So, yeah, Santonio Holmes wore a Michael Vick Eagles jersey on Thursday night after the Steelers/Titans game. The story here? That there isn’t much of a story. Blogs that have covered this have nearly unanimously said that it’s not a big deal, and we can’t really disagree. Vick and Holmes are buddies; they share an agent, profession, and union. Why wouldn’t friends support each other?
In fact, the real only criticism of the move seems to be of Holmes’ fashion sense. As someone who has been known to wear a jersey to a game (but nowhere else), we’re not going to pile on there. But my, how far we’ve come in the few short months since Vick was released from prison.
Remember the near-unanimous outrage from nearly all corners of the media world when the idea of Vick returning to NFL action was broached? It took only three months for Vick to go from NFL Public Enemy Number One to just another backup with a shady past. Even PETA can’t muster up the outrage to put together a coherent protest these days.
Have NFL fans mostly forgiven Vick? Have they found new, shinier things to get outraged about? Or could it be that, in general, people just don’t really care what athletes do in their spare time as long as they can deliver victory, or at least an entertaining performance? Maybe Al Davis was right all along - “just win, baby,” and everything else will be OK.
The NFL has players who have killed people and dogs, hit women, taken drugs, trafficked cocaine….and by and large no one cares. Is there something a player could do that would be so egregious, so reprehensible, that there would be no coming back? Probably not. Just win, baby, indeed.