score in the Superbowl. What Vick did seems somehow different than from the other crimes.
The question I was asking myself was, "would I root for Vick once he put on the black and gold?" I can't really come up with an answer that satisfies me. Once he started making awesome plays and helping the Steelers win, I probably would root for him, even though morally I don't want to. I have had pets including dogs my entire life. What was done to those animals in VA was beyond terrible. Then Vick lied to try to cover it up. As fellow Steezbro Josh put it, "it all comes down to genuine remorse." So is Vick truly sorry for what he did or is he just sorry he got caught? If he is truly sorry, I could root for him. Everyone makes mistakes. Otherwise, I could not.
When he first was arrested, I believe that Vick was only sorry he got caught. He lied to everyone he could, including Commisioner Goodell, until it was patently obvious that he had committed the crimes, and only then did he apologize. Now, after serving his debt to society by spending two years in federal prison, I believe that Vick may truly have realized the severity of his acts. He has taken many steps to express his regret and to volunteer his time to prevent these types of atrocities from occurring again. I believe people deserve second chances and I believe in forgiveness. I think Vick deserves the chance he has received from the NFL and the Eagles. Hopefully, he makes the best of it. But for some reason I am still glad I don't have to root for him.