Vicktory for the Eagles

Michael Vick has climbed the mountain, yet again. The NFL’s most ironic underdog is back at the top.

Yesterday, Michael Vick signed his second $100 million contract of his career. This time, it’s a flat $100 million with around 40 of it guaranteed. For someone who not only fell off the peak mountain but fell off of it and landed on his head, this is incredible.

Even though signing Michael Vick to a long-term deal is as risky as a rich white man taking a walk in Compton, this is a contract that is absolutely necessary for the Philadelphia Eagles organization.

On this blog I like to hate on the big bad contracts. I do it because they have such a high likelihood of blowing down the foundation of a franchise. Big bad contracts tend to carry a lot of risk. Big bad contracts can unnecessarily tie up salary that could be better utilized elsewhere.

However, this time, the Eagles had to pay Vick.

The Eagles had to do this after they handed the franchise over to the Underdog when they traded away Kevin Kolb. Look at it this way, Kolb is getting $20 million guaranteed and he has hardly done a thing.

At 31, Michael Vick has proven that he is an elite NFL quarterback.

You can’t always go with the safe bet. Low risk and high reward cannot always be the strategy. Elite NFL quarterbacks don’t come along very often. The Eagles are loading up on talent for the next half decade but without a leader the team would have been driving down the highway with the brakes on.

Now, it’s full steam ahead.

$100 million sounds like a lot for a 31-year-old, oft injured quarterback. In fact, $100 million is a lot for a 31-year-old, oft injured quarterback. Nevertheless, this oft injured quarterback is too special. In Philadelphia, he has received the love as a modern-day Rocky Balboa all while wearing his very own Superman cape.

In 12 games last season he threw for over 3000 yards, had a passer rating of 100.6 and rushed for 56.3 yards a game. If you’re the Eagles, there was no way that you were going to let something that special slip through your fingers.

The Eagles are praying to God each and every night that Michael Vick stays healthy. And at 31, there’s no reason to believe he will be slowing down anytime soon if he stays healthy.

Although they drastically contrast in styles, Peyton Manning is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league at age 36. Kurt Warner led his team to a Super Bowl appearance in his late 30’s. And it doesn’t seem that long but Tom Brady has reached the age of 34.

The Eagles pushed most of their chips in when they made their big splashes this off-season. There was no other choice than to go all-in with Michael Vick. They were pot committed.

This isn’t the case of a diva in disguise wide receiver who wanted nothing more than to have his ego fed. Michael Vick deserves the money he is getting. As the only man who can lead his team to the Promised Land, Michael Vick has earned his keep.

Related: Larry Fitzgerald is Only a Wide Receiver

Larry Fitzgerald might have earned his keep but he sure didn’t do what is best for his team. Michael Vick has kept more than his own interests in mind since joining the Eagles. He did everything that he was asked to and, as player who plays the most important position in the game of football, he is getting rewarded for it.

Try and justify Larry Fitzgerald getting $10 million more in guaranteed money than the game’s most electrifying quarterback. You can’t do it.

Vick’s contract seems like a bargain when you compare it with Fitzgerald’s. But bargain or not, this was a deal that had to be done.

It was a no-brainer to the Philadelphia Eagles that signing Michael Vick straight out of the slammer was the right decision. It was also a no brainer for the Philadelphia Eagles to make Michael Vick a $100 million man, once again.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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The Mirage of Plaxico Burress

Plaxico Burress is the mirage of a bright blue oasis in the scorching desert. Everything about it seems perfect until that horrible moment when you realize it was just an illusion.

Burress is primed for a comeback of epic proportions. Michael Vick has already paved the road for future convicts. Vick didn’t lose a step while he sat in a jail cell. The Plaxico mirage tells us that he hasn’t lost a step either.

For a team that needs a big play threat, Plaxico Burress seems like a great fit. The price tag won’t be a problem and he will almost certainly be determined to prove to the world that he still has it. Plaxico Burress’ situation is set up as the perfect sequel to Michael Vick’s “Cinderella: The Incarcerated Athlete.”

As we know all too well though, looks can be deceiving. The fact that both Vick and Burress served a similar jail term has overshadowed their considerably different circumstances.

The age factor is too much to ignore. Plaxico Burress is an old man. He will be 34 before the NFL’s 2011 season begins. Burress may be primed for a comeback but he is far from the prime of his career.

Michael Vick was 29 when he started his comeback. Some of his best years were taken away from him.

The last of Plaxico Burress’ best years were spent in prison. Burress’ chances to buck the trend of receivers declining severely in their mid-30’s is small at best. Randy Moss is the NFL’s most recent example of an aging star receiver’s freefall. Not coincidentally, the enigmatic Hall of Famer will be entering the season at the tender age of 34.

Before Burress’ season was cut short in 2008, he was on pace for his lowest receiving total in a full season since the 2003-04 season. His average yards per catch were the lowest since his rookie season. His long reception of 33 yards and his 1.6 YAC were the lowest of his career.

That was 3 years ago.

The fans and media are always game for a good Cinderella story. Plaxico Burress may never be the belle of the ball but his story is still compelling. Like Vick, people will want to see him succeed.

Take it to the bank. There’s going to be more stretching going on than a leotard in a Richard Simmons video. Stretching to find reasons for why Burress will thrive in his comeback.

The possible explanations will go on and on. Plaxico’s body didn’t face the weekly pounding of an NFL season. The man wants to prove himself. His time in prison helped him re-focus.

It won’t matter what type of man Burress has turned into.

This story isn’t about taking a chance on a player carrying baggage so heavy that he has to pay for an extra ticket on his flight. That isn’t the problem. Baggage shouldn’t even be an issue if the potential reward is high enough as displayed last season by guys like Santonio Holmes, Brandon Marshall, Antonio Cromartie and, of course, Michael Vick.

Related: Naughty or Nice?

The risk of bringing in Plaxico Burress doesn’t present the potential of reaping in some serious reward.

History, statistics and the law are all saying that it would be silly to bring in Plaxico Burress. There are better routes to explore in the quest to find a big play wide receiver.

The team that signs Plaxico Burress will feel obligated to play him. He will be given every opportunity because of his past. Randy Moss was given every chance imaginable last year in Tennessee.

Plaxico Burress won’t be the piece to put a team over the top. He will be the anchor that weighs them down. Prison isn’t going do to Plaxico Burress what it did to Michael Vick. It doesn’t work that way.

The mirage of Plaxico Burress will be too enticing for some teams to turn their back on. Luckily, only one team will have to suffer the consequences of the gamble.

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Brett Favre Epitomizes Why We Put Up With Superstars

At 41 years of age Brett Favre is not having his best season in Minnesota

By: Chris Ross

Sexting, sex addiction, dog fighting, careless gun handling and everything else in between always give people something to talk about around the water cooler. Athlete and superstar haters want to question our morals when we put up with this behaviour, but on Sunday afternoon Brett Favre showed us why you can’t blame us for accepting these “heroes.”

For the past two weeks, the story that I’m sure any football fan or gossip lover has heard about are the rumours surrounding Brett Favre’s apparent attempted “seduction” of former New York Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger. The fact that Brett Favre supposedly did these deeds is not the only surprise, but our notion of Favre as the simple, likeable, country family man was essentially crushed by these allegations. Many people have shown their disgust for Favre and have even gone to such extreme measures as jumping off his fan-train.

Favre gives every reason for people to hate on him with his constant wishy-washy retirement soap-opera, but on the field he makes you forget about everything else. Sunday night, amidst all the controversy, cortisone shot to nullify his elbow tendonitis and the hype surrounding the “Panic Bowl,” Favre led the Vikings to a 24-21 victory in a game that could end up being the biggest of their season.

It wasn’t his statistics that were most impressive though (14-19, 118 yds, 1 TD, 106.9 passer rating), it was all the other things that we constantly take for granted when watching Brett Favre. Throughout the game, Favre was consistently hit, knocked down, and hurried by the front four of the Cowboy’s defence.

Troy Aikman during the broadcast just seemed in awe of the ability of Favre to keep getting back up hit after hit and game after game. We all know about his Cal Ripken-like streak of consecutive games, and to keep it going at 41 years of age is something we might never again see in sports. If you don’t respect him as a person, you have to respect the way he plays. He puts it on the line every game and is one of the most electrifying players that the game has seen.

Up by 3 points with time winding down in the biggest game of the year, Favre attempted a throw to Randy Moss in the end zone against double coverage. Most players couldn’t fathom making that throw under normal circumstances, but with the game on the line Favre didn’t think twice and made a perfect pass that only Moss could catch and probably one that he should have come up with. The gunslinger, a risk taker, that’s what Favre is.

Should we be expecting anything less from the man known on the field as a risk taker and daredevil? Guys like Brett Favre have their lives revolving around risk taking, it’s in their nature and there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes that we don’t hear about. I can guarantee you sexting isn’t the worst of it.

Current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick gave a middle finger to fans during his time in Atlanta, was sent to prison for dog fighting, and yet we are still cheer the “Underdog.”.

The thing is, I think you can make a legitimate case for Michael Vick being the most electrifying quarterback of all-time. Obviously not the bes, but the most exhilarating to watch. If you don’t agree with that assessment that’s fine, however there is no denying how exciting he is to watch, which is why fans tune in each week just to watch Vick play since the day he became the starter in Atlanta.

When these superstar athletes are producing and entertaining us fans on the field, we can pretend to be appalled by their indiscretions off the field, but in reality we could care less. Once these guys stop entertaining and thrilling us on the field, their off the field issues suddenly become less prominent and thus a relative non-issue. Either way we don’t really bother ourselves with what they’re doing off the field.

Would you care if it was Kellen Clemens who had sexted Jenn Sterger?

The NFL has to show some authority by putting forth an investigation in the Brett Favre saga. Despite that, you know that Roger Goodell doesn’t mind it as long as it doesn’t mean he has to suspend Favre.

Brett Favre + Sexting + Fans + Green Bay Packers = Big Fat Ratings. Now that’s the NFL’s kind of mathematical equation

On Sunday night Brett Favre was tough, resilient, victorious and most importantly entertaining. He exemplified everything it means to be a superstar athlete, leader and hero. You wonder why we put up with superstar athletes; well just take a look at Brett Favre’s resume.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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When will they ever learn?

Michael Vick looks to be in trouble with the law again

In the past decade, professional sports has been a revolving door for players who are repeatedly involved in off-field incidents and it seems that this trend is going to continue.

Today, more details were released with regards to the shooting that occurred after Michael Vick’s birthday bash last Thursday night.

It was initially thought that Vick left the nightclub w,here his “ALL WHITE 30th birthday bash” was taking place, at least 10 maybe 20 minutes before the shooting occurred. However, time stamped video shows that Vick left the nightclub at around 2:07am and that the shots rang at about the 2:10am mark.

The shooting victim has now been confirmed to be Quanis Phillips, a party attendee and a co-defendant of Vick’s in the federal dog fighting case. Vick is not a suspect in the shooting, but part of his probation states that he is not allowed to have contact with anyone convicted of a felony unless granted permission by his probation officer. Vick claims that he did not invite Phillips and that he did not associate with him at the party.

No one right now knows the real story behind this but time and again we are seeing the same athletes unable to stay out of trouble off of the field.

It is possible that this incident is going to spell the end for Vick’s NFL career as the NFL has said that they have a zero tolerance policy with regards to Michael Vick’s case. Even if this incident wasn’t Vick’s fault or wrongdoing, the fact is that athletes are constantly putting themselves in situations where they are almost asking for trouble. As Colin Cowherd says, “nothing good ever happens at 2 in the morning.”

It would seem like it is about time that these players start to shape up and get with the program? Sure doesn’t look like it to me. I think that the small percentage of professional athletes that get in the news for their off the field altercations are always going to be around and that is something that is not going to change.

You would think that these people would learn from their own but also from watching the mistakes made by other athletes. I always wonder why they don’t learn, but what I think many of us fail to consider, is that change is not as easy as it looks or sounds. My question is whether these athletes are mentally capable of stopping themselves. This is not an attack on these athletes’ intelligence, rather it is a question of overcoming inborn personality traits and characteristics that lead them in the direction of their oblivious decision making.

It is mind boggling to see professional athletes willingly throw away fame and fortune.

If you are over the age of 15 I am sure you have heard a bit about the Nature vs. Nurture debate. Well, I’m a big believer that nature prevails in most situations. There is no doubt that nurture plays a fairly large part in the development of a person but in the end you cannot change who you are. You may be able to change your appearance to society and those around you, but in the end your true colours will eventually triumph. Just ask Tiger Woods.

Adam “Pacman” Jones is a prime example of a talented athlete who was given repeated opportunities to reconcile but decided not to take advantage of them. Jones’ legacy could very well end up being the professional athlete that couldn’t get away from strip clubs.

Pacman was drafted 6th overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2005 NFL draft but missed most of training camp due to a contract dispute. Apparently the Titans were concerned with several off the field incidents that happened shortly after the draft. This included a fight that put him on probation.

Then in April of 2007, after Pacman’s breakout sophomore season, he was suspended one year for numerous off-field altercations. In 2008 was traded to Dallas where during the season he was suspended for four games because of a dispute with his bodyguard. Later, in January of 2009, the Cowboys announced they would release Jones after officials learned that he was a suspect in a June 2007 shooting outside a Las Vegas strip club.

Pacman was given more than enough opportunities to succeed and leave himself financially set for the rest of his life but against better judgement he decided to take a different route.

Needless to say, but Ben Roethlisberger drinks like a champion

Another star who has had a number of incidents is Big Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben has had not one but two incidents involving women who have accused him of sexual assault. As an observer from the outside you figure one time isn’t so bad, it could just be a crazy woman looking for some attention. However, when you hear the same allegations twice you do not give the same leeway to a person. Roethlisberger will be suspended for the first six games of the upcoming NFL season. Big Ben is also well known for his hard partying ways.

The jury is still out on Ben Roethlisberger as he already has two super bowls to his name despite his problems off the field.

One other guy I want to mention is Tennessee Titan quarterback Vince Young who has also had a number of issues off the field. Despite some of his early on-field success, Young went missing for a bit in 2008 because he was upset over being booed by Titan fans and spraining his left MCL in his knee. Young almost lost his job but was kept on and had a nice little comeback season last year after being reinstated as the team’s starting quarterback. But this past offseason Vince Young got into a fight at a nightclub with a person who allegedly made some derogatory remarks about his alma mater Texas Longhorns.

So yet again, just when it looked like Vince Young was turning the corner and becoming more mature he, like so many others, regressed back to his old ways.

Yes it is true that maybe Vince Young was provoked. Maybe Michael Vick didn’t do anything wrong at his own birthday bash. Maybe Ben Roethlisberger did not rape these women. Maybe Pacman was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I don’t buy any of those maybe’s but even if they aren’t true there is no denying the fact that these players are putting themselves in a position to get in trouble. Is it really that hard to avoid a nightclub or a strip club. It’s great to have fun but why would you ever risk all the things that you have worked so hard for in your life just for a bit of entertainment?

They all talk the talk and say that they are going to rescind their old reckless ways, but walking the walk is a whole other beast.

Why the —- is Michael Vick going to a nightclub for his birthday. When you’re under the kind of scrutiny that Michael Vick is under it is completely nonsensical to do that.

Is it that these guys think that they’re stars and feel invincible?


But as I said earlier I think that it is more to do with athletes unable to resist. Unable to resist the temptations of being a star, the spotlight, and everything else that the life of a professional athlete has to offer. I think that they are people who live off the adrenaline of life. It is who they are and it is how they get to the top of their profession. They can’t force themselves to make the smart decision.

Michael Vick, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Ben Roethlisberger, Vince Young, Tiger Woods, Plaxico Burress, the list goes on. If you’re asking yourself when will they ever learn?

The simple answer is probably never.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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