Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vick's NFL career is kaput

The story of the evil doings at Michael Vick’s notorious Bad Newz Kennels stayed at the top of the news for months, before it gradually faded and the poor Virginia Tech faithful could stop cringing at the thought of watching a sports news broadcast.

Today's announcement of Vick's soon-to-come release from prison is in the news in this AP story:
Vick is serving a 23-month sentence at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., after pleading guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in eastern Virginia's Surry County. He also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.Vick's lawyers have said they expected him to be moved any day into a halfway house in Newport News. But because of a lack of space, Vick will be released instead to his Hampton home at some point on or after May 21...
Vick apologists still ask: If boxing and tough man competitions are legal, why is dogfighting so wrong? Can't dogfighting be seen as just another bloody sport, like hunting? If animals are shamefully abused all the time by the companies that raise them by the millions in torturous conditions, to eventually be food for us, why did Vick have go to jail for merely slaughtering a few bred-to-be-mean pit bulls? Why did the media play his story up so much?

OK, Vick went to jail because he got caught breaking the law. And, while there’s no single reason Vick's superstar-turned-bad-boy story has been so big, there is one reason that overshadows the others. While other sports celebrities have committed crimes that might properly be seen as worse than Vick’s, none of those crimes were as bizarre ... even unthinkable.

After Vick went to prison it was revealed that a few family dogs/pets were tossed in the Bad Newz ring, just for grins. Well, Americans love their pet dogs. No doubt, some prefer dogs to people. That a cocky millionaire jock was regularly torturing dogs to amuse himself was too much! It was beyond the pale; quite simply, it made John Q. Public's skin crawl.

There are those Vick fans who have refused to accept -- no matter what -- that one of their favorite pro football players is not just a great scrambler, he's also a soulless scumbag. They want him back on the playing field because he’s fun to watch. They assume his talent for football will trump all else, because they're ready to forgive him almost anything.

Well, it says here that the National Football League is by far the most buttoned-down of all the professional sports overseeing bodies. It certainly doesn’t want PETA activists dressed up like bloody dogs demonstrating at every game. And, that’s exactly what will happen if Vick returns.

Furthermore, I doubt the image-conscious corporations that act as sponsors and partners of NFL games are ever going to want anything to do with Michael Vick. And, because that money -- which will be harder than ever to round up, because of the current economic troubles -- is the life blood of all professional sports, I will be amazed if we ever see the radioactive Mr. Vick play another down in a NFL game.

When the NFL season opens, try to imagine a game's broadcast beginning with a series of corporate logos flashing up over the pictures of PETA demonstrators tailgating in the parking lot and dancing around in front of the stadium. Then imagine the boycotts of the products made by companies that sponsor such broadcasts.

Do you get the picture?


Anonymous said...

I'm a real lefty and a dog owner, and that's why I am somewhat astonished at your blog comments on Michael Vick.

He did a stupid, awful thing, and he is doing his time. Once that's over, it's time to move on. Some people are more concerned with making sure that Vick never plays in the NFL again than they are with punishing the criminals of the Bush administration, who tortured and killed humans, not dogs. People like that need to get their priorities straight. PETA wanted Vick to submit to an MRI scan of his brain to make sure he didn't have a tendency to abuse animals anymore. First of all, those tests are not determinative, and I don't know a single medical professional who will say that an MRI of your brain can reveal what you are going to do in the future. Further, in case all you fellow lefties have forgotten, we punish behavior in this country, not thought. If you wanted to keep punishing thought, you should have voted for McCain and kept the policies of the Bush administration.

PETA has killed more animals than Michael Vick, some 18,000 by PETA to 8 by Vick. Frankly, I'd rather see Vick back in the NFL, doing his thing on the field and making a living that way than being denied the possibility of using his talents and perhaps ending up resorting to a life of crime. Prison is supposed to be for rehabilitation, not retribution, or did all my fellow lefties forget that too?

I didn't go to Virgnia Tech. I went to a women's college and we had no football. I am not a particular fan of football, although I recognize that sports in general play an important role in our culture.

If all you lefties want to continue to demonize Vick, or anyone else for that matter, take a good look at yourself. You are NO lefty!

F.T. Rea said...

With good reason, I've never seen anyone else make the story of Vick's downfall into a liberal and conservative thing.

My point was what I thought the NFL will do. It had to do with advertising.

I didn't support PETA. Nor did I say what the NFL ought to do.

It seems you want Vick to play in the NFL again. OK. You're not alone. I happen think you and other Vick supporters are going to be disappointed. My post detailed why.

As for whether he has been rehabilitated or deserves to earn a living, those are not issues that I think will matter much to the NFL in this case.

Anonymous said...

Care to make a wager on whether he will play in the NFL again?

You should try hedging your blog post titles a little bit. I clicked on it expecting some real news, not unsubstantiated opinion.

F.T. Rea said...


You should try backing up your stale blather with your real name.

And, I thought the name SLANTblog would give my readers a hint that it features opinion. Maybe it was too subtle for you.

William said...

I think "Butcher" Vick has a future - in the CFL, maybe. Or Arena Football, if it comes back....