Well, tonight’s the night. Bust out the Milk-Bones, because Michael Vick will be taking the field for the first time in over two years when the Eagles take on the Jaguars at the Linc for their third preseason game.
Vick has a busy day in front of him. He’s due in court today in Newport News, VA for a bankruptcy hearing (“Not the Bentley! Don’t let them take my Bentley!!!!”). From there, he’ll fly back to Philly hopefully in time for kickoff, where he’s expected to get a handful of plays sometime toward the middle or end of the first half.
Since Vick has been with the Eagles for less than two weeks, it’s likely that he’ll run only a handful of basic, uncomplicated plays, some out of the WildDog formation. After a while, I’m sure the Eagles will open up more of the playbook for him, realize he’s terrible at absorbing most aspects of a pro offense, and then trim the playbook down for him once more.
So, on the field, Vick’s debut tonight will most likely be an understated affair. The same almost certainly can’t be said for all of the insane hubbub that will surround those ten uneventful minutes of action. While People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have publicly stated they have no plans to protest Vick’s appearance on the field tonight, a group of Vick SUPPORTERS, led by the Philly chapter of the NAACP, will march outside the stadium tonight as a sign of support for Vick. From USA Today:
J. Whyatt Mondesire, president of the NAACP's Philadelphia chapter, said Wednesday that his group and others planned to rally outside Lincoln Financial Field in support of Vick.
"Just some folk walking around with some signs saying, 'Leave him alone, Michael Vick should be allowed to play football,' nothing elaborate. We heard some PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) people might come and try to make life uncomfortable, and we don't want them to be out there alone."
Again, PETA has publicly stated that they will NOT be protesting Vick’s debut. If Mondesire’s name looks familiar to you, it’s because he’s the gentlemen who created a stir back in 2005 when he called Donovan McNabb “mediocre at best” and thought McNabb purposely didn’t run the ball because he was afraid of stereotypes about black QB’s. So if Mondesire is marching to support Vick despite the fact that PETA won’t be there, could this little march actually be a hidden effort to undermine McNabb? I SAY EMPHATICALLY YES, WITHOUT A DOUBT IN MY MIND.
Seriously though, I don’t think the NAACP is doing Vick any favors here. I’m sure Vick would like to keep as low a profile as humanly possible in the wake of his reemergence, and giant marches of support from controversial figures do him no good. Then there’s the fact that Vick, you know, killed dogs and stuff. Doesn’t the NAACP have better ways to spend its time than supporting an ex-con who didn’t ask for help? There are plenty of people out there who have NOT fought dogs that could use a bit of support, you know. Just saying.