Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback, - Michael Vick - was named the starter for their next football game. That is fine and well, as Vick has played very well this season. Vick has taken over for the original starter –Kevin Kolb – who was hurt in the Eagles first game of the season. Earlier in the week Philadelphia’s head coach –Andy Reid – noted that Kolb was healthy enough after passing post concussion tests. But, later in the week went back on his decision and handed the starting job to Vick.
This story should be about Reid and his quarterback decision. However leave it to the media outlets in Philly to take the story away from the coach and focus it on Vick’s past. The ‘Philadelphia Daily News’ front page headline, with a big picture of Vick in an Eagles’ uniform, read as such; “Top Dog” in big bold print, with under it in smaller print; “In a Shocking Turnabout, Reid Names Vick Starter”.
Now, the term “Top Dog” is common for someone who is at a leadership position. However, in Vick’s case it is not the best term to use.
For those who may not remember the spring/summer of 2007, let’s take a trip down memory lane. In April 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring that had operated over five years. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement. Vick is still on probation for his conviction.
With the news source to use the headline, “Top Dog”, it may seem a little out of bounds. America as a whole is a country that loves dog. There is a reason why a dog is called man’s best friend. When Vick pled guilty in his dog fighting case, his reputation took a huge hit.
Yes, this is a bad example of a tongue and cheek headline. However, that does not mean that newspapers sometimes find that nice balance of humor and respect. For example, the New York Post. When a major sports news story hits they usually have a funny headline. Such as when Tiger Woods was caught cheating on his wife over Thanksgiving last year, the headline was; “I’m a Cheetah”. Funny, yes, was it respectful to the situation, yes.
In the movie “Anchorman” the lead character, played by Will Ferrell, Ron Burgundy said it the best, “You stay classy San Diego.” The people in charge at the Philadelphia Daily News should have taken that to heart when posting this headline.
As when the New Orleans Saints played their first National Football League home game after Hurricane Katrina hit, the headlines the next morning did not read, “Saints Fans Flood the Super Dome in Support.” They kept it classy and stayed away from a sensitive subject.
The city of Philadelphia is known as the; “city of brotherly love”. It is just too bad that they are not known as the city of common sense.
You can always follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/tjmcaloon as you can see my thoughts of the day and any breaking news.
By TJ McAloon
The Austin Times