My absolute favorite song from “Jagged Little Pill” and it captures exactly how I’m feeling right now about Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. The remarks he made during his follow-up press conference on Friday re: hiring Michael Vick made me sick. And it amazes me that reporters and commentators and bloggers alike are lauding him for being “charitable” enough to sign Vick despite his personal convictions, when his statement was so clearly bullshit. I mean seriously, I didn’t see a selfless man willing to give a guy a second chance because he was big-hearted. I saw a businessman bashing his most recent (and potentially most profitable) investment in years in order to justify an unpopular decision that was based strictly on the bottom line. You can ‘t convince me of anything else. The NFL is a billion dollar business and Michael Vick has the potential to help lead the Eagles to a championship. Jeff Lurie knows it. And signing him because of that is a perfectly reasonable — hell, a very, very smart — business move. But in trying to pretend it was about anything else, he comes off as either a liar or a bad businessman. And neither is a good look for him.
Below are a few excerpts from an article/commentary I just submitted for a magazine. Not sure it’ll get published so I wanted to post some of it here. OK, here goes — and I promise I’ll chill on the Eagles posts until at least next weekend. This events of this weekend have just been so unexpected!
“I needed to see a lot of self hatred in order to approve this.”
That’s just one of the classless and seemingly disingenuous remarks Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie used to explain his decision to sign Michael Vick in his 8/14 press conference. He then went on to explain how much he loved animals, and how he’d lost several dogs in the past few years. He described Vick’s actions as “murderous” and “inexcusable” and lamented for nearly 15 minutes about how difficult it was for him to decide to sign Vick…
His whole soliloquy begged the question: “So why did you do it?”
But the answer was so obvious.
For all his talk about how much he struggled with his decision and how Vick’s future with the franchise is dependent upon his “ability to bring about social change, the truth is that Jeffrey Lurie is an NFL franchise owner. His goal is to make money. And if he didn’t think that this situation was going to help him do that, no way he signs Vick. Pardon my bluntness, but I see right through all this “I’m a selfless, animal-loving millionaire giving this despicable felon a second chance” garbage. If Mr. Lurie is at odds with himself over his decision to turn a profit, rather than stick to his philosophical beliefs, that’s something he has to deal with on his own. But to suggest that Michael Vick had to convince him that he “hated” himself in order to get a job is sick and inhumane in its own way. Never mind the fact that Michael Vick never even uttered the phrase “self-hatred.” He used the words “ashamed” and “remorseful.” Self-hatred is something altogether different and it’s a very strong concept to put into someone else’s mouth…