Eagles defensive end Jason Babin is planning a trip to Pamplona, Spain, next month to participate in the Running of the Bulls. That gives Michael Vick a month to convince him to stay home.
Vick, who could have used a teammate talking him out of his own animal misadventures a few years ago, told Philly.com on Thursday that he thinks the risk of a goring or trampling outweighs the rewards of living out a Hemingway-inspired fantasy.
“I’m going to try to talk him out of it, if it’s the truth,” Vick said. “I would much rather have him on my team this year than have anything catastrophic happen, so we’re going to keep him on the safe side.”
Babin, however, sounds like his mind is made up.
“It’s kind of a rite of passage,” Babin said. “It’s a stamp. I guess in my brain I have a figurative ‘man card’ that’s got certain punches that need to be punched out.”
Other teammates sound resigned to the fact that when Babin has his mind made up to do something, he’s going to do it.
“That’s Babin for you,” wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. “I wouldn’t do anything like that, personally.”
Asked if NFL players sign contracts that prohibit them from dangerous activities, Eagles center Jason Kelce said he doubts that matters to Babin.
“I’m sure we do, but I don’t think he cares,” Kelce said. “Babin’s a crazy dude, and he’s going to do anything to put his life in jeopardy.”
On the field, where Babin was third in the league last year with 18 sacks, the Eagles like that reckless attitude. On the cobblestone streets of Pamplona, where Babin will be chased by opponents five times the size of an offensive lineman, the Eagles would prefer that he reconsider.