Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Michael Vick Is Free, But Is He Free?

Disgraced and suspended former NFL Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick ended his 23 month federal dogfighting sentence yesterday. Vick's attorney announced to the media that Vick has been released from federal custody as scheduled, and Vick no longer has to wear the electronic monitoring bracelet that he wore during the last two months of the home confinement portion of his 23 month sentence. In other words Michael Vick is a free man. But is he really free?

29 year old Vick was convicted and sentenced to two years for horrific crimes against animals. Some would say he did his time. Others would say there is no redemption for the crimes he committed by torturing and killing dogs in his dogfighting den of hell. Either way Michael Vick will forever be synonymous with the evil crimes he undoubtedly committed. Granted, he did his time and hopefully his penance, and one would argue that he deserves some sort of chance to resume a normal life and live in peace. I would agree. But do we have to allow him into our living rooms on Sunday afternoons and root for him or his team with our families and friends? That is the question.

Vick's legal troubles cost him an estimated $100 million in salary, endorsements and his future earnings. If you're gonna do the crime, you've got to do the time. Pitty the thief who's not sorry he stole, but is so sorry he got caught. It was Michael Vick and Michael Vick alone, who ruined his legacy and quite possibly his life, so does he deserve a second chance in the NFL? I wonder.

Let's put aside his disgrace for a moment and troubleshoot his NFL comeback.

  • Chances are Vick is in great shape. Not much else to do in Leavenworth except hone his 29 yr old NFL athletic quarterback body to a chiseled perfection.

  • Vick has surely lost his timing, but how difficult is that to get back? Odds are he is hungry for a victorious return to the gridiron.

  • Vick has been released from his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, in June of this year. Who would want him? Depending on his QB ability, post incarceration, which team is desperate enough to take on the PR nightmare that would be Michael Vick at hero position.

  • What does an NFL with a highly compensated Michael Vick playing weekly say about America? What does an NFL without a Michael Vick, banned for life, say about America?

There are those who say that Vick has done his time. NFL Commish Roger Goodell wants to have a sit down with Michael about his future in the NFL and is quoted in today's Boston Herald as saying, "Michael did an egregious thing. He has paid a significant price."

Indeed, Mr. Commish, as I would not want to be in your shoes when the time comes to make the Michael Vick decision.

I doubt if Michael Vick will ever be free.


B.E. Earl said...

They should have locked him up WITH a bunch of angry pitbulls.

That would have been justice.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

But he didn't do the crime alone. There were three other guys brought up on the charges, and they all got commuted sentences because they threw Vick under the bus.

I'm not defending what the guy did, but he has served more than his time. He would have been better served to have just killed someone while drunk, that way he'd either get 30 days in prison and a long probation (Dante Stallworth) or just allowed to play in the league since he's a star and all (Ray Lewis).

And...are you kidding? Roger Gooddell and his unique brand of totalitarian justice--all under the guise of "cleaning the league up"--has been licking his chops for the past 23 months in order to get to hand down Vick's NFL suspension.

Slyde said...

i have no sympathy for him.

no 2nd chance deserved.

he didnt make a mistake, he made a concious decision to watch dogs kill each other.

screw him.

Heff said...

I hope he ends up as a cashier in a 7/11.

Scandalous Housewife said...

I think what he did was despicable, but really, it bothers me that they let 1st time murderers off on probation after 7 years.
Dude needs therapy.

Bill Stankus said...

I think whatever happens next is solely dependent on what type of public penance Vick does. If, for example, he opens a shelter for abused animals - and works there some of the time, that could make a difference and also salvage his career. I he only says "sorry" and doesn't do much else - he's toast.

The pro game has change some since his legal problems. He probably wants to be a QB again but his age, rustiness and the changed game may mean he'll either be a backup or play another position.

Bobby the Blue Baxojayz said...

I thought the NY teams would be knocking on his door, but even they are saying they aren't interested. It's just that dogs are man's best friend and when you build raping stations to breed dogs for fighting it turns the masses against you. What he did was vile beyond belief.

HOWEVER, this is the USA. You pay your debt to society and you ARE supposed to get a second chance. But it doesn't look like this guy's gonna get it.

I'll give him a second chance.
I can use a gardener.

SkylersDad said...

I just can't give him another chance. Animals, especially dogs are a different situation with me than people. People almost always have some sort of control over the situation they are in. I know that people get killed in their own homes, but people also get killed at 3AM being where they shouldn't be. Free will you know. Dogs have to put their trust in us to do what is best for them, and take care of them. This was heinous.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

He did his time, he has the right to seek employment. And hell, it's not like the Raiders wouldn't take him. Seriously, if you're going to ban guys from the NFL for being criminals, we'll be left with a two-on-two game . . . Peyton Manning and Greg Jennings against Kurt Warner and Warrick Dunn.

John said...

Some team will take him. It will be interesting to see how that community responds, whichever one it is.

RE: "...so does he deserve a second chance in the NFL?...

Sure he does. And the first game he loses, he can have his choice of being shot, hanged, or drowned.

Anonymous said...

Although Michael Vick committed a horrific crime, in this case, this is a perfect example of how a second chance could do so much good to further to cause against animal cruelty. I certainly don’t think he deserves again all the accolades that he accumulated before this, but this would be a perfect time for him to reinvent himself, and pursue a different career path.

He is still a role model (believe it or not, even though most won’t admit it) to many kids who aspire to excel in sports. Now, he has an even more important role to those kids to teach them that animal cruelty is not cool, and it not a sport.

As much as I detest what he did, I can’t help but think about how us omnivores contribute to animal cruelty by supporting massive factory farming and cruel and inhumane treatment toward farm animals. What about the chickens who are forced to live in ammonia-reeked pens, stuffed into the back of open-air trucks and driven to slaughter in stagnating heat or freezing weather?

What about the chickens that have their beaks ripped from their faces so they don’t peck each other, or pigs who have their teeth pulled out with pliers so they don’t bite each other in their tight pens. What about the cows that are dragged with broken legs to the slaughter, or pigs paralyzed with a bolt of electricity to calm them down, or cows raised for veal, stuck in pens where they cannot move, forcing them to stand in their own excrement for months on end.

I eat meat with the best of them, and try to buy free-range foods when I can. But let’s be fair about the reality of what’s really going on out there in the world.

I certainly don’t condone dog fighting, and never will, but I think a good, honest, second chance is in order, considering the hypocrisy all around us.

Scott Oglesby said...

That was a great analysis on the situation. What he did was horrible and as a dog lover I can’t even express my outrage. That being said though, living in Spain has opened my eyes to the fact that a huge portion of the world looks at animals in an entirely different light. I see some appalling things here to often to mention, and there is nobody to call, or help. I rescued my cat from a plastic garbage bag that was just thrown in the bin. 2 of his siblings were already dead. And that is no where near the worst incidents.

I guess what I’m saying is a lot of it boils down to culture, and if you are raised in a culture that accepts and condones cruelty to animals then it’s not even a thought after a while. Unfortunately, I do know he will play again in the NFL. But he will always be a loser, on the field and off.

Jules said...

Luckily for him, he is in the right profession to seek work with a criminal record.

The Dental Maven said...

BIG animal lover here. ESPECIALLY dogs. No sympathy for Vick. But professional sports is just another form of entertainment - and as an industry they're all about making money. Morals, ethics and character have no place in their equations.

Elenka said...

I don't know that much about Mr. Vick, but yesterday's post still has me chuckling.

Scope said...

Two words:

Da Raiders

And your word ver is egging me on to rip on Vick: "dismi"

BeckEye said...

Ick. I couldn't give him another shot. I know he's done his time but I think his career is over. People just don't respect him.

Anonymous said...

Well I never thought he was that great to begin with for one. I just can't see anyone taking him on. Just another case of a brother striking it rich and not being smart enough to let go of the "thug life". Oh well, keep it real now bitch!

Wil Harrison.com

Scope said...

I think a year in the MFL would do him wonders.

That's not a typo. Minor Football League.


I don't wish him upon the Canadians.

(And Candy, your blog just tole me I have a "hictan". That's cold.) :-)