Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dissa 'n Datta

Is Michael Vick more a giver than a taker? Time will tell.

-- All the talking heads are debating the new contract the Philadelphia Eagles awarded quarterback Michael Vick ($130 million, with $40 million guaranteed). We're not going to argue the merits of Vick as a QB (still questionable in our opinion, despite his dynamic success last season -- but is he a one-year flash?) or whether the 31-year-old ex-convict deserves the contract (he doesn't at this point, in our opinion, based solely on past/still-to-be-seen performance on the field).
  • In the opinion of Joey Porter's Pit Bulls, Vick still needs to prove he is a great quarterback -- which means he has to win consistently over an extended period of time (more than one season), and lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. Was Vick a one-year wonder for the Eagles? If so, that's a mighty big contract and a huge roll of the dice for the Eagles to have made.
  • Like most Americans, we believe in second chances and stories of redemption. After all, Vick served his time in prison, and he deserves a second chance (which he's received). Granted, he was spectacular last season (although his team didn't make it to the Super Bowl). Now, he's been rewarded with this enormous contract -- $40 million guaranteed.
  • All we hope he does something good with the money. A Suggestion, Then: If Vick is serious about showing that he is truly remorseful about torturing and killing dogs (pit bulls) as the leader of a multi-state dog-fighting ring, he might commit, oh, say, $10 million to establish a foundation dedicated to supporting worthy dog-shelters across the nation ... shelters such as the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania and Animal Friends. Shelters like this have very few resources and depend almost wholly on the efforts of selfless volunteers and generous donors. Vick could be one of those donors; he could redouble his visits to schools to speak to kids about dog-fighting, and he could make himself more visible in other efforts, such as ...
  • Vick could underwrite and appear in nationally televised Public Service Announcements speaking out against dog-fighting and promoting the adoption of dogs in general, as well as fostering a better understanding of pit bulls as a breed.
  • The Point here is ... This is an opportunity for Vick to prove he is more a giver than a taker. He's got his money. Let's hope he makes the most of it.
Steelers -- Shortly before last Saturday's game vs. the Atlanta Falcons, former Steeler punter Josh Miller, now a radio sports-talk show host on KDKA-FM, opined that Byron Leftwich had no business playing that night and that the Steelers should start Dennis Dixon in the second half -- and keep him in there for the rest of the game. Miller's supporting arguments were that (a) We already know what Leftwich can do; (b) Leftwich clearly is the No. 2 quarterback, so why risk injuring him in a meaningless pre-season game; and (c) This is the perfect opportunity to showcase Dixon in hopes that somebody may make a trade offer for him; otherwise, he would likely get cut anyway, given his status as the fourth QB on the depth chart.
  • So, what happens? The Steelers played Leftwich, he broke his arm and now the team is likely to be without him for the rest of the season; or, the team has to hold a roster spot for him, just in case he recovers at some point (much) later in the season.
  • This sucks. Josh Miller was spot-on.
Pirates -- The wheels have fallen off completely. Consecutive losses of 8-2 and 8-1 in Houston (the worst team in baseball) say it all at this point. Joey Porter's Pit Bulls just want the Buccos to have a strong September and finish ahead of the Cubs.
  • It's a shame, really, that they lost so many close games they shoulda, coulda, woulda won had it not been for untimely bullpen blow-ups and various other ways to lose, including bad calls from umps (vs. Cincy at PNC Park recently and, most notoriously, the Jerry Meals call in Atlanta that gifted the Braves the "win" in that 19-inning game on July 26).