Steelers Fans Are At Each Other’s Throats Over Michael Vick Signing
Rick Chandler 01:13 pm, August 26th, 2015
No matter how you feel about Michael Vick, one has to agree that the timing here could have been a lot less hilarious. How do the Steelers sign the most notorious animal abuser in sports on the eve of National Dog Day? Why would you deliberately rub kibble into that wound? The answer is shrouded in mystery.
What's clear is that Vick is the Steelers' backup quarterback now -- one Ben Roethlisberger injury away from being The Man. This has divided Steelers Nation in a way that is not unexpected -- many fans are elated that he's on board, many others are gathering their torches, pitchforks and outrage.
There's actually a Facebook page called Pittsburghers Against Michael Vick, with more than 12,000 likes as of this writing. They're organizing a protest today "From 3-4:15 at 3400 South Water Street" in Pittsburgh, with that post getting 167 likes and 53 shares so far.
Here's the other camp, as represented by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook:
“You have doubts about Vick, at 35, being able to help the Steelers as a backup quarterback with Bruce Gradkowski out after finger surgery? That’s fair. But spare me the nonsense about his baggage from eight years ago. And, please, spare me your outrage at the Rooneys for this perceived violation of the so-called Steeler Way. There is no Steeler Way, never has been.”
There are two camps here, but they're misidentified by most. The anti-Vick folks are made up mostly of dog lovers, and make no mistake, that's a formidable group. Calling them a "vocal fringe minority" as I've seen on Twitter today is a mistake. These folks got Barack Obama elected in 2012 when it was discovered that Mitt Romney's family lashed their dog to the roof of the car on vacations. Ever see a PetSmart go out of business? Let me know when you do.
The other group consists mostly of football fans -- non-fans really have no stake in Michael Vick. In Casablanca, when Ugarte asks Rick Blaine if he despises him, Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) responds: "I probably would if I gave you any thought." That's the general public's overall view of Vick.
But NFL fans, and now particularly Steelers fans, tend to back him. "He's done his time!" say Steelers fans. "Roethlisberger is a rapist, so you're cool with that?" say other fans.
My opinion? Vick is good for the blogging business -- the more he's in the news, the better. But the bigger picture, is that he's 37 years old. A mobile QB north of 34 is just an injury waiting to happen, and Vick has already proven he's susceptible.
The real focus in Pitsburgh should be on whoever is No. 3 right now. That would be, um, Landry Jones. You remember, drafted in 2013? From Oklahoma? Hasn't taken a snap in an NFL game? Good luck with that.
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