In the two days since Peter King first reported on Football Night in America that President Obama applauded the Eagles organization for giving Michael Vick a second chance, the story has moved from the sports world into cable news — where there have been some harsh comments for Vick and for Obama.
“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances,” Carlson said. “Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be commending someone who murdered dogs?”
If Carlson supports the death penalty for involvement in dog fighting, his version of Christianity is more of the Old Testament than New Testament variety – let alone those who don’t share his beliefs. Taking it a step further, who the hell ASKED Carlson for his editorial opinion in this matter?
For its part the White House says that the purpose of Obama’s call to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was to discuss the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field. When the subject of Vick came up, Obama said that he condemns Vick’s crimes but believes convicted criminals should have a chance to contribute to society when they are released from prison.
Don’t get President Obama wrong: He’s glad the Philadelphia Eagles gave Michael Vick a second chance. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Obama. “Congressional Republicans, too, for instance.”
Simmer down, dog lovers: In his phone conversation with team owner Jeffrey Lurie, Obama didn’t ask for Vick’s phone number in order to book the MVP candidate as a pet-sitter for the first dog the next time the family heads to Hawaii.
Here’s how Lurie recalled the conversation in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King: “He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance.’ He said, ‘It’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail.’ He was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”
White House spokesman Bill Burton, answering to the outrage from people who detested Vick’s dog-fighting felony, quickly added that the president “of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of.” Everyone from White House beat reporters to sportswriters are trying to decode the reason for the president’s comments on Vick: Was he making a social statement on the imprisonment of young black males? On businesses’ reluctance to hire ex-cons?
Maybe it’s this simple: While talking about the Eagles’ use of solar energy, Obama was the president. When the chat turned to Vick, Obama became a fan. The president can be both — even in the same conversation.
Winning isn’t everything, it really is the only thing. It cures all. Vick has made his return to the NFL as a starting QB and played lights out with his second chance to be an NFL player. Not too long ago, supporting Vick would have been a risky move in the public eye.
Look at it this way: If you’re a Giants fan, at least he didn’t ask about the punt return. No quarterbacks were harmed in the writing of this article.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org