Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Michael Vick pays the piper

Michael Vick's day of reckoning came yesterday when U.S. District Judge sentenced him to 23 months imprisonment for participating and bankrolling an interstate dog fighting ring.

Rather, Vick was convicted for the dog fighting, but sentenced for lying about it before and after his guilty plea. Wilbon writes that he was suprised by the harshness of Vick's sentence, but should not have been, given Vick's lack of candor with the feds.

The whole self-made tragedy of the Ookie saga rests on that string of deception from the first news to the final FBI lie-detector test.

Worst lie of all was Vick's initial story that relatives living at his Moonlight Drive property were responsible. You're in this thing up to your neck and you throw your family under the bus?

If I were the patriarch of Vick's family, I would want to know why my one grandson publicly maligned my other grandson. I wouldn't be so quick to overlook it because the one was the goose laying golden eggs for the family. But, that's just me.

It's none of my business whether that accounting happened within the Vick-Boddy family. If it did not, however, it informs why Vicks' instincts led him to make the wrong decision at every turn in the saga; why he never outgrew his Ookie side.

Michael Vick never learned to hold himself accountable.

ESPN's John Clayton speculates that Vick could be back in the NFL as soon as the 2010 season. Maybe, if Virginia does not convict him on separate charges and extends his sentence beyond the fed's. [I still think those Virginia charges are piling on. It may be the law, but it's not justice.]

And maybe the 30 months of closely supervised probation will restrict Vick's movement after his release just enough to inhibit joining a team right away. Whenever he joins a team -- if that happens -- it will surely take a full season for Vick to get his "game legs."

It could be 2012 before you see Michael Vick on the field.

I'm trying to fight the tendency of judging Vick too harshly, now; not to be one of those "evangelicals" who are quick to condemn human weakness in others while blind to their own.

There's a little Ookie in everyone. Whether you cheat on your taxes or cheat on your spouse, lie to your boss, or mistreat small animals, everybody is hiding something. Everybody wants a little understanding and a second chance if they get caught.

So now the Michael Vick story morphs to parable -- a tale with a moral lesson for all of us. And the moral is this,

Photo bottom: VarvelBlog found here.

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