My ’49er Fandom is Threatened (Rare Sports Post)

My San Francisco ‘49er fandom is in serious jeopardy after my reading of an article on ProFootballTalk.com in which the writers speculate that my beloved franchise could show interest in disgraced Atlanta Falcons QB and convicted felon Michael Vic. Vic, as you well know, has not yet been returned to society, much less the NFl after being convicted on charges related to dog fighting.

As a fan, I am bothered for three main reasons:

1. The franchise is at a point where it will define its future. With a new head coach in Mike Singletary and with a newly-energized ownership group, the ‘49ers do not need to set a course of bringing in problem players for a quick jolt of talent. The team needs to be built the right way if it will be able to stand in the future.

2. Vic’s crime is ugly, and it indicates a lack of character. This is not just a one night mistake in which Vic ended up at the wrong party doing the wrong things with the wrong people. There is no woopsie here. He built dog fighting rings at his house!

3. Vic stinks! He cannot throw from the pocket. He runs at the drop of a hat. He shows no leadership potential. Yes, he’s fast; so what. Tons of other happy-footed QBs have come and gone from the league without offering anything resembling a winning record. Vic does not bring any good to the table.
I sat by and watched my beloved franchise implode during the salary cap purgatory of the late 90s and early 00s. I put up with Terrell Owens, though I almost jumped ship on numerous occasions. But I promise you, if Vic becomes my QB, I will do away with my red and gold and will find someone else to support.

Do I expect you care? Not really, but I just wanted to get this off my chest. I feel better now.

The article: http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/02/17/niners-in-the-mix-for-vick/

6 thoughts on “My ’49er Fandom is Threatened (Rare Sports Post)”

  1. I understand your reasoning, but is #3 really all that necessary, if you are going to object on a moral standard. Or, if he could throw accurately from the pocket with a strong arm and run like he does, would you feel better about getting his rights?

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  2. So, would there be anything he could do to warrant a second chance? Take the minimum salary? Donate a certain percentage to animal shelters? Show a real change of heart – spiritually? Or, in your opinion, should his professional football career just be done?

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  3. You know, I’m not exactly sure what would be an appropriate turn-around to make me be able to want Vic as a part of my favorite team. One problem is that many of the moves that would make him look good can so easily be coached by a PR department that they would all be difficult to trust. This would include spiritual-sounding statements, financial giving to charities, volunteering of time, and remorseful speeches.OK, this is just off the top of my head, but here is what I would want to see if I were truly analyzing the situation:• Total separation between Vic and his former friends.• Believable apology for wrongs committed (not “mistakes” but something stronger in the wording that shows an understanding of the fact that he is to blame for his faults)• The seeking of a single-season contract at the league minimum salary with incentives for quality play and an extra-strong personal behavior clause (total humility here without any expression of being owed anything by anyone)• Voluntary acceptance of a mentor who can help him to avoid foolish decisionsI’m not sure if there would be more I would add to the list, but that is a start. By the way, as a sports fan, I still do not think that his skill level would convince me that I want him on my team anyway. Though, he might make an interesting running back or receiver. The real key would be to see if, over time, he proved that he had changed. As a fan of a particular franchise, I would be unhappy to see my particular franchise take a risk on him.He would, however, make a fine Dallas Cowboy. **I just looked at your comment once more, and the question of whether or not his pro career should be over is more interesting as I ponder it. I think it might actually depend from whose angle I was looking.On the one hand: We want to be as gracious as possible, and he will have paid his debt to society legally. All of us have done stupid, even intentionally stupid, things in the past. Other men have been allowed back into the league after drug and alcohol and domestic violence convictions, which are far more likely to be mimicked by others than is Vic’s dog-fighting. On the other hand: He knowingly violated the League’s code of conduct and damaged the reputation of the NFL as a corporation as well as himself and the Falcons franchise. Other athletes have been given lifetime bans for crimes that are in Vic’s range. Would it not do harm to the league to allow such a person to again be employed by the NFL?I would not want to be in the shoes of the league commissioner having to make the decision as to whether or not he should be allowed to play again.

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  4. What would you think about this scenario? I do not know anything about NFL contracts, so this may not even be allowed. What if these types of conduct offenders (Vick, Pacman Jones, etc.) had to complete at least one full season on a team’s practice squad before being eligible for another spot on a regular roster. It is my understanding that practice squads get paid very little, relatively speaking. They get next to no publicity. The same conduct policy would have to be in place for the practice squad. If they mess up during their time on the practice squad, they could forfeit their chance to ever make the actual team roster.Or, just send them to the practice squad and let them know that is going to be the closest to the NFL they are going to get.

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  5. I like the idea. It has the right amount of grace and right level of a call to prove one’s self.I can’t, however, see it happening Generally, ownership is eager to take advantage of any talent to his fullest, regardless of the potential pitfalls.It would be interesting to see the commissioner come up with a service program, including practice squad eligibility, that all offenders of league policies would have to go through if their offenses were of a certain level.

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