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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vick to the Eagles - Good Move

After much speculation, Michael Vick has gone from crashing as a Falcon, to resurrecting himself as an Eagle in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love. It's almost prophetic. This is a low-risk, high-reward move by the Eagles.
Vick, the much-maligned 29 year-old and former all-pro, who was imprisoned after his conviction for running a dog-fighting ring, has a two-year deal with the Eagles. Year one is a $1.8million deal, with a club option for year two at over $5 million. Meaning any problems and it's bye-bye Vick. Think of how motivated Vick is. Hard to imagine anyone more motivated than this former star.
I like this signing.
First, Vick is an incredible athlete, or he was before going into the Big House. This gives Eagle opponents another weapon to prepare for. In the ultra-competitive NFC east - any edge is welcome. Obviously he brings the Wildcat option to the table, but could also play tailback, receiver and even back up McNabb - in emergency situations or in scrub time. He comes cheap and by getting him now, you prevent him from lining up against you.
Make no mistake - this is McNabb's team - the addition of Vick in no way imperils McNabb's status as the face and quarterback of the franchise. Vick will make an already deeply-talented team even better. A team that reached the NFC Championship game last season. The Eagles just became deeper at offensive skill positions. I believe Vick brings added value as a great practice player - the defense will have to work harder to account for him on the field - in the long run, the defense will be better on game day because of him.

Off the field I fully expect Vick to be a model teammate and citizen. He knows what he lost and I doubt he has any foolishness left in him after suffering the public humiliation of stupendous past decisions.

In the beginning, there will be those who will try to bash and discredit him - but that will fade away as Vick performs and stays clean and proper. He'll prove himself a changed man. He and the team only need to withstand the initial, predictable outpouring of the holier-than-thou who will want bash, trash and attention-grab. After that, you can't keep trashing Vick for his past. To forgive is divine, right? Eventually he'll be forgiven, or he becomes the victim. Sympathy will fall on him if people don't allow him room to grow. No one is saying what he did was right - we all know it wasn't. Vick admitted guilt, did his time, and is trying to get his life back together using his greatest skill - his athleticism. He deserves that chance. Everyone deserves a second chance.

In the roughest division in football - the NFC East - he could be a difference maker. I cannot wait to see what Vick, arguably the league’s most motivated player, will have to show us on the field.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Top Sports Movies of All-Time

There's been many sports movies churned out by Hollywood. Many under-achieve, like FOR LOVE OF THE GAME. A brilliant idea dumbed down by putting Coster on a pedestal. For all those that fall short, there are unforgettable classics. The sports movie is an American institution, so here is my top-15 starter list - in no particular order.

RUDY - Maybe the greatest American sports movie ever made.
MAJOR LEAGUE - "Juuuust a bit outside..." Cannot beat this movie.
CADDYSHACK - Set the standard for sports comedies.
ROCKY - Perhaps the all-time classic sports movie.
SLAP SHOT - The Hanson Brothers, Newman in a leather suit and a GTO. Brilliant.
EIGHT MEN OUT - Great take on the tragic and true story. Shoeless Joe Jackson mourns.
REMEMBER THE TITANS - Classic coming of age/football story. If you weren't moved, you may not be human.
ROCKY 2 - Very strong sequel - very tough to do.
PREFONTAINE - Great true story and the beginning of the Nike Empire - it's set in the Northwest, where I am from, so it rings true.
THE NATURAL - A classic - my least favorite on the list - yes I'm acknowledging it's relevance.
The SANDLOT - hilarious take from the kids point of view - an underrated classic.
JAWS (if your consider fishing a sport)
JERRY MAGUIRE - Cruise/Crowe showing us the money.
TIN CUP - Costner at his best.
MIRACLE ON ICE - Perhaps one of the greatest sports stories ever told - the young US Olympic hockey team taking on the Soviets at the height of Cold War tensions. This was more than a game, it was America climbing back on top.