Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Moving On

Okay, I need a snappy comeback, somebody. I give up.

I have been a proponent of Michael Vick's return to the Atlanta Falcons.

But, today, there are some things I know to be true.

Like that Roger Clemens is a cheater and a whore.

And that Michael Vick is probably not going to be a Falcon again.

When the Falcons selected Boston College QB Matt Ryan with the #3 pick, it became clear the Falcons organization is moving on. And moving away from Michael.

I don't think picking Matt Ryan was a good move. I don't think many professional or armchair analysts expect Matt Ryan is a franchise savior. He is not highly projected to be an excellent quarterback. He was merely the best available. Maybe the Falcons don't need Michael Vick, but they need way more than a quarterback. The organization could have solidified the team with other position players. We need everything. The Falcons should have used the draft to build a team, not just replace the old quarterback. But the Falcons punked out, as usual.

Picking Matt Ryan was an image decision, not a football decision. And the inability to make football decisions is the reason why the Falcons can't put up a winning record more than one season in row. Remember, Brett Favre used to be a Falcon.

See, Arthur Blank got found out. Once it was reported that he and the Falcons organization were maintaining communication with Michael Vick while he was in prison, people started to put two and two together. Maybe the Falcons were going to wait it out. Maybe they weren't prepared to sacrifice Vick just to try to please certain people. After all, they have no more recourse in recouping the signing bonus they gave him. Why release him without compensation or trade him for a low round pick? The best way to get a return for the inconvenience is to make Michael pay up on the field of the Georgia Dome. He sells seats and merchandise and he even wins sometimes. It could be a relatively straightforward decision.

But the ever image conscious Arthur Blank got found out. Keeping his options open with the outcast Vick might have been the smart thing to do. But Blank doesn't have the balls to make tough football decisions. A football team can not be built on image alone. Blank is determined to prove otherwise.

Maybe Ryan will be a successful addition to the Falcons. I suspect he will be Joey Harrington redux. Nevertheless, despite the new quarterback, the Falcons still have the same problems with the fanbase they had the day before the draft. The season ticket waiting list is a distant memory. In fact, season ticket packages are now available for a mere $250. The Falcons are discounting 30,000 seats in order to encourage fans to attend the games. And I doubt Ryan jerseys are flying off the shelves.

The shallow attempt to "move on" with Matt Ryan only reinforces that the Michael Vick informs a lot of the decision making in the Falcons front office.

Ironically, Michael Vick is still running this team.