There you go. Try and get away for a few days rest, and players go and stick their paws in their mouths.
The Washington Redskins started their campaign to clean up the dog mess created by Clinton Portis at the Redskins Beach Blitz last weekend in Virginia Beach. The team issued a terse press release disavowing any support of dog fighting and apologized to anyone offended by Clinton Portis' statements. That followed an even more terse statement released by Portis on Monday that he did not condone dog fighting.
A very serious looking Portis was interviewed on the NFL Network to clarify his statement. I don't think he was successful. He did not back off his opinion that dog fighting is a less serious crime than the penalties call for. He seemed to mix two themes in his interview, the first being that dog fighting should not be a felony; and second, nothing has been proved against Vick, thus, the negative attention is unwarranted. His mixed message is going to confuse as much as explain, I'm afraid.
Asked about the felony status of dog fighting, Portis pointed out that hunters and fishermen kill animals. He is against killing animals. That will please PETA. It will surely offend hunters and fishermen. I don't think a lot of PETAphiles are football fans. I'm very sure a lot of hunters are. In defending himself, Portis will not satisfy dog lovers, but will bring down the wrath of hunters. He did not distinguish that hunting is legal, while dog fighting is not. While that's his point, it's also the point he seems to miss about dog fighting.
Asked about his guarantee that the Redskins would go to the NFC championship game, Portis said this year, with the talent on the roster, was the best opportunity for the Redskins to make it. After this year, he expected the team to be broken up in some way, especially if they do not win. He did not say who he thought could be released. For Washington Redskins fans, this was the big news; that year four of the second Gibbs era was make or brake. If the team does not make it past the conference championship, “I think we are going to see a lot of things unfolding and a lot of people go.”
I'm very worried for our boy Clinton. His defense of Vick has been clumsy to the extreme -- in a post-teen-ager kinda way. Portis' comments will haunt him all season. I believe most true Redskin fans will support him -- eventually -- because he is our own. Everywhere else, Portis is in for the T.O treatment, which will come as a great relief to Terrell Owens. In the future, Clinton should leave these interviews to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.