Sports has made me a hypocrite. Why? Because I'm a Philadelphia Eagles fan. You know where this is headed.
Like everyone else with the ability to discern right from wrong, I was appalled at Michael Vick's dog fighting scandal when that news broke. As more and more became known about the atrocities that he participated in, I was even more disgusted. He deserved everything he got. The prison time. The bankruptcy. Everything.
When Vick was released from prison, I knew he would play in the NFL again, and I was sure it would be this season. There's always a team that's willing to take a chance if they think it will help them win. I just didn't think it'd be "my" team. I was very surprised when I heard that he'd signed with the Eagles, and even more surprised when I heard that Donovan McNabb was the one who approached management with the idea. I figured that if he played it would be for a team with a history of signing players with baggage, like the Cowboys or the Raiders.
My initial response was shock. I couldn't believe the Eagles were taking a chance like this. Not after the Terrell Owens debacle anyway. But that only lasted a short while, and then I bought into it. I started thinking about how Vick might be able to help my team win games, and the prospect made me feel better about the upcoming season. So now I'm hoping he performs well. I have to. Either that or renounce my team, and I'm not willing to do that.
Had he signed with any other team, I'd probably still refer to him as the dog killer. Especially if it was the Cowboys. Now that he's on "my" team, I argue that he deserves a second chance. After all, I'd like to think that if I ever screwed up that I'd be able to do my time and be able to get a job doing something in the same field I was trained in (See how easy that is for me to rationalize? Not that I'd screw up as badly as he did, but still).
And that's why I'm a hypocrite. But at least I didn't take it as far as one Eagles fan who was asked about how he felt about Vick being on the team. His response was more along the lines of: Well, he didn't kill my dog.