(Vick, as rendered by Derek Erdman)

Full disclosure time : I think dogs are awesome. They’re funny, sweet, loyal, and often provide better companionship / food for thought than a large percentage of this blog’s readership. AND THEY’RE CUDDLY. AWWWWWWWW. All of that said, I’m capable of separating the monstrous acts committed by Michael Vick from his paradigm-smashing skills as a QB ; at the height of his powers, Vick was without question the most exciting player in the NFL, and over the last two weeks subbing for the concussed Kevin Kolb, he’s shown more than a few flashes of what made him such a widely admired football player by persons of all races. I’m not forgiving or forgetting Vick’s unconscionable acts, but I’m not about to deny his artistry between the lines, either. And with that gushy admission out of the way, we turn to The Trentonian, whose CSTB-worthy Monday headline of “Dog Killer Starts First Game Since Leaving Prison” drew the considerable ire of the paper’s L.A. Parker, who warns Andy Reid, “Get ready to count your losses, because your team has no shot this year without your black Negro, dog-killin™, prison-serving quarterback.”

America, land of the free and home to Native American genocide, slavery, gender persecution, segregation, and a litany of other indiscretions that affected millions, appears hell-bent on repeatedly lynching Vick, retelling his dogfighting connection until he screams Uncle Tom.

All this talk about America turning some invisible corner because 53 percent of Americans elected our first black president is just that ” talk.

The City of Brotherly Love is where a fictitious Rocky Balboa receives more attention and street cred than the real former heavyweight champion of the world ” Smokin™ Joe Frazier.

Wilt Chamberlain deserves a Philly mural as high as the Comcast Center building, but œThe Stilt never will receive his well-deserved acclaim.

The wonderful experience of sports frequently offers instruction for social issues, a realism that makes Vick™s life incredibly worthwhile.

Vick™s life serves as microcosm for thousands of African-American men who made mistakes, suffered convictions, did prison time and then came back to a society unwilling to give them second or even third chances.

We have magnified Vick™s mistake to the point that his every action deserves inspection as if a smile, wink, frown or incomplete pass signifies criminal regression or personal progression.

Let me be perfectly clear — I’d probably not invite Michael Vick over to dog-sit. Not after asking around, anyway. But I’d also not put my team’s offense in the hands of the totally unproven Kevin Kolb after Vick has already demonstrated he’s hardly washed up. If Vick’s acolytes have a tough time with their hero’s status as a national pariah, too fuckin’ bad. That’s what happens when public figures do things the majority of persons find socially unacceptable. But none of that has much bearing on Andy Reid’s decision making process, otherwise Vick wouldn’t even be in uniform.