Chris Mortensen has reported that as of now, the leading team in the Michael Vick merry-go-round is our own Baltimore Ravens.
Even if you don’t like Mortensen, he does have some great news sources, so this might be a legit Vick rumor (although I haven’t read one yet). This comes on the same day that Tony Dungy, who has become Vick’s adviser, and Joel Segal, the ex-con’s agent both said that Vick is close to signing with an NFL team, and Dungy even believes that something could happen this week.
I said I didn’t care what happened to him earlier, but now I do, now that it’s gotten a bit more personal. I do not want him in a Ravens uniform. Not that I don’t believe in a second chance, and that I don’t believe that he’s not a better, smarter person, but it wouldn’t make sense for anyone in the organization. I’m going to take a look at each important part of the team and how Vick signing would impact them.
This would make absolutely no sense for the fans. They would be hounded by other team’s fans for having one of, if not the most hated player in the NFL. In the Ravenstown area before games, the tailgating atmosphere and family fun would be destroyed by relentess PETA protesters or just protesters against Vick. Fights will occur, people will get hurt, the great, signature Ravens fan experience won’t be there anymore.
This is the most difficult part of the organization to gauge on this issue because it could go either way. Many players will be excited to play with an athlete of his caliber, some of the practice squad guys or players that never get to play will have something to tell their kids and grandkids in years, that they played against a guy that, deny it or not, many people wanted dead. On the other side, some players might be opposed to sharing the locker room with a guy who has admitted to breaking the law, who has killed innocent animals or a guy who gets to be a star again, when they work just as hard and get no respect. Some players might even have pets of their own and not want a guy who has killed animals around. It would kill chemistry, and even if some players enjoyed it, the team would be divided.
Unless something crazy happens, and the nation becomes huge fans of Michael Vick, it seems like this experiment would give the team and its executives more bad PR than good money. Some people might be forced to resign if the signing were to fail miserably. Then again, if everyone doesn’t turn into a hypocrite (which I’m finding myself turn into while typing this) and maintain their viewpoint that Vick does deserve his second chance, then maybe his jersey will sell better than any other, and the team will get some great financial opportunities. I just don’t think that will happen.
If team chemistry does matter in terms of winning, then Vick will destroy the team’s winning ways. If not, and he’s still got his freakish athletic ability, then maybe the team might have a dynamic new player who could line up in the slot, behind Joe Flacco, returning punts or whatever else the team can think up. There’s no denying that he’s a great player, even a pretty good quarterback. Maybe he can help develop the Suggs Package for the team. In this department, he might actually help the team.
This is the main thing I’ve been touching on, but it would be such a huge blunder by the team to signing the former Falcons and Hokies QB because of what the rest of the country and world would think of the team. When I was in England, and I told them I was an NFL fan and a blogger, they immediately asked about Vick. People who barely know anything about football always ask me what I think, and immediately get disgusted when I say he deserves a second chance. Any team that picks him up would take that huge PR hit I’ve mentioned and the blogosphere, along with the world’s citizens who knew about the NFL would mention the Ravens or whatever team in disgust. It would get kind of unbearable to say you’re a fan of that team.
I gave all those scenarios in the most extreme case, mostly because I wanted to get you on my side, but we all have to face it, it’s very possible that all of those could happen. I’d be scared to be put in danger at games and I’d hate to hear about fights in the locker room after practices and games. I also hate to think that a guy who has done his time might never have a shot at redemption because of the team I love isn’t willing to take a PR hit.
Chime in with your opinion, and please vote in the poll whether you would like to see Vick in the purple and black in 2009 or beyond.
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