If the Atlanta Falcons had any wits about it, they would think long and hard about taking a stand against one of their own, and sit Michael Vick for at least one game for his “gesture” at the end of the game Sunday in the Georgia Dome against the New Orleans Saints. If you missed it, Vick was caught on camera, not once, but twice, flipping off Falcons fans at the Dome as they jeered him after the teams latest 31-13 loss to the Saints to put Atlanta at 5-6.
Vick had another terrible game, and the fans during and then after the game let him know about it. He was 9-for-24 for 84 yards, and despite his 166 yards on the ground, could only lead the Falcons to just 13 points. He also was sacked three times, and was hit 12 times behind the line of scrimmage after throwing passes from a tough Saints defense that seemed to be in his head from the start.
Despite all that, his actions towards fans that pay good, and a decent amount, of money to watch him play football, good or bad, did not deserve to have the finger flipped at them as he walked off the field. As usual with pro players, their actions come first, then their minds catch up with them to think about what they have done. After the incident, Vick quickly tried to make amends with an apology that seemed somewhat forced considering the PR nightmare that may come of this.
“I would like to apologize for my inappropriate actions with fans today,” the quarterback said in a statement released by the Falcons. “I was frustrated and upset at how the game was going for my team, and that frustration came out the wrong way.”
The Falcons management must have gasped in horror when they saw what Vick did as he left the field. He is their poster boy and the face of the franchise, and despite the fact that he has been the talk of much backlash this season at the Falcons collapse, he is still the player that the team looks to on many Sundays to sell tickets and put fans in the seats. That image may quickly change after this incident.
That is exactly why the team has to take a stand now, and make Vick realize what he has done by making him pay for his actions by sitting him for at least one, if not two games. At 5-6, the Falcons are now somewhat of a longshot to quickly recover and make the playoffs out of the NFC. Not that this move would mean the team would be throwing in the towel, but it may come at a good time to get a change of pace quarterback like Matt Schaub in their to see if he can change the fortunes of the Falcons.
For Vick, maybe he is sorry for what he did, but for what he did he must pay a price, and for the Falcons, they should take a hard look at sitting him down for a game or two to show their fans that such actions will not be tolerated.