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Archive for the ‘Philadelphia Eagles’ Category

Behind me is Barrister’s, and an old Masonic Building that now houses some sort of woman’s clothing store. They’re having a “polka dot” sale. Looks cute. If you’re one of the hundreds walking behind me in downtown Southampton this July 4th, stop by.

Me? I’m just sitting on a wooden bench, donated by Old Town Lodge No. 908. Come to think of it, that’s tied to the Masons. That will be my homework tonight. On this Independence Day, there’s nothing wrong with a little American history lesson, and on eastern Long Island, there’s plenty of it to learn. I won’t forget. None of us should.

I’m not a patriotic sort. Most journalists, wired to be cynics at heart, aren’t. While the rest of my family will wear some combination of red, white and blue, and my little girl, at least, will wave her American flag, the most American I’ll be is my baseball hat. If I’m feeling especially proud of the USA, I’ll wear a Philadelphia Eagles hat. Come on, it’s the Eagle, the American symbol of freedom.

You can stop rolling your eyes now.

Fine, how is this for being positively American: The iPhone is pumping only U.S. artists into me as I write this. Bruce Springsteen is a 4th of July tradition, and as I contemplate ruining dinner by buying a scoop of ice cream at 4 p.m, Green Day, Lou Reed, Eva Cassidy, Keith Jarrett, John Mellencamp and the New Pornographers also play on. Come to think of it, the last of those artists is a Canadian band. That’s alright, I love that country’s ability to keep guns off streets. I’ll let “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk,” continue.

It’s a great song. We are a great country. Seems reasonable.

Have a great holiday. Be safe. I’m going to go see a friend’s artwork at a local gallery.

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DSC04282Sitting at the breakfast table this morning, my little boy listened as I talked to my wife – and mainly to the Sesame Street coffee mug  – about Michael Vick’s return to professional football.

The night before, as I finished a sluggish treadmill session, a text message popped up on the Blackberry that simply read “Michael Vick to the Eagles.”

For the next couple hours, followers – you don’t have friends on Twitter – traded messages about the newest member of the Eagles. A few took shots at me, perhaps, because I had the great timing of tweeting no more than an hour before the Vick news broke that I hoped “the Eagles kill the Patriots dead tonight.”

This morning, Donovan – I swear I didn’t name him after Donovan McNabb – asked, simply, “Who are you talking about Daddy?”

I told him “Michael Vick. He’s a new player on the Eagles.”

He asked me if I liked Vick and I answered, quickly, “sure buddy.”

I don’t regret my response for a number of reasons. First, it would be impossible to explain to a four year old the grizzly details of a dogfighting ring that landed Vick in a federal jail for 2 years. Puppies were murdered and forced to fight, and kill, each other. It all took place on property Vick owned.

But it’s more than that. I’ve been a vegetarian for 17 months, almost entirely because I reject the notion that it’s alright to kill animals. I’ve never held a gun and have no desire to ever, ever go hunting. Killing is not a sport.

So I’m clearly with the majority who know that what Vick did was reprehensible.  It was savage and, in fact, when news first broke that an NFL team has signed him, I felt sick.

But I also believe in second acts. I want my children to understand forgiveness and to avoid passing judgment when possible. If Vick trips up, he will pay the price. The National Football League will throw him out and he will have much bigger problems than whether my little boy liked watching him play. But if Vick helps the Humane Society, works with other animal rights groups, uses his star power to help local and national charities and handles himself properly on the football field, my little boy will learn that redemption is possible.

No matter the scenario, I answered the question correctly. Daddy got this one right.

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