I wish I were a good enough writer to cobble together some coherent thoughts after the stunning news that broke this evening about the Eagles signing Michael Vick.
What you're going to get instead is pretty much a bunch of random thoughts going through my head...
** Let's start with the obvious. How will the fans react to the news? At 9: 03, I got the following text from my sister in Portland: Say it ain't so -- Michael Vick an Eagle? I have a feeling several thousand of you have the same feeling at this time. I've already received multiple angry e-mails from readers. It's tough to remember an athlete who was universally despised as much as Vick following the dogfighting scandal. Do others agree with Andy Reid and Tony Dungy that Vick has served his debt to society and deserves a second chance? This isn't exactly a forgiving fan base. But then again, if he does all the right things, plays well and helps the Eagles win, will it change peoples' opinions?
** On the field is interesting. Does this mean Kevin Kolb's injury is more serious than we were led to believe? Is Vick coming on board as a backup quarterback? Or is it the whole He's a football player. We'll find a way to use him mentality? We saw the Eagles use DeSean Jackson in the Wildcat during training camp and last year. Will Vick be used in that role?
** How does Donovan McNabb feel about the news? You have to think he OK'd the move. McNabb said during camp that he believed Vick deserved a second chance and shouldn't have to face any further punishment from the league. Let's be clear. Vick hasn't been on the field since the end of the 2006 season. There's no way he's anywhere near the quarterback McNabb is right now. But if No. 5 has a couple bad games in a row, don't think that some fans won't be calling for Vick to come in.
** The last game Vick played, ironically, was in Philadelphia at the end of the 2006 season. The Eagles won, 24-17. That was the Jeff Garcia year. The starters didn't play because they had already clinched a playoff berth. Vick split time with Matt Schaub and went 8-for-14 for 81 yards and a touchdown. He also carried three times for 17 yards. I remember being in my buddy Lemur's house as we watched that game on New Year's Eve.
** Let it never again be said that this organization does not take risks. T.O. a few years ago and now Vick. Two of the most controversial football players of this era. For two totally different reasons. And both will have put on the Eagles' uniform when all is said and done.
** I remember at training camp asking Les Bowen if this was the craziest training camp/preseason he'd ever seen. He told me the T.O. doing sit-ups year was a little crazier, but I have to think he might have a different answer tonight.
** My buddy C-Nast e-mailed last week and said if the Eagles signed Vick, he'd be one of the best-selling jerseys in the NFL. I disagreed. I guess this goes back to the first question, but just wondering if you'd ever think about wearing his name on your back.
** Shocked. Absolutely shocked. We were doing our live chat when someone sent a link from Bleacher Report. I thought nothing of it. Then friend and loyal MTC reader Bener texted me asking if I heard the rumors. He said he just read it on a message board, and I thought nothing of it. But as soon as it was reported on ESPN, the chatters started buzzing. Got the link to the online article. The DN confirmed it from Joe Banner. And people started going crazy on Twitter. I feel like I'll never go more than 10 seconds again without knowing when major sports news breaks.
** Below are some video highlights of Vick if you've forgotten what he was like as a player. Keep in mind, this was awhile ago. Vick turned 29 last month.