Michael Vick, Peyton Hillis…The Madden Curse Could Continue

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.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside Philadelphia PA. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen US states (most just one time each) and Canada (twice). 50-plus years - married 30-plus years. Love massive quantities of sports, television and movies (viewed in a movie theater).
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6 Responses to Michael Vick, Peyton Hillis…The Madden Curse Could Continue

  1. berger987 says:

    I agree completely. Flavor of the week.

    The fans would rather vote on the current trend, or “Flavor of the Week” if you will, than vote for people that are more deserving of the title.

    I love Hillis though and voted for him all the way. Just goes to show how hard work pays big dividends.

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    • If he has a season this year like last, with everyone even more focused on him…I am all in. He had a great year. I am happy you voted for him, especially on the Final Ballot obviously!

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  2. I agree with you. People have very short memories and we have certainly become a “Flavor of the Week” society.

    I am a big Hillis fan. Probably because he was on my fantasy team last year and I rode him all the way to the Super Bowl!!

    But also living in the Philadelphia area and being born and raised in the city, I have heard all the “news” surrounding Vick. Most people give me grief for my standpoint on Vick but I can’t help it. I hate him. I think he is a vulgar, vile human being for what he did and I am heartbroken he is the QB of my Eagles. He may be saying and doing all the right things, but he is still looking for a long term contract so he has to. I need to see him doing and saying all the right things even 10 years from now when he is out of football. Is he still going to care about animal cruelty when his career is long gone? Probably not. But if he does, then I will likely change my opinion of him. But right now, I can’t. He needs to do more than play football well to get my acceptance. But I also believe in people paying for their crimes and having the right to move on with their lives. I just wish he did it with a team other than my Eagles.

    So I am glad he isn’t on the cover of Madden. I wouldn’t like the message it sends.

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  3. I did note you are in my neck of the woods as well! I know Philly fans get beat up an awful lot, mostly due to the fact ESPN paints a relentless picture we are the only location with nutty fans. Look in your own backyard, Bristol CT! I do digress…Vick is an awesome talent and that’s where it ends with me…and yes, as exciting as it is watching him play I’m not sure it should be here. And I am sure I don’t want him as the face of the NFL on anything.

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    • I couldn’t agree more. Could you imagine if what happened in LA to that poor Giants fan happened here in Philadelphia? Oh my God!!! ESPN and all the national sports pundits who LOOOOOVE to bash our fans base would have made that 24/7 news. But it was LA so you barely heard anything about it.

      So if you bashers continue to throw booing Santa Claus in our faces, you better throw, almost killing another human being in LA’s face!!!

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  4. For The Love…as you said if that happened in Philly ESPN would have specials on it from now until Christmas, at which point the booing and snowballs at Santa Claus stories would be retold much like TBS rerunning “A Christmas Story.”

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