Sunday, November 2, 2008

Michael Vick

The MediaNews papers are all full of "What if" stories about the possibility of Michael Vick joining the Raiders if and when Roger Goodell reinstates him after he gets out of prison.

I guess these stories were inevitable, with the Falcons in town and so many of Vick's former teammates and coaches now with the Raiders.

I always thought, in the immediate aftermath of Vick's arrest/conviction/sentencing, that people who said, "Well, now Vick's ready to be a Raider" were stupid and lazy. They were falling back on that whole "criminal element" stereotype that's been a part of the Raiders since the 70s (and yes, I'm well aware that there's no small amount of that stereotype that's been cultivated by the Raiders and their fans).

Corkran's article and Monte Poole's column focus mainly on the football possibilities, with some quotes from DeAngelo Hall, Justin Griffith, and Ashley Lelie enthusiastically endorsing bringing Vick to the Raiders. Hall even offers to re-do his contract.

I have to admit that the fantasy backfield scenario, with JaMarcus standing back there looking at McFadden on one side and Vick on the other, is intriguing.

But there's only one way it work if Vick came to the Raiders:

Jarrod Cooper.

If the Raiders put Cooper on the staff (as a special teams assistant, community liason, whatever) and assigned him the main role of mentoring Michael Vick, it could work. Included in that mentoring would have to be taking him to the shelter and helping him clean out cages, patch up rescued dogs, etc. People in the Bay Area love dogs, and his first game at the Coliseum would be guaranteed to see pickets from the SPCA, PETA, and, since this is the Bay Area, probably the ALF.

But Cooper could help smooth all that out, and Vick could show his remorse is sincere.

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