This Is Why We Don’t Believe You, Skip Bayless
Recently, SportsGrid senior editor Dan Fogarty and I had a chat with a couple ESPN representatives over breakfast in Nolita, not far from our site's HQ. It was a perfectly good conversation, but one topic that arose involved a show we write about here semi-regularly, First Take. Our main issue with the program: its regular running time of two hours is just too long, leading to some "debate" topics that feel like they're just there to fill the time...and some arguments (particularly on the part of this gentleman) that leave you thinking, "There's no way they believe that. They're just saying that to say it/be contrarian."
And as luck would have it, today's program contained...maybe not so much a debate that was just there to fill time (particularly since this morning's program only ran for an hour), but certainly an argument for Mr. Bayless that made us go, "Come on. No way." Now, Bayless is on record as liking Vince Young, and there's an argument to be made for the guy. Maybe he never did quite get a fair shake with the Titans. He rallied the team in 2009. He even did some good things last season, tossing 10 touchdown passes against just three interceptions. The Eagles did well to grab him for this year.
But Young is the backup in Philadelphia for a reason - last season, Michael Vick took a quantum leap forward. He was old Vick as far as ability to make plays with his feet was concerned, and as a passer, he was so much better than he'd been before that it wasn't even worth comparing. He was an MVP candidate despite missing a quarter of the season. He put the Eagles on his back and carried them into the playoffs. He's the most dangerous weapon in football. And which quarterback did Bayless say had the better chance of leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl? You already know:
OK, looking at Vick's game log from last season, he did throw six interceptions (i.e., ll the interceptions he threw last year) in his final five regular season games, as well as one more in the playoff game against the Packers. Seven interceptions in six games is a high number. Let us also, though, note that he also threw 11 touchdown passes in those six games, and ran for five more. Accounting for 16 touchdowns vs. nine turnovers (he also lost two fumbles in a loss to the Vikings)...not the greatest ratio, but not the worst either. And considering the Packers went on to win the Super Bowl, we're willing to forgive the fact that the playoff game wasn't Vick's greatest (plus, he didn't play that badly).
Instead, we're just left to think that Skip Bayless either likes Vince Young more than pretty much anyone on the planet, or he was just trying to start something. We also suggest checking out the way the panel looks at Bayless when he takes Young's side: they seem to be experiencing the same sort of "Come on, man" reaction we did. Vince Young might be better than he's been given credit for. Vick was one of the best players in the entire NFL last year. We know who we're choosing...and we also know who we're choosing to ignore.
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