Michael Vick. Oh Philly, How Soon You Forget…

August 18, 2009
Psycho: Real life Oglethorpe

Psycho: Real life Oglethorpe

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.

People Hate Him more than Osama these days.

People Hate Him more than Osama these days.

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.

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Which Sport’s Playoff Season is Better, NBA or NHL?

April 20, 2009

nba-v-nhl

Playoff season is upon us, with the NHL and NBA playoffs starting this past weekend.  After spending the entire weekend watching sports, an interesting debate came to mind: which sport’s playoff season is better?

Playoff set-up: Both leagues have 7-game series all the way through the finals.  They’re both set-up as follows (for higher seeded team) 2 home games, 2 away, 1 home, 1 away, and game 7 at home, aka 2-2-1-1-1.  This is a recent change from the 2-3-2 set-up of a few years ago.  The purpose behind this change is to put added pressure on a home game 7, whereas previously, the top team had 2 home games to finish the job.  I understand it, but I’m not crazy about it.  Too much travel means too much time off between games.  Both sports have a minimum of 1 day off between each  game in a series.  This makes the playoffs drawn out and take away some of the momentum built up from the game before.  This is my biggest complaint about the playoffs of either sport.    Verdict – PUSH

Chances of an upset – In the NBA playoffs, upsets are not that common.  There are powerhouse teams at the top of each conference and then there are the rest.  Just look at the lower seeded teams in the NBA playoffs right now and none of them really impress you.  The Eastern Conference, for example, has 3 teams in the playoffs with a .500 record or lower.  That is pathetic.  The Western Conference was more competitive, with the 2nd seed and 8th seed separated by only 6 games, all with a win percentage of .585 or better.  The only “upsets” that seem possible right now are the Mavericks over the Spurs or the Bulls over the Celtics.  But this is not something to brag about when the top-seeded teams are hurt by injury to star players.

The NHL playoffs, on the other hand, often offer upsets.  This year alone, there are 2 underdogs primed to make a run to the second round.  The 8th-seeded Ducks hold a 2-0 lead over top-seeded San Jose, while the 7th-seeded Rangers are up 2-0 over 2nd-seed Washington.  In the NHL, all it takes is a hot goalie to lead his team deep in the playoffs.  In the NBA, over the drawn out schedule, talent usually wins out.   Verdict – NHL

Excitement – The NBA is home to snoozers more often than edge-of-your-seat thrillers.  This weekend, the launch of the first round, saw blowout wins by the Cavs, Hawks, Nuggets, Lakers, and Rockets.  They were over by the third quarter.  Sure, there were 2 games that went down to the wire, but these are not often occurrences for their playoffs.  Add in the fact that if the game even resembles a close one, the trailing team fouls on every possession.  The final 2 minutes of a game can take a half-hour.  It ruins the watching experience beacuse not only are there stoppages in play, its coupled with poor free throw shooting and commercials.

The NHL by nature is a sport that leads to close games.  Even a score of 3-1 is not safe, because all it takes is a powerplay goal and then anything can happen.  Even if there is a blowout, such as the Bruins domination of the Habs in game 2, it’s still exciting because of all the hard hitting.  A fight could break out at anytime, which makes you want to keep watching (see Bruins-Canadiens, game 2, Milan Lucic).    Verdict – NHL

So which has sport has the better playoff season?  It’s easily the NHL.  While both sports drag their playoff season out for way too long, the NHL has what the NBA doesn’t:  excitement.  Every game is close and anything can happen to turn the game in the favor of the other team.  Add in the excitement of a fight breaking out and the NHL wins, hands down!  (check out Lucic starting a fight in a 5-1 victory on Saturday)