â†µFollowing the video of a guy driving a giant puppy bumper car while wearing a Vick Eagles jersey, it's the second unfortunate dog-Vick association this week and arrives just in time for tonight's game, in which Vick could see his first on-field action since Dec. 31, 2006. More such gags will come. It'll be a running joke until it gets old, like it did before. â†µâ†µ
â†µThe mural is unfortunate, no doubt, but I won't condemn it for the work of a dogfighting apologist. While it's playing on something that we know to be a sensitive issue, I'd argue the mural is more innocuous than the reaction that shocked (shocked!) people will probably have when seeing it. â†µ
â†µI say that for no other reason than the inclusion of the Cowboys logo on the dog. Because of that, it can be viewed as a poor attempt to counteract anticipated trash-talking. Fans of opposing teams will lay into Eagles fans throughout the year for harboring a former jailed dog fighter, the same way people get on Ravens fans for Ray Lewis' conviction of obstruction of justice in a murder case or any number of other high profile figures who've landed in hot water throughout the league. You love your team, you're supposed to love its players, warts and all. To me, and of course I could easily be misreading it, it comes off as a way of embracing the player by saying "yeah, we know what he did and we know you're gonna talk about it, so we're gonna go ahead and use it as a figure of intimidation." Because football fandom is full of threatening bravado like that. â†µâ†µ
â†µThat doesn't make it right, but it doesn't make it an endorsement of dogfighting either. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.