I don't know what to do with this Michael Vic thing. Have you seen the National Geographic documentary about the dogs they rescued from there? It horrific. The fact that he's going to play for the Eagles has got me, and in particular my youngest daughter really worked up. My Mad is the biggest, most intense, dog advocate I know and I was so worried about how she would react to the news that Vic will be here, in Philadelphia, I didn't tell her for most of the day.
I didn't tell her until right before dinner, and then the four of us had a big long discussion about the whole thing while we ate, and it was really interesting because we talked about whether Vic should be able to play, about how he did something terrible, something wrong, he was caught, he was punished and he apologized. Even if we can't forgive him because what he did to those dogs was disgusting, shouldn't we let him get on with his life?
Because its not like we haven't done bad things (ok, not that bad, obviously), but when we do something bad, and we do the time and we apologize and try to make amends shouldn't others respect that and let us get on? So if the Eagles are doing that, maybe it's good. At some point, there has to be an end to the punishment -- because most punishment is a finite thing. I say that to the girls all the time: you're sister has apologized for [wearing your favorite shirt/breaking your whatever/reading your emails] and she will [get the stain out/ spend her own money on a new one/ give her computer time up to you] and she will have some sort of consequence, so now it's time to stop haranguing her for it.
Except, does Michael Vic need to be paid 1.5 million dollars? Couldn't the Eagles just have signed him for some more reasonable fee instead? And are they teaching the hundreds of kids who are super fans of the Eagles something about forgiveness, or are they saying that if you do something really bad, I mean really really bad, you still get to be famous and make tons of money and have people laud you if you happen to pay football well enough to win? Are we saying that winning is the most important thing here?
And maybe the real reason we are all up in arms about it because it's hard to believe that someone who is capable of that level of cruelty can really completely change no matter what he's been through in those 18 months of prison. However, I want to give Michael Vic the benefit of the doubt -- I want to see what he does now -- not on the field but in the world. And this is what I ask of my children each time they do something wrong, or I do something wrong in their view: that we start anew, with a clean slate.
It was a really good dinner time discussion, the kind where everyone has a good point to make and we all left the table still thinking about it.
Anyway, it all boils down to this: Mads won't watch the Eagles this year, I don't know if I will be able to stomach watching them either, even though, intellectually, I know the man's paid for his crime. It's an emotional thing, its a visceral reaction, and it's such a bummer, because there is nothing better on a cold November Sunday than cracking a beer, making a plate of nacho's and watching the home team play.