In a short while the name of the player to adorn the Madden NFL 12 video game cover will be announced (ESPN 2, 4 PM, SportsNation). After over 10 million votes via ESPN, the finalists are down to Eagles QB Michael Vick and Browns RB Peyton Hillis.
Ironically, this is often not a good thing. Those who have graced the cover have more often come up lame than showed game.
Whether you believe in curses or not, this year it’s down to these two. I find this interesting relative to how a lot of folks view America…as a country of immediate gratification…and short memories.
Hillis had a great year in 2010. He has Thor-like, muscular arms and hits potential tacklers like a freight train. Watching him bowl over defenders was fascinating last season, but it was just one year. Flavor of the week.
Vick had a great year in 2010 also. He has uncanny ability to elude potential tacklers with his legs and, at least for most of last season, showed a cannon-like, accurate arm as well. Again however, only one year. Flavor of the week.
That’s where the immediate gratification part ends and the short memories begin…I didn’t get up today thinking I was going to post about who is on the cover of a video game. I’m not a gamer myself. All my players ran to the locker room when I tried to figure out how to play once. I did post recently about my vision for next year’s Madden however.
Michael Vick was judged talented enough to be on the Madden game cover in a “prior life,” a talented, superstar life before he was convicted of federal charges in the heinous Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting activity.
I live outside of Philadelphia. I might have a marginally better idea of what his return to society and football has been about because it has been in the news here night and day from the moment the Eagles franchise shockingly took he and his baggage on.
And as football fans, the Philadelphia region has been subsequently thrilled with his performance on the field. He has also appeared to have said and done all the things needed off the field, considering what he was found guilty of being intimately involved in.
You may be reading this thinking I missed out on not just mentioning instant gratification and short memories in this country, but in Vick’s case…an example of America being a great nation of forgiveness and second chances.
I don’t think Michael Vick’s popularity…either in Philadelphia or elsewhere…has a thing to do with forgiving him or giving him another shot. The courts released him after he served his time, a team hired him…simple as that.
When you hear media in the U.S. go on and on about us being a people who forgive and allow second chances, it has really become just background noise. Each time you reach out for some “news” you get a solid reinforcement of the basic fact all of us are human, all of us make mistakes – some more public than others – but people continue on with their lives at some point.
Just because Vick potentially could now – courtesy of a fan vote rather than a marketing decision – become the first player to be on a Madden cover twice doesn’t mean anybody has specifically forgiven him for what he did…or specifically wanted to give him a second chance. It’s just the way it is. We are all human, we all make mistakes, we all plow on. That doesn’t make things “right” for us…at least not me.
I enjoy watching Michael Vick play football. I just wish he was a million miles away from consideration for being on the cover – being the face of the NFL in this instance – of such a wildly popular game young and old alike take part in.
It seems to me an awful lot of folks like me enjoy watching him play football based on these votes…but unlike me…have short memories indeed.