A redemption act isn’t as compelling as it could be if we’re not constantly reminded of the fact that it’s a redemption act, which in turn requires a constant reminder of the reason for the redemption in the first place.
The folks at the Philadelphia Daily News have provided today’s reminder of the new Eagles starter’s sordid past with a front-page photo and two words in all caps and large print: “Top Dog.”
The dogfighting dynamic had become overlooked when Mike Vick faded into oblivion as a backup-and-cameo quarterback in 2009. The situation resurfaced in June 2010 after one of his partners in the dog-eat-dog world of, well, dogs eating dogs was struck by a bullet outside Vick’s 30th birthday party. But the question of whether Vick should have had a open-to-the-public party while still on federal probation — and the question of whether he had any role in the shooting (he didn’t) — took precedence, making the dogfighting details simply part of the setting of the scene for reports regarding the birthday brouhaha.
Now that Vick stunningly has seized the opportunity arising from a concussion suffered by Kevin Kolb in the first half of the first game of the season, the “Top Dog” headline suggests that the dogfighting history will be dusted off and dropped back into the middle of the discussion.
From our perspective, it’s a moot point. Though we believed that Vick’s post-prison penalty should have been stiffer (especially since Pacman Jones once was suspended by the league for a year even though he never spent a night in jail), we’ve moved on — and we think it’s the right approach. Though Vick’s behavior shouldn’t be forgotten, it’s no longer relevant to who he is, to what he has accomplished, and to where he’s heading.