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A TDWII Observation: Yesterday


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When the Eagles signed Michael Vick back in August, I looked to 12/6 with great anticipation. At the time, the Falcons harbored thoughts of winning the NFC and becoming an annual power. I remember thinking to myself that this would be a great opportunity for the Falcons to display their resilience and demonstrate to their former franchise savior that indeed, his transgressions had been overcome. In a sense, I thought yesterday would in some ways be a cathartic experience for the city of Atlanta…and perhaps it was. Just not in the way I thought it would be. But it also turned out to be a cathartic experience for Vick, and to that I ask the city of Atlanta - Have you no pride?

Listen, as far as Vick is concerned, I have no beef at all with him as it relates to him rebuilding his career, and more importantly his life. He’s paid his debt to society in spades and because of his notoriety continues to pay it past what someone not named Michael Vick would be forced to. I don’t have sympathy for Michael Vick because he made his bed, but I also know and realize that I have no grounds to condemn this man to his grave. He ought to be given the right and the opportunity to make amends.

But cheering him? Showering him with adulation? Exploding spontaneously when he scored – or even when he simply executed successfully?

Why?

I’ve heard the phrase countless times “"he did so much for the city of Atlanta while he was here". What did he do? He brought attention to the Falcons? Made them a drawing card? Won two playoff games? Those are nice things. Chris Chandler took us to a Super Bowl, and he's reflected upon almost with contempt. Were Vick's accomplishments so great as to wipe the slate completely clean? Let's be honest here and put out there that for some people, the slate never even got dirty. At least Chandler gave it everything he had. Among Vick's post imprisonment confessions was his admission of a lazy work ethic and unrealized potential due to his own lack of commitment. This is something to be celebrated?

No matter how you choose to frame it, one indisputable fact remains. What Michael Vick did ultimately wound up crippling the Falcons franchise and pouring salt into the wound of a festering racial divide that seemingly defines this city. He did this in a manner that still haunts the sub-conscience of this entire country. We, as Atlanta Falcons fans, were part of the collateral damage. Whether you were a paying season ticket holder or simply a kid with a #7 Vick jersey, the way you viewed and consumed all things Falcons was turned on its head. Only through the extreme fortune of making the absolute best hiring and personnel moves over the course of a 12-18 month period are we even amongst the world of the NFL living today. Say we hadn’t been able to reverse our fortunes so quickly? Would yesterdays reaction have been the same?

As a sports town, is it that we as a fan base simply have no long term memory? Lost in all of this which IMO was the most mind-boggling aspect of this whole charade. THOSE WERE THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES!!! Maybe I'm alone in this regard but outside our divisional brethren, I consider the Eagles our most hated rival. And in the midst of getting our tookus handed to us…we were cheering for them!!?? The last time we played them in the Dome ironically enough was that Monday Night opener in 2005. I’ve been to every game in the Dome since 2002 save for one and without a doubt, that game was the most fired up I’ve ever seen the Falcon faithful before and during a game. The fact that the opponent that night was the Eagles was not incidental. Yet here we were yesterday, cheering them on because one guy who should be but a distant memory by now was present and accounted for.

Yesterday, I didn't cheer for Vick. I didn’t boo him. I treated him as I would any other opponent. He was a member of a team trying to defeat the Falcons and as such, I acted and reacted accordingly. Whether the score was 0-0 or 34-0, it didn’t change my rooting interest. Not that I had to, but put yourself in the shoes of our guys on the sidelines listening to the crowd abandon them. Has the season gone as expected? No – we knew the schedule was going to be a challenge and as it turned out, even moreso with the rash of injuries and simply put general circumstances that can wreck havoc with a 16 game slate. But our guys deserved better than to hear the celebration of a fallen hero and relic from a long ago era. And we as a fanbase should have been above pouring salt into the wound of a season gone awry.

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When the Eagles signed Michael Vick back in August, I looked to 12/6 with great anticipation. At the time, the Falcons harbored thoughts of winning the NFC and becoming an annual power. I remember thinking to myself that this would be a great opportunity for the Falcons to display their resilience and demonstrate to their former franchise savior that indeed, his transgressions had been overcome. In a sense, I thought yesterday would in some ways be a cathartic experience for the city of Atlanta…and perhaps it was. Just not in the way I thought it would be. But it also turned out to be a cathartic experience for Vick, and to that I ask the city of Atlanta - Have you no pride?

Listen, as far as Vick is concerned, I have no beef at all with him as it

relates to him rebuilding his career, and more importantly his life. He’s paid his debt to society in spades and because of his notoriety continues to pay it past what someone not named Michael Vick would be forced to. I don’t have sympathy for Michael Vick because he made his bed, but I also know and realize that I have no grounds to condemn this man to his grave. He ought to be given the right and the opportunity to make amends.

But cheering him? Showering him with adulation? Exploding spontaneously when he scored – or even when he simply executed successfully?

Why?

I’ve heard the phrase countless times “"he did so much for the city of Atlanta while he was here". What did he do? He brought attention to the Falcons? Made them a drawing card? Won two playoff games? Those are nice things. Chris Chandler took us to a Super Bowl, and he's reflected upon almost with contempt. Were Vick's accomplishments so great as to wipe the slate completely clean? Let's be honest here and put out there that for some people, the slate never even got dirty. At least Chandler gave it everything he had. Among Vick's post imprisonment confessions was his admission of a lazy work ethic and unrealized potential due to his own lack of commitment. This is something to be celebrated?

No matter how you choose to frame it, one indisputable fact remains. What Michael Vick did ultimately wound up crippling the Falcons franchise and pouring salt into the wound of a festering racial divide that seemingly defines this city. He did this in a manner that still haunts the sub-conscience of this entire country. We, as Atlanta Falcons fans, were part of the collateral damage. Whether you were a paying season ticket holder or simply a kid with a #7 Vick jersey, the way you viewed and consumed all things Falcons was turned on its head. Only through the extreme fortune of making the absolute best hiring and personnel moves over the course of a 12-18 month period are we even amongst the world of the NFL living today. Say we hadn’t been able to reverse our fortunes so quickly? Would yesterdays reaction have been the same?

As a sports town, is it that we as a fan base simply have no long term memory? Lost in all of this which IMO was the most mind-boggling aspect of this whole charade. THOSE WERE THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES!!! Maybe I'm alone in this regard but outside our divisional brethren, I consider the Eagles our most hated rival. And in the midst of getting our tookus handed to us…we were cheering for them!!?? The last time we played them in the Dome ironically enough was that Monday Night opener in 2005. I’ve been to every game in the Dome since 2002 save for one and without a doubt, that game was the most fired up I’ve ever seen the Falcon faithful before and during a game. The fact that the opponent that night was the Eagles was not incidental. Yet here we were yesterday, cheering them on because one guy who should be but a distant memory by now was present and accounted for.

Yesterday, I didn't cheer for Vick. I didn’t boo him. I treated him as I would any other opponent. He was a member of a team trying to defeat the Falcons and as such, I acted and reacted accordingly. Whether the score was 0-0 or 34-0, it didn’t change my rooting interest. Not that I had to, but put yourself in the shoes of our guys on the sidelines listening to the crowd abandon them. Has the season gone as expected? No – we knew the schedule was going to be a challenge and as it turned out, even moreso with the rash of injuries and simply put general circumstances that can wreck havoc with a 16 game slate. But our guys deserved better than to hear the celebration of a fallen hero and relic from a long ago era. And we as a fanbase should have been above pouring salt into the wound of a season gone awry.

I always enjoy reading your posts. The bolded statement is exactly how I feel. I am also a person who thinks Vick did something wrong, he paid for his crimes, and deserves a second chance. I was actually rooting for Vick to show up in Oakland where he could start.

Anyway, thank you for your post.

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Well said.

I think he's more of a hero than Chandler because 1) he's a black guy who rose from zero to hero; he was a great success story. He worked hard (??) and achieved a dream and became iconic.. 2) because he was such a different NFL player. He was electric and a lot of fun to watch. The Falcons were a different, more exciting team than the other 31 teams in the NFL. The Falcons have always been mediocre and frankly not worth watching due to our lack of ever having back to back winning seasons and now with Vick every year felt like we could go all the way.

*shrug*, I was a huge fan while he was here, and I'm happy for him getting his life back together too, but I don't understand why some can't let go. He screwed us over when we offered him the world and I don't understand why so many seem to blame our franchise on him being gone. He did illegal things and got arrested.

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Personally, i feel for the classy people here trying to turn this train wreck into a respected franchise. Blank, Dimitroff, Smith, Gonzalez, Ryan, turner, just to mention a few.

Worst feeling i have ever had being a falcons fan to say the least. Battling for a playoff spot against a team that has been a thorn in our side for a long time now, and what does the majority of the occupants(can't refer as fans for obvious reasons) do, pull for the opposing team. PATHETIC!!!!!!

Congrats, if you are one that was cheering for poor Mike Vick that's been treated soooo unfairly(sarcasm) because you just set this franchise back again. as if Vick hasn't already been successful at that. But hey, when you are classless(being nice) what else can anyone expect.

Please, no more posts on why we don't get any respect. Yesterday is one of the main reasons why this team will not get respect.

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Dead on sir and very well written. My question is the same as someone wrote yesterday. Do these idiots really think that Vick beat the Falcons? By the second half...a college team might have had success against us....our defense ( which has it's own problems ) was out of gas....on the field way too long. Donova M. ( which is 10 times better than Vick ever was ) was the winning quarter back. He set Vick up for success yestereday....and anyone can argue that until the cows come home...but then again,,,,,MV might find away to illegally have cow fights! :D

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Great post as usual TDWII. You really hit the nail on the head.

Like you I went to the game and vowed not to get wrapped up in the Vick controversy. I didn't boo him and sure as **** didn't cheer for him. When I heard all the calls from the stands "We want Vick", I was really disappointed that a large contingency of our fans were rooting for Vick louder than rooting for the Falcons. It wouldn't surprise me if some of these people rooting for Vick showed up in Saints jerseys this Sunday. They might as well.

When Vick scored the mass exodus of disgusted Falcons fans was disappointing as well because there was over three minutes left in the 3rd quarter. The second Vick score and the reaction nearly made me sick to my stomach. It was a low mark for me personally that almost rivaled the 2007 season.

It is time to move forward now and hope for a victory this Sunday.

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Honestly the "I'm a real fan and I'm disgusted/embarrassed/sick, woe is me" bit is getting old. Frankly it was old when it started.

So you're a real fan. Would you like a cookie? A pat on the back? No one cares.

No one cares about your devotion. You're talking about a business entity for goodness sake. You're a walking, talking, wallet to Arthur Blank and you're here having a pity party for yourselves over a stupid game.

People cheered for Vick. So what. Vick burned the Falcons. So what. It happened YEARS ago. Get over it already. Some people still like him. Get over it. You people think you're helping the situation by being bitter about it? Like a scorned woman... the very people whining about how other people won't get over him are the ones that need to follow their own advice.

A lot of the time he gets brought up it's purely to stir the pot and a lot of the people in this thread are the ones that get so bent out of shape over it. Did your mothers not teach you that when you don't let it get to you the people trying to stir the pot tend to go away? People want to call other people classless or stupid or morons or idiots and yet the very same people fall for the blatant baiting that wouldn't sucker in a five year old. Pot meet kettle.

The MB is just pathetic right now. Some of you people must have really empty lives to be seriously affected by something so insignificant. GET OVER IT ALREADY. The mass pity party is just pitiful.

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Honestly the "I'm a real fan and I'm disgusted/embarrassed/sick, woe is me" bit is getting old. Frankly it was old when it started.

So you're a real fan. Would you like a cookie? A pat on the back? No one cares.

No one cares about your devotion. You're talking about a business entity for goodness sake. You're a walking, talking, wallet to Arthur Blank and you're here having a pity party for yourselves over a stupid game.

People cheered for Vick. So what. Vick burned the Falcons. So what. It happened YEARS ago. Get over it already. Some people still like him. Get over it. You people think you're helping the situation by being bitter about it? Like a scorned woman... the very people whining about how other people won't get over him are the ones that need to follow their own advice.

A lot of the time he gets brought up it's purely to stir the pot and a lot of the people in this thread are the ones that get so bent out of shape over it. Did your mothers not teach you that when you don't let it get to you the people trying to stir the pot tend to go away? People want to call other people classless or stupid or morons or idiots and yet the very same people fall for the blatant baiting that wouldn't sucker in a five year old. Pot meet kettle.

The MB is just pathetic right now. Some of you people must have really empty lives to be seriously affected by something so insignificant. GET OVER IT ALREADY. The mass pity party is just pitiful.

That's pretty much the problem with Atlanta. No one cares about devotion...no loyalty. Just flavor of the month indifference.

Thanks for emphasizing my point. Folks - Exhibit A.

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That's pretty much the problem with Atlanta. No one cares about devotion...no loyalty. Just flavor of the month indifference.

Thanks for emphasizing my point. Folks - Exhibit A.

It seems as though you have absolutely no idea of the make-up of Atlanta. Have you ever been to the dome when the Steelers come to town?????

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When the Eagles signed Michael Vick back in August, I looked to 12/6 with great anticipation. At the time, the Falcons harbored thoughts of winning the NFC and becoming an annual power. I remember thinking to myself that this would be a great opportunity for the Falcons to display their resilience and demonstrate to their former franchise savior that indeed, his transgressions had been overcome. In a sense, I thought yesterday would in some ways be a cathartic experience for the city of Atlanta…and perhaps it was. Just not in the way I thought it would be. But it also turned out to be a cathartic experience for Vick, and to that I ask the city of Atlanta - Have you no pride?

Listen, as far as Vick is concerned, I have no beef at all with him as it relates to him rebuilding his career, and more importantly his life. He’s paid his debt to society in spades and because of his notoriety continues to pay it past what someone not named Michael Vick would be forced to. I don’t have sympathy for Michael Vick because he made his bed, but I also know and realize that I have no grounds to condemn this man to his grave. He ought to be given the right and the opportunity to make amends.

But cheering him? Showering him with adulation? Exploding spontaneously when he scored – or even when he simply executed successfully?

Why?

I’ve heard the phrase countless times “"he did so much for the city of Atlanta while he was here". What did he do? He brought attention to the Falcons? Made them a drawing card? Won two playoff games? Those are nice things. Chris Chandler took us to a Super Bowl, and he's reflected upon almost with contempt. Were Vick's accomplishments so great as to wipe the slate completely clean? Let's be honest here and put out there that for some people, the slate never even got dirty. At least Chandler gave it everything he had. Among Vick's post imprisonment confessions was his admission of a lazy work ethic and unrealized potential due to his own lack of commitment. This is something to be celebrated?

No matter how you choose to frame it, one indisputable fact remains. What Michael Vick did ultimately wound up crippling the Falcons franchise and pouring salt into the wound of a festering racial divide that seemingly defines this city. He did this in a manner that still haunts the sub-conscience of this entire country. We, as Atlanta Falcons fans, were part of the collateral damage. Whether you were a paying season ticket holder or simply a kid with a #7 Vick jersey, the way you viewed and consumed all things Falcons was turned on its head. Only through the extreme fortune of making the absolute best hiring and personnel moves over the course of a 12-18 month period are we even amongst the world of the NFL living today. Say we hadn’t been able to reverse our fortunes so quickly? Would yesterdays reaction have been the same?

As a sports town, is it that we as a fan base simply have no long term memory? Lost in all of this which IMO was the most mind-boggling aspect of this whole charade. THOSE WERE THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES!!! Maybe I'm alone in this regard but outside our divisional brethren, I consider the Eagles our most hated rival. And in the midst of getting our tookus handed to us…we were cheering for them!!?? The last time we played them in the Dome ironically enough was that Monday Night opener in 2005. I’ve been to every game in the Dome since 2002 save for one and without a doubt, that game was the most fired up I’ve ever seen the Falcon faithful before and during a game. The fact that the opponent that night was the Eagles was not incidental. Yet here we were yesterday, cheering them on because one guy who should be but a distant memory by now was present and accounted for.

Yesterday, I didn't cheer for Vick. I didn’t boo him. I treated him as I would any other opponent. He was a member of a team trying to defeat the Falcons and as such, I acted and reacted accordingly. Whether the score was 0-0 or 34-0, it didn’t change my rooting interest. Not that I had to, but put yourself in the shoes of our guys on the sidelines listening to the crowd abandon them. Has the season gone as expected? No – we knew the schedule was going to be a challenge and as it turned out, even moreso with the rash of injuries and simply put general circumstances that can wreck havoc with a 16 game slate. But our guys deserved better than to hear the celebration of a fallen hero and relic from a long ago era. And we as a fanbase should have been above pouring salt into the wound of a season gone awry.

very well said

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