After two years in the joint, a lengthy suspension, and every other bit of trouble that’s nipped at his ankles until he electrocuted them - what, too soon? - it looks like Michael Vick’s path to relevance is clear.
We mentioned earlier today that Vick and Roger Goodell were meeting about his eligibility for the upcoming season; speculation ran to the point that we thought Vick might be ready to rock for the season opener. But as Goodell just announced to Peter King and other, slightly less sycophantic reporters, he decided to grant full reinstatement to Vick for the Eagles’ week 3 game against Kansas City. It’s a substantial step up from the Week 6 ceiling Goodell had earlier set, but perhaps that’s the point; let him think he’s in for a month, and two week’s going to seem downright lenient.
As you could expect, THE 700 LEVEL is all over the story:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just announced […] that Vick will be reinstated in time for the Birds’ third game versus the Kansas City Chiefs, adding, “We are looking for a success story here.” The announcement comes just hours after a meeting with Vick today at the team’s hotel where they are staying in anticipation of their final preseason game against the Jets.
Well, that’s as positive of language as we’ve heard out of Goodell in some time; usually, he’s doing things like handing out fines to Chad Ochocinco for his orange chinstrap. But if Goodell’s really after a “success story,” then yes, putting Vick on the field before Week 6 is the best way to do that.
So the real question is, what good does it do to keep Vick out for the first two games? Certainly, he probably wouldn’t have played much in either game to begin with as he gets back into game shape; someone with Vick’s surreal athleticism can’t just ease his way back into Usain Bolting his way down the field after two years out of the game. And that’s not even getting into the playbook aspect.
But it’s a serious question: why does Goodell think Vick deserved a two-game suspension? What negative behavior is he trying to deter? Is this still about Vick’s false statements to Goodell two years ago? Because really, if the commissioner’s going to hand out multiple game suspensions to every player who lies to him, well, the NFL’s about to suck.