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The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Tue. Aug 21, 2007

Michael Vick is a Lying Dog Murdering Team Betraying Anti Role Model

America is an amazingly forgiving country, especially when it comes to those we call “celebrities.” If people already like you, and maybe even irrationally feel like they “know” you, you can stand in front of them and sincerely say … “I do not know what I was thinking when I had carnal relations with that farm animal, I sincerely apologize to all farm animals, and I am entering a 12 step program to deal with my farm animal issues; it will never ever happen again” ... and people will eventually “forgive” you!

Oh, sure, they’ll make their jokes on the late night talk shows, there may be some Photoshopped photos passed around the blogs, and the occasional person on the street may walk up behind you and say “Baa-aa-aa-aah,” but they’ll let you continue doing what they liked you for originally. Eventually. Because you quickly and sincerely apologized for being such an idiot, and there’s not a one of us that hasn’t done something stupid we regret, even if it didn’t involve livestock.

Or, you could choose to remain completely silent until your case is resolved, showing all the facts in open court.

Or, you could take the route Michael Vick did. Lie, at every opportunity, for months.

Lie to the public who ultimately pay your salary:

“I’m never there. I’m never at the house, “ he said in late April. “I left the house with my family members and my cousin. They just haven’t been doing the right thing. The issue will get resolved.

“It’s unfortunate I have to take the heat behind it. If I’m not there, I don’t know what’s going on. It’s a call for me to really tighten down on who I’m trying to take care of. When it all boils down, people will try to take advantage of you and leave you out to dry. Lesson learned for me.”

AJC: Indictment details extensive dog fighting operation

Lie to the NFL Commissioner who has been handing out suspensions like poisoned candy to juvenile delinquents:

In a July interview with SI.com, Goodell said Vick had assured him he was not involved in dog fighting.

“His comments to me were very consistent with what he has said publicly: That he does not have any interest in that, that it wasn’t happening at his property, and that was his discussion,” Goodell said. “And I was very clear with him that if it’s happening on your property, it’s your responsibility.”

Roanoke.com: Michael Vick takes plea deal, avoids additional dog fighting charges

Lie right outside the court. Not in person, mind you, via your lawyer (who also issued the apology to Michael’s mother … who was standing right there at the podium … unlike Mike):

“Today in court, I pleaded innocent to the allegations made against me. I take these charges very seriously and look forward to clearing my good name. I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgement until all of the facts are shown. Above all, I would like to say to my mom, I am sorry for what she has had to go through and in this most trying of times. It has caused pain to my family and I apologize to my family. I also want to apologize to my Falcons teammates for not being with them at the beginning of spring training.”

WSB: Michael Vick’s Statement

Lie to the man who signs the checks with all the zeroes at the end:

Before an exhibition game in Buffalo on Friday night, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the latest plea agreements indicated Vick lied to him and other league officials.

“What’s suggested in those statements of fact don’t match up with what the league was told, even our organization and certainly not what was said to the commissioner,” Blank told the Associated Press.

Blank added: “It’s sad that those allegations exist and now they are confirmed by others. It’s sad that Michael has put himself into that kind of situation. It’s his responsibility for putting himself into that situation.”

Blank’s comments echoed those of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who said Vick denied any connection to dog fighting when the two spoke in April.

“I was very direct with him on whether he was involved with it, and he denied any involvement in it and in fact he said he was a dog lover,” Goodell said in Friday’s edition of USA Today. “That’s why he had so many dogs.”

LA Times: Co-defendants point their fingers at Vick

Nearly a quarter year of lies finally came to an end when “Billy Martin, Vick’s attorney, said in a statement issued [Monday] afternoon, ‘Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to these charges and to accept full responsibility for those actions and for the mistakes he has made.’”

Well, he will finally “accept full responsibility”, after lying his ass off for months. There will be more, to be sure, when the prosecutors release the actual plea document next Monday. It will spell out in detail the acts to which Vick is legally admitting. And it will be ugly. But, even with what I know today, it’s plenty ugly already.

Michael Vick (1) is so wrong, (2) has screwed up, (3) let down so many ... in so many ways that I just have to spell them out. Call it a victim’s statement or a truth commission, I don’t care. We are now officially past any presumption of innocence, so let’s itemize the guilt.

(1) He’s A Dog Murderer

A common refrain among those who have stood up for Vick is … “It’s just dogs.” I’ve also heard some say that if a dog is a man’s property, what business is it of mine what he does with his property? Well, a mere 150 years ago some “American men” said the very same thing … about their slaves. So be careful about the lines you draw on “property” when it involves another life that God put on this planet, not you.

“It’s just dogs” is a nice clean euphemism. There was nothing nice or clean about this. According to the plea document, it was “just” three men hanging out, seeing how some dogs “tested” in fights, and killing eight who didn’t make the grade.

In or about April 2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, VICK, and two others “rolled” or “tested” additional “Bad Newz Kennels” dogs by putting the dogs through fighting sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road to determine which animals were good fighters. PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK executed approximately 8 dogs that did not perform well in “testing” sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various methods, including hanging and drowning. All three participated in executing the dogs. PHILLIPS agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK.

Just three guys hanging out killin’ dogs. Not euthanizing them in the most efficient manner because they were a drain on their dog fighting operation. Some were drowned. Some were hung. At least one was electrocuted. This was three guys inflicting death in a manner they could … enjoy.

Yes, please do recoil from that concept, that someone could “enjoy” killing a dog. That means you are normal, and points out that Vick and his buddies are not. But there simply is no other explanation for the methods use to kill these animals except enjoyment. A bullet to the head would have been the cold but efficient method that someone who retained a morsel of morality might employ.

Perhaps they were afraid of violating local laws against discharging firearms. Regardless, Vick is a dog murderer.

(2) He’s a Dog Fighter

I’m keeping this distinctly separate from “Dog Murderer” for reasons I’ll get into below. But first I have to recount what I find a very telling detail in this saga. Michael Vick’s infamous $100 million contract was not his first big money deal. It was an extension of his original big money deal. He signed a six-year, $62 million contract on May 28, 2001, shortly after he was drafted. It included a $3 million signing bonus.

Suddenly, the man has enough money to buy anything he wants. You can now fulfill your dreams, whatever they might be. So what does he buy? The property at 1915 Moonlight Road, on June 29, 2001. The money is barely a month old, but he’s had his buddy Tony Taylor out looking for such a property for two months. They specifically wanted it to house and train pit bulls. They built the outbuildings, and later the house with a full size basketball court behind it.

That was his dream, from the beginning. It’s one of the first things he financed when he finally got the Big Bucks. I find that very telling.

I said I keep this separate from “Dog Murderer,” and that’s because we are parsing degrees of awfulness here. In that vein, let’s compare dog fighting to child porn. Of course, we can not equate a child with a dog. As I said, we are parsing degrees of awfulness. I instinctively would risk my life without hesitation to save any child whose life was at imminent risk. I don’t know if I can say that about dogs.

But here’s my point: both dog fighting and child porn involve sub-humans who are getting both enjoyment and profit from the abuse of innocents who cannot defend themselves from such predation. One is definitely more heinous than the other. But they have their similarities.

Now … imagine a child pornographer who then snuffs the kids who don’t perform up to his expectations. Snuffs them in the ugliest manner imaginable.

Yes, we are parsing degrees of severe awfulness here. But that somehow seems even worse, doesn’t it? Thus, this separate “victim statement.”

(3) He’s a Team No Show

Once you put aside the legal implications of the actual acts and their victims, who is next on the Long List Of People Mike Let Down?

Right at the top you have to place his former teammates, still toiling in the August heat of the Atlanta Falcons training camp. These people were invested in Mike in ways you and I can’t comprehend.

It’s not just that he was one of about 50 guys who shared the trenches. He was the lead dog pulling the sled. His teammates’ professional future was largely riding on Vick’s shoulders; performance money based on offensive output, playoff appearances and fees, selection for the All-Star team, etc. All gone. Poof.

They’ve largely spoken up for Michael until now, and some still are. But when you’re on a team like that, and your buddy lets you down Big Time, and isn’t there for you when you need him … you don’t forget that. When your team suffers a complete turnover at the quarterback position in a mere nine months … you don’t forget that.

(4) He’s a Blank Betrayer

Next on the Long List Of People Mike Let Down is team owner Arthur Blank, who has to be feeling like the ultimate fool in this. Imagine what’s running through his mind lately.

“Look at me, the $100 Million Sucker! Look at me, the Pushed Your Wheelchair When You Had A Broken Leg Sucker! Look at me, the Sucker who believed you when you said you weren’t involved and were going watch your associations! I’m just the Biggest Sucker in Atlanta! Thanks, Michael!”

Arthur Blank is a proud and successful man. A man, like any man, who hates to be made to look like a fool. A man who has lived and died by his word. And who, rightfully, expects those within his realm to do the same. A man who takes great pride in his product, and goes to great lengths to keep it properly polished. For such a person, this is the most egregious offense there could be.

For such a person, I can’t imagine that there will be any forgiveness.

(5) He’s an Anti-Role Model

Next on the Long List Of People Mike Let Down is your child. Or any child who wanted to “Be Like Mike,” and maybe even owned a Number 7 jersey. Or has a pet dog. How does a parent explain to a child why they can’t wear their Number 7 jersey anymore, or why Michael would want to kill a dog like their dog, Scruffy?

Uncountable parents thank you for that, Michael. Even after their parents do their best to explain, imagine what those kids think about Mike now.

He is now the Anti Role Model. Whenever someone needs a metaphor for tossing away your future via bad behavior, Michael Vick will be it. Thus, parents may salvage something from this: Don’t Be Like Mike.”

(6) He is Potential Buried Forever

Though I’ve also chastised him, I have sung the praises of Michael Vick many times on this very site, going back to 2002…

Time… “Have I mentioned Atlanta has a new rising star lately? Remember the name, Michael Vick.”

...after time… “Vick will leave defenders on the turf who moments before had him in their grasp, and when I see them get up shaking their heads, looking at each other as if to say, ‘how the hell are we supposed to stop this guy,’ I just laugh and laugh.”

...after time… “He is so fast, when they show the slow motion instant replay, it looks like everybody is moving in slow motion… except Michael Vick.”

...after time… “But tonight we saw why Michael Vick needs for his legs to be 100% healthy to play ball. He carries the whole team with them.”

...after time… “I see it after so many plays; a defensive back pursues Vick at his usual angle of attack, but is barely able to touch him as he slashes past, and then stands there afterwards with his hands on his hips, shaking his head. You can almost see the little thought balloon over his head … ‘what more can I do?’”

...after time: “He’s 24 years old. Right now, I’d say Michael Vick is about 70% of the player he will become. And, right now, I think he is the best athlete in the NFL, and among the three most amazing players I’ve ever seen. But, he’s going to get even better.”

That last one was 2.5 years ago, and I was horribly horribly wrong. In the two seasons that followed, the Falcons collapsed in the second half both times to finish with a losing record. Whereas Michael Vick had once been a threat to score most any time he touched the ball, he went lengthy multi-game stretches without throwing any touchdown passes at all. His most public display of anything approaching “leadership” was giving the finger to the fans.

If, as I wrote in December of 2004, he was 70% of the player I thought he might become, he had decayed to perhaps 65% of that player by the end December, 2006.

But one was still left with some “reasonable doubt” over the “crimes” of the last two seasons, due to highly suspect coaching. Lo and behold, Arthur Blank started out 2007 by getting a brand new coach, one who had a history of developing quarterbacks with great success. In effect, he got Mike his coach. The system to succeed would be put in place. All Mike had to do was apply himself to it.

That long heralded potential might finally be displayed. This was to be the make-or-break year for Michael Vick, 27 years old and at his physical peak.

That potential is now buried. If we take a best case of a one year sentence followed by a one year suspension from the NFL, and are generous enough to assume some owner would immediately be willing to take on the ugly load that will come with hiring Vick at that time, he might play again by October, 2009.

More likely it will be the 2010 season, if at all. Michael Vick will be over 30 then, out of the game three seasons, and way past his prime or whatever potential it once held. That’s buried, dead forever, as of today.

(7) He Betrayed Me

Well, you saw all the posts I linked above, even if you only skimmed them. I’ve been a Falcons fan since shortly after I moved to Georgia in 1978. This is the team that has a four decade hex, under which they have failed to ever have winning seasons back-to-back. This is the team that went to the Super Bowl … one time ... and lost the game the night before when their starting safety and team co-captain decided to leave his wife and kids at home to go pick up a hooker.

In other words, I have seen many unique tales of woe in the past three decades of following this team. And in that three decades of woe, the arrival of Michael Vick and early years of his career are one of the brightest spots among a very few. Since 2001, it has been his potential that made watching the Falcons sufferable, even when they were down.

But what was once “hope,” a bright spot, is now a black hole. The darkest blotch ever on the Falcons, and among the darkest to blot out any sports star that ever existed.

I can think of many ways that such a “star” might be snatched away from my team and leave me feeling that the team had suffered a great loss, or that an injustice had occurred which left me feeling “ripped off” in some way. A silly rule violation, a devastating injury, a stupid trade, etc.

In this case, it’s a cancer removed. A nasty parasite that once gave the illusion of a future, within the context of a big boys game.

But all is now revealed.

Michael Vick is a liar. A dog murderer. A betrayer of many people, big and small, intimates and strangers. He’s gone from role model to bad example.

And it will all be documented in court next Monday.


Peanut Gallery

1  emcee fleshy wrote:

Could you clarify that analogy on dogs and slaves for me?

2  Reid wrote:

I knew I might get in trouble bringing slavery and children into this.

I am in no way equating a dog with any human life.

I was making a statement about those who believe they not only can own the life of another, they can do with “it” whatever they please, including end its life in a violent manner.

That was the way plantation owners once felt about the people they “owned.” Well, 1915 Moonlight Road was a Pit Bull Plantation, population 54.

3  Dana wrote:

I will equate children and animals in the sense that both are completely innocent. They are all we have in this world with that quality. I was watching CNN last night and Tikki Barber was on there proclaiming that Vick is actually a “good” guy and that he unfortunately succumbed to the enviroment he was raised in. Man, the NFL fraternity runs deep, doesn’t it? And what an insult to the decent, kind-hearted people who were raised in the same enviroment. I think this has gone on long enough for everyone to admit that we are dealing with one sick, sadistic individual. I don’t think he feels a speck of remorse for any of those dogs, although I’m sure he feels VERY sorry for himself right now. I only hope that the commissioner of football realizes the depth of anger these sordid events have created and bans Vick for life. Not because of his gambling links but because of his socio-pathic brutality.

4  west point John wrote:

Yeah, yeah, yeah – dogs are cute and precious, blah, blah, blah. PETA, PETA, PETA – puppy dogs, rainbows and unicornsÖ

Michael Vick didnít kill a human; they were f@cking dogs – case closed. There have been countless examples of athletes responsible for deaths – Ray Lewis barely avoided murder charges – let alone drunk driving or worse (letís not even discuss child support).

Now, it has been a long time since junior high but when last I checked, not only were dogs domesticated animals (that fall much lower on the food chain than humans) but we have killed domesticated animals for much lesser crimes. The ASPCA kills tens of thousands of domesticated animals on a weekly basis. Also, when in the hell did PETA become a lobby group in charge of upholding federal policy?

Donít get me wrong – Pamela Anderson has great tits, but she needs to shut the f@ck up and just sit there and look pretty. Doesnít she still have hepatitis or AIDS or something she caught from Kid Rock? Go get therapy bitch, and leave Michael Vick alone.

I agree that killing animals for random reasons is cruel; but fine him. Community Service. Any other mundane nonsense that we normally throw at bullsh!t crimes is the categorical reprimand this deserves.

He was making $100M. Can you imagine the good he would have been able to do in the furthering of animalsí rights with his fame and money? Am I on crazy pills or am I the only one who sees this as another step in the wussification of the public perception of justice? Michael Vick should be free – fine him, spank him, cane him, WHATEVER – but jail? WTF! Anyone who thinks this is enough to completely ruin a manís life, is bat shit insane and should be spayed and neutered because they shouldnít taint the gene pool.

Michael Vickís contribution to the game of football is enormously more valuable than the lives of 10,000 dogs and 72 kittens.

I have spoken.

coedmagazine.com/spo…

5  Reid wrote:

John: “Michael Vick’s contribution to the game of football is enormously more valuable than the lives of 10,000 dogs and 72 kittens.”

If you believe, even metaphorically, that a man’s contribution to a “game” is more important than the lives of thousands of dogs and cats, well, then you have spoken.

And since you are concerned about my ability to taint the gene pool, I haven’t been neutered, but my wife has been spayed.

You should be safe.

6  emcee fleshy wrote:

West Point, eh?

I was about to say I feel less safe now. But then I realized that San Diego, CA is the only place in the world that West Point grads are afraid to go. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is across the street from the house, and my closest neighbors here in SD are all Navy and Marine Corps. So I’m literally one of the safest humans on the planet.

However, if I was still living near Fort Benning, that post would worry me a bit.

7  mullah cimoc wrote:
[deleted ... see below]
8  Reid wrote:

mullah cimoc, you had your shot at this site, and I allowed it. But you are in violation of the clearly posted comment policy. So no more.

Go find new pastures to spread your seed.

9  Paul wrote:

Good grief, Reid, you pulled the net kook ticket on this one. You’ve attracted Babel Fish Yoda and an internet tough guy. Who the hell did you piss off?

I have typed.

10  Al wrote:

Okay, let’s get this right out there, I did not read the whole post and I intentionally did not read the comments.

However, I scanned it pretty throughly and believe I got the gist; Vick killed dogs, lied and was a bad role model. Michael Vick is a grade-a asshole and people who fight dogs are overwhelmingly violent dickheads. It isn’t exactly a sport that appeals to the “common man” and a bit of time in a federal joint sounds just about right. Yeah, I don’t feel badly for him.

Now, where are we? Does redemption enter into the picture? He does his time, pays a gazillion dollars in fines and civil settlements, moves on (I’m thinking New England) and says all the right things. The guys, what? Twenty-seven, twenty-eight? He’s got years left.

The NFL gets a bad boy made good story (it’s not like he butchered his wife), a cheesy franchise (Patriots) gets a star cheap and the ASPCA makes a mint. Win, win.

Comment by Al · 08/22/2007 03:58 AM
11  Reid wrote:

Redemption? I started off this article by stating a celebrity could likely have carnal relations with a farm animal, and America would forgive them, if they just ‘fessed up and said they were sorry. To this day, Michael Vick has not yet done that. Until Monday, he’s lied. Time and time again, to anyone who asked.

So I understand what you’re saying about redemption. However, a prerequisite is copious display of genuine remorse. I’ve seen him feel sorry for the situation he’s now in, but remorse?

Haven’t seen that. I’ve seen statements by his lawyer.

12  hipparchia wrote:

Damn fine rant.

I like most dogs better than I like most people, so I was glad to see Dog Murderer first on your list. And thank you too, for drawing the distinction between dog murderer and dog fighter. It’s an important point.

13  emcee fleshy wrote:

I generally agree. But I’ve got to note that a single count of “Dog murderer” really wouldn’t make a splash. Jonathan Babineaux, who’s got practically no athletic or star-value to protect him, is still with the team.

But Mike bankrolled a dog-Dachau for six years. That’s what sets him apart from guys like Ray Lewis or even Pac-man. As screwed up as their actions were, the other guys were involved in discreet incidents (even if they were multiple discreet incidents).

The truth is, a person can screw up once or twice and be forgiven for practically anything that isn’t pre-meditated murder (yeah, screw you, Rae Carruth). But a pattern of activity, especially one that persists for years, is an entirely different matter.

There’s a point at which it goes from being a mistake to being a character flaw (Pac-man Jones is a case-study on where that line is). In that sense, Vick has more in common with Pete Rose and Tim Donaghy, people who will never be rehabilitated.

The only question now is, how many Arena League records can a 30-year-old set?

14  Dana wrote:

Redemption is going to be hard to come by for this guy. When it comes to the abuse of children or animals, you’re in some very turbulent waters of public opinion. Sure, there’s a segment of the population that feels what he did was incidental compared to the atrocities humans do to each other. People who have disdain or indifference for dogs will express sympathy for Vick and long for the day he’s back on the field. But for the millions of people who love animals deeply, this is one guagmire No.7 will never pull himself out of. He can read all the prepared statements he wants. People have extremely long memories when it comes to animals, especially for the ones who have been abused. Good luck, Mike. If you’re lucky, maybe some desperate franchise will plead for your services around the year 2010.

15  Reid wrote:

Michael Wilbon has an excellent article about Vick and his chances at redemption:

“To get back into pro football – and there’s no guarantee – Vick is going to have to repeatedly and convincingly demonstrate a level of humility I doubt he’s felt a single day in his life [...] He’s never been lovable, never been charming or PR savvy. He’s rarely extended himself or been engaging publicly. But that’s where the rehabilitation of his reputation begins, with doing all the things he thought previously were beneath him. If he just remains the same old Michael Vick, he’s got no chance.

16  emcee fleshy wrote:

A strange realization: after being a super-star for my team for six years, I still don’t know what his voice sounds like.

No, “I’m Mike Vick and I use Chapstick and fly AirTran.” Nothing.

17  olyander wrote:

A few points I’d like to make, first about Vick the man, then about the NFL.

First, I think it’s probably appropriate in this case to remove the word “dog” from “dog murderer”. He is, quite simply, a murderer. I hope the judge does the right thing and gives him more than a year. Five would be appropriate, I think.

Next, I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, but remember that many serial killers start by killing animals for pleasure. The historical fact is, once killing dogs becomes “old hat”, you just have to move on to something else.

Finally, my point about the NFL. I think the bigger point, with respect to the NFL, that you don’t mention, is the gambling ring that Vick orchestrated around the dog fighting and killing. Nothing, is more detrimental to a professional sports league than gambling. Just ask David Stern. He’s got a serious problem on his hands right now, and the worst of it is yet to come. It’s why Pete Rose will never be in the hall of fame.

Dog Gambling will lead to NFL Gambling. Vick shouldn’t be banned for life for killing dogs. He should be banned for life for organizing a wide scale gambling ring that eventually would cause serious repercussion to the health of the NFL. I hope Roger Goodell has the foresight to see that and takes the hard line against Vick.

18  MattK wrote:

To equate the “putting down” or “putting to sleep of dogs” by the ASPCA to what Vick did is just outright stupid. The man did not “put them to sleep”, he brutally killed them. He caused as much pain as possible before the animals eventual demise.

I have seen people equate his actions to killing animals for food or to hunting. I do not hunt, never have, however even in that “sport” animals are not bred to be killed. There are hunting seasons that are designed to control wild animal populations. Your average hunter does not go out, buy a deer, tie it to a tree in his backyard and shoot it. Nor does the hunter drown it, electrocute it or beat it senseless.

I have owned dogs my entire life. Tragically lost one to cancer and another to a congenital heart defect and I can tell you that, while I do not yet have children, I imagine the pain is similar to the loss of a child. I got my first dog when I was 3, grew up with her and had to watch her slowly die. I loved her, she was more like a sister to me than an animal.

Dog fighting is disgusting and even worse is the brutal murder of an animal for not wanting to KILL another animal. Vick should not only never play football again, but he should be forced to spend the rest of his days caring for dogs that have been victimized by their owners. The house that housed these acts should be converted into the most advanced shelter and animal hospital in the country, fully funded by Michael Vick…however without any of the tax breaks or advantages that charitable donations usually garner.

He should devote the next 60 years of his life to going into to the urban areas where this occurs, removing animals from the abusive homes and caring for them. Maybe then he will be rehabilitated.

19  Dana wrote:

Just a quick note for MattK- I can certainly understand what you went through with the passing of your dogs. I lost my Black Lab back in 1997 to an enlarged heart at the age of six and it is still to this day, one of the most painful experiences of my life. I’ve never had kids either but if losing a child is much worse, then I can’t even imagine that kind of grief. As far as Vick is concerned, I still say that for him to feel remorse is probably out of anyone’s control. How does one suddenly grow a conscience after pulvervising, hanging and electrocuting animals while sleeping like a baby at night? It’s truly scary that people like that are roaming the streets. I can only hope that part of his sentence will be a life long ban from having any contact with any animals unless in a supervised, public manner. And yes, he could theoretically be suspended for life from the NFL for gambling but I’ll believe that when I hear it. I don’t want to get my hopes up.

20  Paul wrote:

I think one of the few positives to come out of this is that now I know whether a sportswriter is really a writer or just a mediocre athlete who lives vicariously through those whom he idolizes for doing what he dreams he could do.

Anyone whose article contains something along the lines of “well, it’s only dogs” is no better than an idiotic fanboy wandering around one of the innumerable cons being held on any given Saturday; an apologist for whatever he’s chosen to worship in this particular time in his life.

Personally, I think Vick needs a trip to Abu Ghraib, as the specal guest of Task Force 6-26.

Then he can be released into the custody of 800th Military Police Brigade.

21  Todd++; wrote:

Man, I miss all the good kook posts by not reading your site often enough, Reid.

This whole affair is a bad scene- it’s a good example of so many problems in society: the ‘bad boy’ mentality in some people; the idea that this mentality is either racially driven, or part of some culture, so therefore excusable; the argument about how serious the crime is if the victims aren’t human; the aspects of gambling, sports, celebrity, sensationalist journalism, lying, lack of contrition… this thing manages to cover so many problems we have that it’s hard to know where to start hacking at it.

For my part, I’m as annoyed as you at Vick for his attitude, but something else in this really pisses me off- it’s the media’s bland acceptance of a group well known for fronting a terrorist group as the de-facto spokespeople for the defense of animals. Yeah, that’d be PETA, the gang of thugs who just last year were on trial for collecting perfectly healthy kittens and dogs from animal shelters with the promise that they’d be adopted, then killing them in the very parking lot of the shelter, then chucking the corpses in a dumpster behind a grocery store. Oh, my- isn’t that in a small way at least somewhat similar to one of Vick’s crimes? Given that they were on trial for doing it to 31 animals, I think they might even trump Vick a bit. Here’s a (very biased, but contains a lot of information after stripping off the hyperbole) link. Read the daily trial reports, they’re eye-opening:

www.petakillsanimals…

So much of this bothers me, but whenever I see one of the PETA mouth-frothers propped up in front of a camera to give ‘expert’ opinions on this, it just blows all credibility on the media coverage.

22  Reid wrote:

Todd: “I miss all the good kook posts “

That’s why I had a twitter the other day that read “What amazes me more than some people, is other people.” Been a good bit of that in this case.

But then, that’s the nature of the Internet (warning, NSFW): If business meetings were like Internet comments.

23  Lesa wrote:

What is really sad and unbearable to even think about is I read where 3 of the dogs who didn’t make the line-up were hung by Vick and his buddies, they checked on them later, only to find that they were still alive….I don’t even want to know what they did to them after that…
These dogs suffered so much trauma from the day they were born..I also read where a under-cover investigator has attended these dog fights before and the dogs have fallen asleep while clinged to each other from exhaustion…only to wake up and self-serve the dog-fighters and start fighting again…pretty sad.
What loyalty for a dog to be strung up and hanged, but live through this….only to be taken down and what?? Body slammed?? People need to realize this is a sick individual and goes beyond the cruelty to animals….Vick is one sick monster….
The sad part is we are hearing only a bit of the story and it is heart wrenching….if we received the whole story and video clips of what went on at this property…I’m sure we would find that he is a cold blooded killer….
I hope the public does not accept his apology as he didn’t apologize to his victims….the dogs…
I hope Judge Nelson makes him anty up some of that dog-fighting money and makes him purchase a Memorial with names of these innocent victims who will most likely be euthanized….They are the true heros who suffered much pain to bring this dog-fighting to the public…People need a place to go to remember these dogs…they have a name….they mattered to us!!
He has offended the NFL...He has offended the American People, He has offended these dogs!!

[Remainder of comment deleted due to offensive language that is banned on this site]

24  Lesa wrote:

Sorry!! Personally didn’t find it offense as never called him that…only making a point…The word makes me sick when people use it….and Vick pretty much has made me sick by even looking at him…I’ll be good…smiling….

Can I still give him the finger??

25  Reid wrote:

Given his behavior last season, I would see that as payback. And you can do or say whatever you want, I’m just not going to allow certain language on my site, whether you meant it to make a point or not.

26  CR wrote:

When all is said and done, all of you Vick “nay-sayers” will never know what its like to be who he is and where he is from. I don’t care what “spokesperson” says differently, dogfighting IS a part of southern culture – especially among those of low to lower middle socioeconomic groups. And since no one wants to go here, I might as well. Whites owned slaves who were treated worse than what Vick has pleaded to being a part of for hundreds of years, and the vast majority of you will only acknowledge in passing such a monstrous act. Yet you want to take a man’s career, AND condemn him to life after his snatched career with a felony conviction on his record? For taking part in something that has gone on everydy since Vick made headlines? You can like or hate Vick, but rest assured, crucifying him will NOT change anything about the dogfighting world. In fact, the dog fighting phenomenon has probably gotten even more popuar since all of the media attention has been focused on it. GREAT JOB. To PETA supporters: I understand your desire to find a vehicle to make your policies a matter of national attention, but in ruining this man’s career (and in essence his ability to take care of himself and his loved ones regardless of the size of his bank account) to get your point across, you have committed the same act as Vick – Inhumane treatment of a living creature.

Comment by CR · 09/18/2007 05:56 PM
27  Reid wrote:

“When all is said and done, all of you Vick “nay-sayers” will never know what its like to be who he is and where he is from.”

Agreed. I will never know what it is like to have earned over $50 million by the age of 27. But it’s not just the “naysayers” ... I would argue it appears you don’t know what its like to “be who he is” given the circumstances in which he has placed himself, and have the courage to stand up and apologize for letting down his entire team, as Vick did.

“I don’t care what “spokesperson” says differently, dogfighting IS a part of southern culture – especially among those of low to lower middle socioeconomic groups.”

I was born and raised in the South, grandson of a depression-era farmer … who lost the farm. I have never ever been around even a hint of dogfighting. I have also never ever been around even a hint of arson against an African American church … yet it goes on to this day. I would argue they are similar parts of “southern culture”: depraved practices the vast majority of Southerners abhor.

“And since no one wants to go here, I might as well. Whites owned slaves who were treated worse than what Vick has pleaded to being a part of for hundreds of years, and the vast majority of you will only acknowledge in passing such a monstrous act.”

No one wants to go there? Did you even read the article on which you’ve left this comment? From above:

A common refrain among those who have stood up for Vick is … “It’s just dogs.” I’ve also heard some say that if a dog is a man’s property, what business is it of mine what he does with his property? Well, a mere 150 years ago some “American men” said the very same thing … about their slaves. So be careful about the lines you draw on “property” when it involves another life that God put on this planet, not you.

“Yet you want to take a man’s career, AND condemn him to life after his snatched career with a felony conviction on his record?”

Because Vick is a victim, who took no actions on his own to bring about this end?

“For taking part in something that has gone on everydy since Vick made headlines?”

Next door in Gwinnett County, about a dozen people were arrrested in the past month or so, for doing “something that has gone on everydy since Vick made headlines” .... dogfighting. It’s a felony in 48 states … like it or not.

“I understand your desire to find a vehicle to make your policies a matter of national attention, but in ruining this man’s career (and in essence his ability to take care of himself and his loved ones regardless of the size of his bank account) to get your point across, you have committed the same act as Vick – Inhumane treatment of a living creature.”

Yes, because a dog that has been hung, electrocuted, or drowned to death is so much better off than Vick will be after one to five years in jail with tens of millions left in the bank.

Right.

Two related questions:

Did Vick have any choice in his actions, or was he simply thrust into a bad situation over which he had no control?

Did the dogs have any choice, or were they thrust into a bad situation over which they had no control?

There is no equivalence.

28  Reid wrote:

I think it’s also worth pointing out how you arrived on this page … by a search for vick it was only a dog

If you feel “it was only a dog,” I think it’s safe to say you and I are not going to agree on anything here.

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