Tag Archives: Michael Vick

NFL News: Michael Vick’s bottom line

Or performance of a passing C or B- shrouded in acing tests with little to no homework, but at least he showed up to class?

I was making my rounds this morning on the interwebs and came across this headline on Yahoo Sports:

Vick’s confession another blow to Atlanta.

Curious, I was, very much, and so I clicked on the story.  Yahoo Sports blogger MJD refers to a recent radio interview with 790 The Zone where the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback said:

There was a lot more I could have done off the field and in the film room that could have elevated my game to a different level…I was complacent at the time, somewhat lazy, and I settled for mediocrity. I thought what I was doing was enough…..Just imagine what I could have been doing if I really would have been applying myself. That’s a regret I have.

While MJD is validly bewildered as to why the fan support before, during, and after Vick’s tango with the law didn’t diminish as greatly as one might believe, MJD’s wording suggests that the entire city of Atlanta held strong in the belief that Vick deserves and receives unanimous unconditional love.  I haven’t done any lunchtime polls, but surely the number of his fans and their resolve was never so uniform nor as persevering as this Yahoo Sports blogger’s diction conveys.

The first televised Falcons game footage I have any memory of watching was from their 2002 and 2004 season recaps.  The first actual Falcons game I saw live (as in broadcast) was the 2006 season.  Perhaps I was too new to the sights and sounds of football game-play, but even on those NFL Films DVDs of Michael Vick’s contributions in the early 21st century, I was never that in awe of his athleticism.  Even when his career in the NFL turned from questionable to on indefinite hiatus, I remained mostly indifferent to him as a person.  What he did in the eyes of the law was terrible.  I wonder, though, if his radio remark could be considered an equally, if not worse, ideological crime.

I read the quote that MJD cites in his blog entry in different ways.  Nuance is key.  The most straightforward interpretation of Vick’s words is that he consciously knew that he could’ve put more effort into performing to the maximum levels of his talent and skill, yet chose not to apply himself beyond the basics–a passing C.  He committed himself 75% to his duties as a quarterback.  Or, he applied himself 92-100% to one duty–he may or may not have the best attendance record, but he aces all the tests.  Wouldn’t his peers and coaches tolerate passing C or shows-up-just-to-take-the-tests if his game-day performance at least met their standards and expectations?  Or, if he didn’t, then his peers and coaches would definitely say something about it?

Furthermore, Vick’s words clearly indicate he’s disappointed with himself…and even deluding himself.  Hmm, if I had gone beyond my own expectations, maybe I could’ve taken my team to the Super Bowl and won it and not fallen as hard as I did.

But that’s just silly.  If Vick had applied himself 110% all the time and taken the Falcons to a Super Bowl victory and then still had to deal with his dogfighting seeing the legal light? Aigo.  He would’ve fallen a lot harder, a lot more profoundly, and possibly at the same rate.  Hitting the ground would’ve hurt much, much more.  The higher your throne sits, the farther you fall.

What might have been expressed in sincerity and honesty has been transmogrified into something much more foul-smelling.  If you’ve never thought word choice was important, well, now you know.  It’s all about how you say what you say.

Vick could’ve said, “I’m grateful the League and Philly have given me a second chance at football, sometimes I don’t think I deserve it, but over the last season, getting myself back into shape…I never thought I could push myself this hard and do more than I thought I could have.  I wished I had pushed myself harder when I was at Atlanta.  I believed what I did there was all I could do, but uh, maybe it wasn’t.  I regret not even trying.”

Might those words be less memorable, and thus less likely to have caught MJD’s eyes?

Image cred: google image search. Read the rest of MJD’s piece here.

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In less philosophical news, Atlanta’s future and big sports events.

NFL 2010: Donovan McNabb dazed and Michael Vick chews gum

A week ago the Dallas Cowboys clobbered the Philadelphia Eagles 34 to 0 in the last regular season game.  Tonight, the Cowboys rinsed and repeated the victory, only the Eagles managed to score two touchdowns (courtesy of wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson).  It was televised on NBC with commentary by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.  Michaels wore an off-white button-down shirt and a burgundy and rose striped tie.  Collinsworth had on a light bluish-gray button-down shirt and a dark navy and blue-striped tie.  I didn’t watch the game until the bottom of the third quarter, at which time the Eagles only had one TD.  DeSean Jackson’s catch happened in the top of the fourth quarter.  Philadelphia did put up some numbers in this wildcard game, nevertheless, Dallas beat them by twenty points.

Observations and Miscellania:

1. When Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb connected with Jeremy Maclin for twenty-five yards in the bottom of the third quarter, the telecast went with the camera on the Dallas side of the field.  Maclin ran, facing the camera, into their sidelines and stiff-armed safety Ken Hamlin.  When the fourth quarter began, upon returning from a commercial break, the telecast switched to the other side of the field as DeSean Jackson’s touchdown was recorded with him running from screen-right to screen-left.  In filmmaking, if you were to edit a sequence such that Character A is moving from screen-left to screen-right in one shot and then from screen-right to screen-left in the next shot, you’ll confuse the viewer (continuity error).  When something similar occurs in televised football, it just means that the team running with the play is still on offense.

2.  The Who is performing at Super Bowl XLIV!

3.  I love watching people that are in a state of jubilation.  I know it doesn’t apply to everyone, but seeing someone who is sad compels others to turn down the lights, so to speak, to dim the pep.  Even if you don’t get to or decide not to do anything to comfort that someone, your inclination to sympathize and be considerate ostensibly comes naturally.  The sight of other people being happy, though, can more often than not incite envy or disdain.  In contrast, looking at people (usually strangers) experiencing and expressing joy is such a delight for me.  For example, football players in the middle or bottom of the fourth quarter when they know that they’re going to win a wildcard, playoff, or championship game.  A few of the Cowboys were featured in such shots during the second half of tonight’s game.  Defensive linebacker Keith Brooking and wide receiver Miles Austin were filmed in medium close-up as they gazed up.  I later realized that they were probably looking up at the jumbotron suspended from the ceiling.

4.  Regarding the title of this post, there was a close-up of Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick on the sidelines.  Both were looking off-screen right.  McNabb appeared tired and dazed; Vick was chewing gum.  As my eyes moved from the former to the latter, I had barely formed the thought, “I bet Vick’s very grateful for where he is now,” when I suddenly started thinking, “How can Vick be playing football again, how can he have this second chance when something like this takes a person’s life away?”  Or something like this, or this, or this.  Although I use these examples in place of something a breath closer to heart, the comparison is still the same.  Where is the thematic justice?  But it’s not that simple, is it?  It really doesn’t work that way; the unfairness transcends overgeneralizations that bad people outlive good people and that good people are punished for their kindness and bad people aren’t always held accountable for their massively poor judgment.

Michael Vick did a bad thing, and he’s had to atone for behavior.  He still is atoning.  He has to wake up every day reminded of how fortunate he is to have the opportunity to right his wrong philosophically.  In the mean time, someone like the victims in those above links, who’s surely brightened many people’s daytime hours, whom I’ve seen without eye contact or friendly greeting, has to depart so that those who survive can reflect upon–even reassess–their own mortality.  I’ve only known four good people who’ve had their earthbound lives cut short due to unforeseen elements: car accident, airplane accident, and staph infection.  I knew them.  They had known my name and face.  I may only know of this someone here, yet I’m saddened and have thought about the situation longer than I think makes sense.

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Apparently, only one commercial comes on TV in Japan during time-outs in NFL games.  Say hello to Japanese girls in bikinis intercut with NFL gear.

NFL 2009: Eagles throw-down the Falcons

It was an ornithological feast today at the Georgia Dome, where the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons pasodoble‘d for another victory.  The Eagles took to the field sans running back Brian Westbrook and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the Falcons were without quarterback Matt Ryan, offensive linemen Sam Baker and Harvey Dahl, running back Michael Turner, and wide receiver Michael Jenkins.

Broadcast on Fox, with commentary by Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston, the first quarter puffed out favorably for the Eagles as they made a field goal and then recovered fumbled ball when the Falcons were taking to offense.  What say you, early shock therapy?  Make the mistakes in the first half of the first quarter like a bucket of cold water to the face?  Hmmm.  That turnover gave the Eagles a greater lead with a touchdown pass connection between quarterback Donovan McNabb and fullback Leonard Weaver.  Philadelphia 10 and Atlanta 0.  The Eagles would’ve upped their lead again in the remaining seconds of the first quarter, but David Akers’s thirty-nine yard field goal was no good.

The Falcons were unable to take advantage of the handful of Eagles’ mistakes in the top of the second quarter.  Nearing the second half of the second quarter, I wonder who is more frustrated, Matt Ryan or Chris Redman?  After off-setting penalties on both teams in the middle of the quarter, it appeared that the Falcons defense got a second wind.  They kept the Eagles’ pointage to a field goal.  Philadelphia 13 and Atlanta 0.  By the final two minutes in the second quarter, the Falcons’ offense were capitalizing on Eagles’ errors.  Would that effort be enough for either a TD or an FG?  Nope.  Rather than kicking a field goal, the Falcons tried for a touchdown.  After three consecutive failed attempts for running back Jason Snelling to break the plane, the Falcons inexplicably tried a fourth time?  Third time is the charm not the fourth.

Ville2bluish

Third quarter dragged out some poetic icy-hot as Michael Vick made his first TD of the season.  Philadelphia 20 and Atlanta 0.  Whatever cinnabon the Falcons were on was quickly smashed as Chris Redman threw an interception straight into the bosom of Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown, who then ran eighty-three yards for a touchdown.  Philadelphia 27 and Atlanta 0.  The third came and went with no Falcons score.

The first play of the fourth quarter?  Chris Redman threw another interception, this time to Eagles safety Sean Jones.  Michael Vick was QB for the Eagles in the top of the quarter.  A connection between him and tight end Brent Celek produced a TD.  More poetic icy-hot for the Vick.  His first passing TD would be in Atlanta, against Atlanta, bien sur.  Philadelphia 34 and Atlanta 0.  Because Vick injured his right hand after throwing that TD pass, Kevin Kolb went in as QB.  As the game clock boiled to under two minutes, Chris Redman threw a series of complete passes, one of which went to wide receiver Brian Finneran.  Hallelujah, wide receiver Roddy White kept the game from being a shut-out with a TD catch.  Philadelphia 34 and Atlanta 7.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Pre-game footage included Michael Vick greeting former teammates and chatting with Tony Siragusa.

2.  What does it mean if I were to say that I’m not sure the Falcons would have done any better in the first quarter if Matt Ryan were playing?  On the other hand, if Sam Baker and Harvey Dahl were playing, I think the Falcons would’ve scored at least two field goals by the top of the second quarter.

3.  “You can’t just get your hands on him and keep your hips square,” Daryl Johnston remarked halfway through the second quarter.

4.  Today’s game reminded me of Falcons’ entire 2007 season.

5.  Brian Finneran didn’t play in the last three games–Matt Ryan’s performance was shoddy in the last three games.  Coincidence?

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL 2009: Eagles bean-bag toss the Bears

Let’s spend Sunday Night with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears! Yaya.  Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth provided commentary–every game is a must win game!  The Eagles started out on offense; it’s odd to see Michael Vick holding a football and running down the field again.  I only ever saw his work in NFL Films highlights.  His team scored first with a field goal.  Philadelphia 3 and Chicago 0.  The Eagles got another score on the board in the first quarter with wide receiver Jason Avant’s touchdown.  Philadelphia 10 and Chicago 0.

Top of the second quarter gave Chicago a place on the score board with a field goal.  Philadelphia 10 and Chicago 3.  The Bears put on a display of offensive power with a seventy-two yard run by running back Kahlil Bell (his first carry in the NFL).  The Bears got another field goal at the end of that possession.  Philadelphia 10 and Chicago 6.  Bears cornerback Zackary Bowman intercepted Eagles QB Donovan McNabb when Philly got on offense again.  My eyes were turned away briefly but when I looked back, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was running down the field (from right to left, at the top of the screen).  Not long after, the Bears were on offense again.  By the end of the second quarter, they caught up to just one under the Eagles with a field goal.  Philadelphia 10 and Chicago 9.

The top of the third quarter gave the Bears the lead with a forty-nine yard field goal.  Chicago 12 and Philadelphia 10.  Just when it would seem that the Eagles weren’t going to get their boogie back on, DeSean Jackson made a pretty lovely TD–and then he dunk the ball over the uprights’ cross bar.  Less basketball and more frisbee.  Philadelphia 17 and Chicago 12.  The Bears bounced back with a TD as well (thanks to tight end Kellen Davis); they went for a two-point conversion, which worked.  Running back Matt Forte caught the ball.  Chicago 20 and Philadelphia 17 in the bottom of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter spelled a turnover and the Bears were at bat again.  Kicker Robbie Gould tried a forty-eight yard field goal but his kick was blocked.  Eagles running back LeSean McCoy made a TD with half a fourth quarter left to play amd then took a couple of bows at the back corner of the end zone (the back left corner from his POV).  Philadelphia 24 and Chicago 20.  The Bears took to the field with two minutes left on the clock.  After a series of plays (including one in which an Eagle was tackling and incidentally pulled down the pants of a bear; a replay revealed an arse-bottom in all it’s two-parts).  Eagles linebacker Tracy White broke up QB Jay Cutler’s pass and then safety Sean Jones grabbed the ball and that was it.  Philadelphia 24 and Chicago 20.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. After Bears tight end Greg Olsen failed to catch Jay Cutler’s pass in the top of the second quarter, upon airing replay footage, did Cris Collinsworth say something about “That is a foot-and-a-half in the PGA tour” ?

2.  Al Michael’s remark on the Bears QB: “Unlike Faith Hill, Jay Cutler has not been all day for Sunday night or Monday night or Thursday night or any night.”  In the bottom of the second quarter, he noted that Jay Cutler had to “spin away” and “pirouette.”  Sorry, boss, but Jay Cutler’s 360 twirl does not a pirouette make.

3.  DeSean Jackson is 5’10 and 175 lbs.  ParfaitMais, il est cinque ans plus jeunes que moi.

4.  Who spends more time taking a shower after a game (pretending that no press conferences happened immediately post-game): futbolers, footballers, basketballers, tennis players, or boxers?  I’m going with a futboler or a footballer–more contact with the earth.

5.  I kid you not–I saw a mocha arse-bottom in the fourth quarter; too bad I have no idea which Bear had some cheeks in view.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL News: M Vick tries on new feathers

C’est incroyable! Michael Vick will be an Eagle. 

Peter King elaborates over at Sports Illustrated.

Masticate on this point:

…I sat with [head coach Andy] Reid and told him I thought the reason he’d been able to last in a tough town like Philadelphia for a decade is that, essentially, he didn’t give a crap about most of the things the media, the fans and lots of his players gave a crap about… it’s a good trait to have with Vick entering the Eagles’ complex this weekend to begin his second career. If there are dog-lovers protesting Vick’s signing because of his heinous dog-fighting history and convictions (and there are bound to be some), they’ll roll off Reid. He simply won’t care.”