Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Woe is Vick

God, between the Mets, Michael Vick and of course the ongoing saga of the trade talks between the Blue Jays and Your World Champion Philadelphia Phillies for pitching ace Roy Halladay, it is a real struggle to pick just one thing to focus on today, just in the world of sports. My sense is that there could be more today on the latest situation with the Mets, their GM and the fired Director of Player Personnel, and at this point I am expecting there to be much more in the way of trade talks about Roy Halladay this week, so let me just give my thoughts today on the Michael Vick situation.

For those who don't know, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday "conditionally reinstated" Michael Vick to the NFL, allowing Vick to take part in team functions if he is signed anywhere, including in the final two preseason games of the summer, and said he will consider Vick for full reinstatement to play in regular season games, essentially sometime during or before Week 6 of the NFL season. Privately, it is said that some in Vick's camp are less than satisfied with the Commish's lack of clarity regarding the timetable for Mike Vick to be allowed back into NFL games. Even Buffalo Bills receiver and brilliant sports historian TO lashed out on Monday about the way Vick's return to the league is being handled. And you know what?

Terrell Owens is right.

There's something I bet you never thought you'd read me saying here, isn't it? But it's true. Mike Vick was suspended indefinitely back on August 24, 2007 for his role and direct involvement in his now-famous dog fighting business. Now, here we are two years later -- 32 NFL games, plus a bunch of preseason and potential playoff games to go along with it -- and Vick still hasn't sniffed the NFL. He sat in federal prison for nearly two years, serving his time after pleading guilty to the charges brought against him. That was two years of his life -- more or less right smack in the middle of his prime -- that he's never getting back. And while Vick sat in a jail cell for 23 months, the rest of the NFL sure didn't wait for him. We had two great NFL seasons sans the best-running quarterback in the league bar none, first with the Cheatriots going 17-1 and losing the superbowl to the Giants, and then the Steelers edging out Kurt Warner and the upstart Cardinals this past February. All while Vick sat in jail, not playing the game he loves and not making any money in the best earning years of his life, while also spending most of the money he had acquired prior to the charges on his defense.

Don't get me wrong here. What Mike Vick did was despicable to say the least, and some of the details are so gruesome that I literally cannot even conceive of them. I'm not saying he should have been allowed to leave his jail cell on Sundays to play in NFL games. But let's be fair here guys. Vick has already been suspended from the NFL for two years for his crime. Giving him an additional suspension now is totally ridiculous. He sat for two years already, directly because of the dogfighting stuff. Again, that's 32 games. Think of the other suspensions you've seen coming out of the NFL. Four games for substance abuse. Four games for steroids. Two games for drinking and driving. And here is Vick, who was suspended from August 2007 until July 2009, and now people are clamoring for four (or more) games to be tacked on to the end now? And the Commissioner won't even be straight with him as to the timetable for Vick to get back into actual NFL games?

Of course If Roger Goodell doesn't mind being a wimp, he can heap all the additional suspensions he wants on to Mike Vick at this point. It's the pussy way out because Goodell knows the public thinks what Vick did is detestable and many probably want nothing to do with him ever again, so there is little chance of any public outburst against Goodell or the NFL if he keeps Vick on the sidelines right now. But just because it's easy don't make it right. How about instead of doing the safe thing, Roger Goodell do what's right instead. Leonard Little got drunk, drove home from a party and killed a woman -- an actual human being -- back in 1998 and he served an 8-game suspension before being allowed to play in the NFL. Mike Vick kills a bunch of dogs -- albeit in disgusting, mind-numbingly twisted ways -- and a 32-game suspension is not enough?

Everybody deserves a second chance. This guy has sat in jail for two years and 32 NFL games. Let him back on the damn field already.

If any team will even have him, that is.

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Blogger Astin said...

Wait... so a complete dick who tortured and killed dogs for his own amusement, was convicted of the crimes, and served time deserves to play again, yet the greatest hitter in the history of baseball can't be honoured appropriately because of gambling?

Explain this to me please. Letting Vick play again sends a message to every dickhead, asshole, and immoral CRIMINAL in the NFL (and there are a bunch of them) that it's okay to break the law, piss off the fans and general public, and give the league a HUGE black eye, because you'll be welcomed back with open arms if you're talented enough.

10:06 PM  
Blogger StB said...

Astin, I think you just described how the Democratic Party in the U.S. operates.

11:40 PM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

Interesting thing I heard on M&M on the drive in this morning:
Minaya signed an extension this past off-season and it doesn't kick in until next year. No way in heck the Mets eat his contract so we are guaranteed at least another year of Minayantics!

As I said on Riggs blog yesterday, I'm done with Halladay. Phillies are smoking hot right now and I like the team except for the bats on the bench. I am all for NOT getting Halladay at this point.

As for Vick, the NFL is a job I dont know where people get this privledge crap. So what if Goodell reinstated him, he still has to find a team (Raiders) who are willing to take the bashing their fans will give them just for signing the dog-killer. But no where should that disqualify him from getting a job in the NFL as a player.
Im pretty sure KC won't sign him and I think Lurie is smart enough not to sign him, the only place I can see it is Oakland because Al Davis is a moron.

1:40 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

honestly, they should wait another year. Let him work his image and see how he does as a person NOT IN JAIL before letting him see the field again.

I mean seriously, the dude just got out after 2 years in the pen, who knows what he's like now.

I'm willing to give a person a second chance but warily.....

And Pete Rose should be in the hall right now.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Astin, there are so many relevant distinctions between Rose and Vick it is hard to boil them down.

1. Pete Rose committed acts that impinge the integrity of the game he played (and managed). Clearly he made decisions as a player and as a coach with an eye towards the bets he had placed instead of towards winning and giving his team the best long-term chance of success. Mike Vick's crimes, although despicable in every way, have nothing to do with his sport whatsoever.

2. Vick has already served a longer suspension for his actions than anybody I can ever remember (literally).

3. With Rose we are talking about letting him be honored in the Hall of Fame, an institution that many people believes stands for respecting the game of baseball. With Vick we are talking about the guy being able to play in the league during his prime years of earnings and performance, after he served his time fair and square.

All three of these distinctions lead to the different results. Really, the two situations are not comparable at all given the above.

The fact remains that a two year suspension for a non-football-related crime that involved no injuries or other acts against other people is more than enough. Let the guy play already if someone is willing to sign him.

3:11 AM  
Blogger donkeyotay said...

Vick should be sidelined for quite some time yet. Playing in the NFL is not just some normal job. The local factory can get away with hiring all kinds of scum because that scum isn't on TV every Sunday representing that company on a very public stage. Image is very important to the health of an organization like the NFL and Vick's image is horrible right now. From my point of view he still has a lot of work to do on his image before I would let him play again. Hell, I wouldn't even let a guy like that work in a McDonald's right now.

The fact that Vick didn't hurt a person is not the point, the fact that it was premeditated, cruel and sick behavior that went on for an extended period of time is the point. What he did is an obvious sign that Vick is a very sick individual capable of committing heinous acts of violence with little or no remorse. I'm all for second chances and everything but Vick just has repeat offender written all over him. He needs to prove that he can be a functioning part of society over the course of several months before I would be ready reinstate him.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

Leonard Little killed someone driving drunk and was arrested for driving drunk 5 years later.

Charles Grant and Donte Stallworth have also been convicted of manslaughter.

The suspensions of the 3 of them combined pale in comparison to Vick.

Why do the lives of pit bulls hold greater value than people?

3:42 PM  

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