As the stories about Mike Vick and Philadelphia Eagles protests have become more numerous I got to thinking back a few years in Philly sports. I happen to be a Philadelphia Flyers fan (long story, Whalers fan, traded Kevin Dineen, then they stopped existing). In 2002 though, around the trade deadline the Flyers were having trouble scoring so they went on a hunt for someone to spark the offense. Bobby Clarke went out and got none other than Billy Tibbetts.
Who the hell is Billy Tibbetts you ask? Old Billy Boy had maybe the longest rap sheet of any modern American athlete. It puts Pacman Jones, Nate Newton, even Michael Vick to shame.
In 1994, at the age of 20, Tibbetts plead guilty to raping a 15 year old girl. He served two and a half years later for an assault and battery charge, and then, after he had come and gone with the Flyers he was arrested in 2007 for leading cops on a high speed chase, crashing his car into a utility pole, and then hiding in the woods.
Obviously Michael Vick is a bigger name, and his trial and conviction took on a huge life of its own once it all got going, but Philly, you have tried to cheer for worse. Tibbetts didn’t give us much to cheer for fortunately as he literally spent more time in the penalty box than on the ice.
I have grown up having dogs, my dogs were members of my family, but the guy served his time. I doubt he feels remorse, I think it would be hard for someone who did what he did, to really turn around and feel bad about it later, but he did his time. If he does it again, he will get banned for life. So give the man a chance.
There are countless internet petitions and forums bitching and moaning about Mike Vick. From what I have seen, and from what I know about Philadelphia fans, signing Michael Vick will not cause the Linc to empty out this season. The man may get booed a little, but as long as he plays okay, and keeps his mouth shut he will be fine.
If anything, all this PETA crap will probably draw more attention to the games, and in turn the sponsors. They already have record numbers of people who have never seen a football game showing up with puppies and signs to their practices. They are turning new strange dog lovers onto the sport.
And for the few people that claim to be season ticket holders on these protest sites. I know you’re not because a real Eagles season ticket holder would do stuff worse than Vick did to keep his tickets, and just know Vick will be gone in a few years, and you’ll sitting in the parking lot drinking Yuengling, trying to find a blueberry under a bottlecap, and looking for scalpers because PETA made you whine about some jackass strangling dogs.
And to PETA people, we know you would like to think that everyone sees dogs like you do. And most people do, including myself to some extent, but some people treat dogs like dogs. I rarely blame someone’s upbringing or surrounding crew for their actions, but I doubt Vick treats humans the way he treats dogs. For him to not think what he was doing was wrong is inherently wrong, but I’m sure he didn’t.
Michael Vick is a dumbass. He did some extremely cruel things to animals. It is hard for me to believe he is sorry for these acts, but if you do not believe in giving someone a second chance after they have done their time both in prison and being suspended than you never deserve a second chance either.