It’s a bad thing to take joy in the misery of others, it is, but on occasion I simply cannot help myself. After watching what was supposed to be the Philadelphia Eagles, the “Dream Team” of the National Football League playing against the nightmare that is the Cleveland Browns, I came away with the simple yet joyous conclusion that Mike Vick was going to be injured again, and it was going to be The Injury. And it was going to be soon.
Mike Vick most glaring and obvious flaw is stupidity. The cruelty and amorality he can and he does hide behind his public relations people but you can’t fix stupid. It is also very hard to hide. Why the NFL decided to allow a convicted felon back into the league confounds me. It was a stupid thing to do. But to allow back in uniform someone whose brain seems to have been injured severely by watching sentient creatures tear each other apart is just plain, well, stupid. It’s hard to hide that mistake. Putting him down will relieve us all of this misery and embarrassment.
The Baltimore Ravens will reveal this to be the One Word of Truth Sunday.
Unlike the Browns, last year the Ravens were a special teams play, one play, away from making it to the Super Bowl. The Eagles’ season ended with a Mike Vick throwing an interception in the end zone to end any possible hope of making the playoffs at all. Last season Vick lamented the tag “Dream Team” but even before this season began he was mouthing off about a “Dynasty”. In NFL terms that means winning three or four Super bowls in three or four seasons. If you can’t make the playoffs it would be stupid to think you’re going to start a dynasty.
The Ravens feel cheated. They left the party early and hungry. Chief among those men feeling hungry and cheated would be inside linebacker Ray Lewis. This is a man who for the past dozen or so years has made a very good living making other teams look bad. Lewis doesn’t speak of dreams or of dynasties. Lewis hasn’t a lot to say about any subject. Watch this man before the game starts and he looks all the world like a man getting more and more amped up with each second. Once the game begins he explodes. Ray Lewis is facing down the clock and he intends to make each and every play count. Ray intends to make someone pay.
The fragile and stupid Mike Vick will face off against the hungry and angry Ray Lewis Sunday.
Back a couple of seasons ago Atlanta Falcons’ Coach Mike Smith said playing against the Ravens was the most intense game of his career. He said it was the ultimate feat to win against a team like that caliber. (You may remember that Vick went from Atlanta to convict.) Now Vick plays against the Ravens on Sunday, and the Eagles coach, Andy Reid, has some issues of his own. Reid is a very capable and competent coach whose personal life is something I won’t bring up here. I will say I don’t think his head or heart is still in the game. Larger issues loom here. And Vick is going to need all of the help he can get Sunday.
There will be none.
Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh is a no nonsense defensive genius who will see Vick as not only a one trick pony but a lame one. He will devise a scheme that leaves a large hole in the field for Vick to run into. In that hole Harbaugh will have Ray Lewis waiting. There will be a hard hit. It will be over. The hell that has been a televised dog fighting felon will come to an end Sunday. It will not be a pretty sight. If last Sunday was any indication at all of this Sunday, the Ravens are going to land squarely on Mike Vick and they are going to hurt him.
I’m not going to hedge my bets with that “any given Sunday” crap. I’m not going to sit here and tell you anything can happen because I have been watching football for most of my life, hell, I’ve studied the game. I know a good team when I see it. I know a bad team, a morally bereft team, when I see one. I know fear when I see it, and Mike Vick is showing every sign on earth of being terrified. It’s not a fear of losing, or getting hurt, or his career ending. Mike Vick is afraid that when the end does come there will not be anything left for him anywhere else on earth. Mike Vick sees karma coming his way. It is wearing a purple jersey. The number 52 is on the jersey. Pain will follow. Fear, in the end, may be the only sign of intelligence left in what was once a human being.
The thing I hate the most here is I will feel pleasure at watching Vick lie on the field holding his broken body and in agony. I cannot deny this. I wish I could feel compassion for him or empathy or even some other feeling at all, or none at all, but to see that man’s career ending in pain, I have to admit I feel nothing but pleasure at the thought.
That makes Mike Vick and I similar in a way that I cannot stand, but the difference between Mike Vick and myself is I know the feeling is wrong.
And that, is the one word of truth here.