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Thin-Skinned, and Thin ‘Skins

By Enemy Watch | Saturday, December 2, 2006, 03:00 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Just when the Vick-vivisectioning seemed to have subsided following Sunday’s infamous bird-flipping incident, the Falcons’ embattled No. 7 is getting some belated love during perhaps the most difficult stretch of his NFL career.

Not long after one online loudmouth suggested that Vick’s best bet is to be tailback, a contrarian voice from the same outlet strongly took Vick’s side, pointing the figure of blame entirely at the brass:

“The bashing of Vick has become gratuitous, too easy, like fart jokes or mocking Pamela Anderson.”

“He has never played with a great wide receiver.”

“He is currently playing for an offensive coordinator who is about as creative as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

“Perhaps no great player in the recent history of professional football has been so ill-served by a coaching staff and personnel department as Vick has by the Falcons organization.”

Sentiments some of you have battered about here on these blogs and elsewhere, no doubt. And rather tame, to boot.

Yet some of you take all this too seriously, wouldn’t you agree?”

“NFL Grants Vick Permission to Flip Off Atlanta Fans, Press”

Reminder folks — it’s fake news, totally, including the Photoshopped pic.

For those of you wishing for a more high-minded discussion of the subject, an early NFL pioneer — “the Michael Vick of his day” — offers some unsolicited advice the at the behest of a columnist who oozes with empathy for Vick.

Because that link’s behind a paid firewall, here are few highlights worth noting:

“The first thing I will tell him is, ‘Mike, you care, and as long as you care, you are going to be fodder for criticism,’ When you get to the point where you don’t care, you will not be any good to yourself, to the football team. You are the present-day Jackie Robinson, Paul Robeson, Ray Robinson — all of these people were people who really cared about what was going on. And they put themselves in harm’s way, just to make sure that people like me would be inspired to do the very best that we could be. And that’s all you can do.’ ”

Conclusion by the scribe: “Michael Vick’s problem is that he’s ahead of his time.”

Maybe so, but this is just a bit too much hyperbole for Enemy Watch to digest on an empty stomach.

Sunday’s opponent, the Washington Redskins, is trying to recapture a glimmer of faded glory under Joe Gibbs, doing his second tour of duty in Old D.C.

But these are hardly the Redskins of Enemy Watch’s 20-something years, domiciling in Das Kapital and watching neighbors taking to pots, pans and kazoos in a makeshift band after Doug Williams orchestrated a memorable Super Bowl win.

This was the same Super Bowl, when, during Media Day, a credentialed journalist asked Williams how long he’d been a black quarterback. It was a more simple, yet daunting issue at the time, something that could not have anticipated the Vick phenomenon now.

No, these Redskins have long since abandoned the raucous, odorous RFK for the suburbs and the soulless, spit-shine corporate confines of FedEx Field, which some loyalists fear is being infected with artificial crowd noise.

Nothing should be allowed to compete with the passion stirred by the team’s famous marching band clanging out “Hail to the Redskins,” a real treat when Enemy Watch sat nearby in the bouncy field level section at RFK.

Curse you, Dan Snyder.

In their non-illustrious history, the Falcons have one win in 11 tries in Washington. But that’s not why this prognosticator is going with Redskins at -2.

http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/watch/entries/2006/12/02/thinskinned_and.html

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