Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Even more on Vick

In my last Michael Vick post, I pointed out that two of Vick's "friends" outed him as being involved in dog fighting. The story was posted in a story about Vick that says "MV7" is the victim of his own bad judgement.

"In recent days, talked to multiple sources who have known Vick well for years, and they say his troubling pattern of recent behavior reflects a penchant for questionable judgment, an unwillingness to distance himself from the wrong crowd, and a long-standing belief that the rules don't apply to him."

Read Don Banks Inside the NFL column here.

(High school nerd comment: since when did the rules ever apply to star quarterbacks?)

In the urban sub-culture, words take the opposite meaning of their conventional use. "Bad" is really something good. A "dawg" is not a put down. It's really yo' boy. Banks' column suggests Vicks problems are encouraged because he can't ditch his dawgs, who are his accountabilabuddies. Don Pierson's story on Vick can escape doghouse by working harder manages four "dog" references in the first three paragraphs: doggie "doo," short leash, Vick in the doghouse, Vick is . . . the dog.

Tortured cliches aside, Pierson reminds us how the dog stories pushed the "coach killer" label to the background.

At AOL Sports, Michael David Smith writes that the Virginia prosecutor won't be pushed into a decision by Vick haters or puppy lovers.
"I'm not going to be a party to a witch hunt," Poindexter said. "This [process] will not be driven by people who hate Michael Vick, love Michael Vick or people who love animals."

Poindexter does not want to try the case in the media. He paid attention to the Michael Nifong debacle. Good. We don't need the authorities to make examples of celebrities. Over-charging based on name recognition is an injustice, whether it's Michael Vick, Winona Ryder, elitist lacrosse players or (ugh) Michael Jackson. Prosecuting based on where the fact lead is the just thing to do.

Sheriff Harold Brown will meet with Poindexter Monday to review the evidence. It is the first time the prosecutor will see the evidence in the case. The police raided Vick's property on April 25 on suspicion of drug dealing. While on site, they observed evidence of dog fighting. A Surry County (VA) grand jury will convene Tuesday. Vick has not commented on the evidence on the advice of his attorney. He has blamed relatives living on the property for the mischief. He recently sold the property at distressed prices.

It's been a rough year for Vick. The Atlanta Falcons' disappointing 7-9 record led to the dismissal of head coach Jim Mora, Jr. reinforcing the label of "coach killer" to Vick. The phrase was coined by Jim Mora, Sr. in answer to a question on the NFL Network a few months before the end of the season. Vick's capability as a quarterback is widely questioned, with many believing he is better at running back than passing. After a loss, Vick laid an egg by flipping the bird to disgruntled Falcon fans. The NFL cooked his goose with a $20,000 fine. He was sued by a woman who claims to have contracted Herpes from Vick, who was secretly treated for the disease under the assumed name "Ron Mexico." Vick was stopped at the Miami airport, but later cleared, for having a secret compartment water bottle that smelled of pot. Then the stories of illegal drugs and dog fighting burst on the scene.
"After what happened Friday, and then what happened on Monday, I just wanted to crawl in a hole. I can't take it no more. I walk around with a smile on my face and act like I'm happy, but on the inside it's hurting. And it's killing me. I ain't got no more energy left for it. The more I continue to do things and my name is in the media, I'm not going to get anywhere. . . . I'm taking it upon myself and giving everybody my word that things are going to get changed around. Things are going to get turned around. I have a game plan for it. . . . The company I keep, a lot of things gotta change, and I mean that from the heart." ~~ Michael Vick after meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"I told him 'you represent us as a franchise, you represent yourself as a person and you represent the NFL. It's not one single thing, it's a series of things,' " ~~ Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank speaking of his meeting with Michael Vick.

"We had a great conversation. He told me some things and he was pretty bold and said exactly what he needed to say. I heard him out clearly and I know he means business, and I have to respect that. I respect Arthur Blank and his feelings and what he expects out of me." ~~ Michael Vick speaking of his meeting with Arthur Blank.

"When all is said and done, more is said than done" ~~ ESPN analyst Ron Jawarski using this Lou Holtz quote to describe Michael Vick.

"Did the Falcons trade the wrong quarterback?" ~~ Master4caster speaking of the Falcons' trade of Matt Schaub to Houston.

In the end, this is likely to morph into a morality tale of people from distressed circumstances, given special treatment for their special abilities, who are never held -- thus never learn to be --accountable for their actions, or those of their hangers-on, when they suddenly come into great wealth that they were never taught to handle because no one around them knew how. It's not just the pursuit of great wealth that is the root of evil. So is the spending of it.
"Athletic proficiency is a mighty good servant, and like so many other good servants, a mighty bad master." ~~ Theodore Roosevelt in letters to his children

Atlanta Constitution Q&A on the controversy around Vick


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