Monday, October 19, 2009
One Small Vick-tory
Today I am a proud member of the Raider Nation. When I heard that convicted dog fighter Mike Vick's first road game as an Eagle after his full reinstatement, would be against MY team...I must admit, I was worried.
Let's face it, the Oakland Raiders haven't had much to be proud of over the last few years, and Philadelphia is a team playing near the top of their game. So yes, I will admit my confidence faltered...at least at first.
I have always been an 'against all odds' sort of girl, always pulling for the underdog. (Hey, maybe that's why I'm such a great Raiders fan!)
Being a native of the Bay Area, I know how progressive they can be when it comes to animals, so I wondered if finally, there might be legitimate protests. In fact, former Raider player Jarrod Cooper started his own non-profit organization to support pit bull rights and awareness in the Oakland Area, called Code 597. (I was lucky enough to meet him at the 2008 HSUS convention, see pic below.) The answer to my question............sort of.
Sadly, only about 30 people actually showed up to stand outside of the coliseum to hold signs. Only proving to the NFL that it made the right decision in bringing Vick back. As Howie Long, former Raider himself, put it: As long as the cheers inside the stadium drown out the protesters outside, the NFL will support Mike Vick.
There was one very nice touch however, thanks to Bad Rap. (Bay Area Dog-lovers Responsible About Pits). They hired a small prop plane to fly over the stadium trailing a banner witch read: Dog Fighter Go Home; this caused Vick to head to the locker room amongst a chorus of 'barking' from the stands.
Now, there will be nay-sayers who refer to these individuals as "animal rights activists" but I don't think that name quite fits. Unfortunately it has been tainted by people who throw red paint on fur coats. Bad Rap and the others that showed their support for their cause, are more classy than that. In fact, Bad Rap had actually invited Vick to come to their facility where they have been caring for some of his former "Bad Newz" dogs. They wanted him to see their rehabilitation, and to view them as the caring, playful, kind and loving dogs that they are today. Vick, however declined. So, they went in another direction. Making their views known, in a peaceful and tactful way. Good job Bad Rap, I applaud you as always.
Maybe these small stunts actually affected the Eagles psyche because in the end, they played horribly. Or maybe they gave Oakland the fire they needed to win. Or maybe it's just karma.
Whatever happened yesterday on that field, I'm glad it did. An Oakland Raider Vick-tory 13-9.
Mike Vick and the rest of his team were forced to leave the stadium and town with their tails between their legs.
Welcome to Oakland...now GET OUT!