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The Vick verdict

Ever since Michael Vick lit up the Washington Redskins the other night (and added another ounce of oomph to the Vick-For-MVP Express) there's been a running commentary, mostly created out of thin air, about whether or not we should root for the guy.

Lots of people say they never will, on account of that business about, um, electrocuting dogs and such. In fact, lots of people think because of the particularly heinous nature of Vick's crimes, he never should have been allowed back in the NFL.

Here's what I think: This is America.

By that I mean, in America, redemption is not just a virtue but a staple of our society, springing directly from our Judeo-Christian tradition. Redemption, in fact, is the very cornerstone of that tradition.

So if a guy like Vick has paid his debt to society -- and he has, in fact drawing a harsher-than-usual sentence for his crimes -- it says here he has every right to pursue his chosen profession again. Despite those who say playing in the NFL is somehow more than that, see, it's not. A profession is exactly what it is. And all it is.

So: Redeem away, Michael Vick.

Ben Smith's blog.