Whoa Doggies!

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Pete Cashmore at Mashable:

With his image still tarnished by his involvement in illegal dog fighting (a crime many may never forgive), quarterback Michael Vick is nonetheless attempting to return to the game by signing with the Eagles.

In a tech-savvy move, the Philadelphia Eagles are hosting a live web stream – which started moments ago – to ensure the largest possible audience for the 11am (ET) press conference. Whatever you might think of Vick, you can hop over to the Eagles homepage to see what both he and the Eagles have to say of the move.

Mike Perry at Off The Record:

If Michael Vick is only sorry he got caught, do you think Tony Dungy, Roger Goodell, Jeffrey Lurie, Joe Banner, Andy Reid, and Donovan McNabb would give him a second chance? Do you think they would put their reputations on the line if they didn’t understand the situation to the fullest? These are the people who have been closest to Vick in the past few months, if not longer. These are the people who understand. Not you or I.

Moving along to Vick the football player, you could tell Andy Reid was excited about the signing. He fielded questions from the media after Philadelphia’s irrelevant loss to the Patriots Thursday night. There weren’t any questions about the game. Every single one was about Michael Vick. Reid couldn’t stop smiling when he was asked the questions about how they were going to use him. It’s apparent, Reid has something up his sleeve.

How are defenses going to prepare when McNabb and Vick are on the field at the same time? It’s something that has never been seen before. McNabb, Vick, Jackson, Westbrook… If the thought of that doesn’t interest you…or intrigue you…or excite you…then you are missing out.

I’m wiping my slate clean of how I think of Michael Vick. He’s getting a second chance, whether you think he deserves it or not. And if he screws up again, then shame on him.

Calvin Watkins at NFL Fanhouse:

The reasons Vick is coming to Philadelphia and the NFC East are varied. But one thing is certain, coach Andy Reid’s personal troubles probably led him to have a soft spot for Vick.

Last year, Reid’s two sons were arrested for various drug offenses, and are still dealing with their addictions. A judge ceven alled the Reid home a “drug emporium.”

Reid understands what it means to be a high-profile person and have your personal life broadcast all over the place. He wanted his sons to get a second chance at life.

“I’ve had my space invaded,” Reid said following Thursday’s game with the Patriots. “I’ve had people in the trees taking pictures of me around my house, so I understand how that works. I’ve gotten pretty good at it the last couple of years.”

Reid has a close relationship with former coach Tony Dungy, who is mentoring Vick. Reid visited with both Vick and Dungy during this process, and hoped he heard the right things from Vick.

“It’s up to Michael to prove that change has taken place,” Reid said. “I think he’s there. That’s what he wants to do. He knows everybody won’t have that trust in him or belief in him. I think he’ll prove that to people.”

Michael David Smith at NFL Fanhouse

Dan Brown at Huffington Post:

I mean, the guy electrocuted, hung, and drowned dogs. He only confessed to doing it after all of his buddies blew the whistle on him. He operated his Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring for six years.

My initial reaction to the signing is disgust. What’s the upside of adding this cretin to the team? Vick can run a “wildcat” formation, but he’s certainly no contender to be an every-down player. Does that justify inviting the protests and ill will that will follow the Eagles everywhere, including at home?

And if he plays well, will he be portrayed as the comeback story of the year? I can’t swallow that.

UPDATE: Daulerio at Deadspin

Here’s some pros:

• If Mike Vick is still skilled in what Mike Vick was skilled at before he went to the clink and he hasn’t put on 40 pounds of prison muscle during that time, well, the Eagles will have a pretty incredible back-up quarterback come Week 6. This is a serious, oh, hell yes we’re serious upgrade. Just because Kevin Kolb can skin a giant hog with a plastic fork doesn’t make him a viable option. And A.J. Feeley is still A.J. Feeley. He’s just older and more paunchy.

• Hey, McNabb asked for playmakers! Maybe they’ll incorporate some hybrid, legal version of the A-11 offense. I can see it now: McNabb under center, Vick in the slot, Shady McCoy sitting on Westbrook’s back, DeSean Jackson in a four-point stance, Jeremy Maclin crouched in child’s pose 17 yards behind the line of scrimmage and…HIKE! It’ll be like electronic football.

• This makes this season interesting no matter what.If McNabb goes down with a knee injury in week 2, well, do you not think people will write-off the Eagles immediately? Of course they will BUT — Mike Vick’s redemption song is on the horizon. Maybe he can lead us to victory! And if Michael Vick brings Philadelphia to the playoffs or, gasp, WINS a Super Bowl, well he could set a dozen baby poodles on fire in the middle of Broad Street and he’ll still be a hero for life. Just how it is. But, either way, who’s not watching this guy trot onto the field each week and the subsequent reaction he receives in each new city?

And the cons:

• Michael Vick electrocuted, drowned, or whatever else he did to dogs and this will be horrible PR. Philly media was one of the most anti-Vick cities when all of this stuff broke. In fact, my old pal Stu Bykofsky, a strident animal rights activist, called Vick a “wretched waste of DNA” in one of his columns. Oh, and it probably doesn’t help that one of Phladelphia’s most cherished athletes, Chase Utley, really, really loves dogs. How many fights will break out between PETA freaks and drunken lunatics in the parking lot this year? Over/under is at 50.

UPDATE #2: Ed Morrissey

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Filed under Animal Rights, Crime, Sports

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