By Joseph Santoliquito

It’s easy to sit here tapping away on a keyboard playing desktop psychologist in trying to separate Michael Vick the player from Michael Vick the man. This week it’s become a favorite pastime of the media and the ravenous fans who follow the Eagles. In reality, when you peel to the core of that debate, it becomes much tougher. Vick certainly has a polarizing quality. Many, many people I know personally who have been life-long Eagles’ fans can’t bring themselves to look at the Eagles the same way again–openly cheering against them because of Vick.

I can understand their point. There’s no excusing what Vick did and it’s something he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life–if he has any kind of conscience.

Vick’s past, I believe, is a leading reason why many can’t view Vick as the starting quarterback logically, their judgment clouded by prejudice. But how could you not be absorbed and riveted by everything Vick did on Sunday, and the possibility of the Eagles being a much different team with him running the show? Repugnant as he is to some, a godsend he’s now become to others.

I’m guilty as charged. Count me among the many who would like to separate Vick the player from Vick the person (if it’s possible). Count me among the many who thinks Vick should be this team’s starting quarterback. Vick was mesmerizing against the Packers, a team that came away pleased Andy Reid didn’t wise up sooner and replace the woeful Kevin Kolb with Vick in the first half on Sunday. No one is asking me to sit down to a candlelight dinner with Vick. No one is asking me to let Vick take Spot for a walk in the park. He’s been asked to step in while Kolb recovers, and in my opinion, should have every chance to start.

There was a time when it was hard even looking at the man. He represented a morose view of the world, with all its naked scabs and barbs. But there are many who believe people can change their ways, they can see things they weren’t able to grasp before. I’d like to believe Micheal Vick is one of them. I’d like to believe Vick’s genuinely appreciative to Reid and the Eagles for giving him this chance to resurrect his career. Do I still harbor doubts whether or not Vick is truly reformed, sure, it’s only natural.

But again, he’s being asked to quarterback an NFL team, not head a childcare center.

The debate will continue to rage on. Vick has his supporters, many in the media think the Eagles should stick with Kolb and what is not only a fragile head but fragile ego, and still some of the buying public will refuse to watch the Eagles again until Vick is s dot in the team’s rearview mirror. It’s their prerogative, as it is others who are willing to separate the player from the person.

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