I feel kinda bad for the people who will have to watch if Michael Vick does make an appearance at the Georgia Dome when the Falcons face the Saints on Sunday.
Those who hate Vick and were disgusted at what he did to man’s best friend will likely feel more disgust after the former Falcons quarterback gets his fair share of cheers. I assure you that a good portion of the Atlanta crowd cares more about Vick the player than they do about Vick, the dog killer.
Not me. I stopped being a fan of his when the dog fighting news broke back in the day. And I’m sure I will see many fans who hate Vick and take the time to make signs making that hatred public knowledge.
It’s just that football fans are really good at forgiving and forgetting, especially when the player in need of forgiveness is a superstar. Or in Vick’s case, was a superstar.
He is done as an NFL player. And while he never even took Atlanta or any of his other teams to a Super Bowl, he was one of the most exciting players in NFL history.
And diehard Falcons fans have not forgotten all the electric moments he provided inside the Georgia Dome. A building that is not long for this world as the new stadium opens up in 2017.
Even though the Falcons have not released an official list of former players they plan to honor at the ceremony on Sunday, Vick’s name has caused quite the controversy. A petition has gathered over 20,000 names to try to block him from returning to the Dome.
“By inviting Michael Vick to participate in a ceremony on Sunday, the Falcons are honoring a convicted dogfighter who profited from cruelty to animals for years,” the page reads. “Please sign this petition and let the Falcons know that NFL fans do not support Vick and do not condone his actions.”
There is something to be said for forgiving and forgetting. New Year’s Day is a good time to do just that. Mike Vick did pay for his crimes with a stint in prison, huge financial losses, and public scorn. But understandably, many feel that he can never atone for the cruelty he and his crew perpetrated on innocent pets.
These folks don’t want Vick anywhere near the team that he wrecked due to his behavior. I agree with that sentiment.
I don’t hate Vick. I truly hope he has changed. Still, I’m not going to let him take any of my four dogs for a walk.
Nor will I stand up and cheer on Sunday from my nosebleed seats at the Dome.
Just rest assured I will be in the slight minority as Vick supporters will give him love if he does, in fact, show his face at the Georgia Dome for the last regular season game ever at the venue.