Vick’s formula is wrong
Appeal Sports Writer
The whole world seems to be down on Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick, and it has every reason to be.
Vick has been indicted for his alleged role in dogfighting that took place on his property in Virginia. There are horrible stories about how the dogs were killed if they lost or couldn’t fight. Electrocuting dogs. Throwing them down repeatedly until they die. Ugly, ugly stuff.
Now some will say innocent until proven guilty. I agree with that much of the time, but this one is different.
In this case, I believe where there is smoke there is fire. Trust me on this, the Feds don’t indict unless the evidence is overwhelming in their favor. The Feds don’t like to lose.
The authorities have been on this since April, and you know they wanted to make sure that they had all their ducks in a row before moving forward.
In an Atlanta Constitution Journal poll that was on AOL, only 15 percent believe that the indictment of Vick was a hasty decision. Fifteen percent. That says a lot. That tells me that this stinks.
I’m somewhat surprised that the Falcons themselves haven’t suspended Vick, who has had some other scrapes with the law in the last couple of years .
I’m also surprised that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t dropped the hammer on Vick yet.
I asked several people what they would do if they were the NFL commissioner, and all of them said they would wait until Vick is proven guilty of the charges.
Pac Man Jones was suspended more for his stupidity than anything else. He did plead guilty in two different cases, but the biggest one, the melee in Vegas where a bouncer was shot and paralyzed, is the most serious of his actions. That case hasn’t even gone to trial.
In this instance, Goodell didn’t wait for a decision by the court system for the fiasco in Las Vegas. He sat Pac Man down, and justifiably so.
Goodell should do the same to Vick, and here’s why.
Goodell pulled Vick aside at the NFL Draft and asked if he had knowledge, or was involved with, the alleged dogfighting ring that was discovered by accident back in late April by federal authorities. Vick said it was his property, but said he knew nothing else.
Was Vick lying to the commissioner? I say yes. Goodell may have been able to help Vick if the star athlete had come forward right away and admitted guilt. Maybe Goodell could have lightened the sentence.
Goodell has every reason to sit Vick down. This is going to be another huge public relations hit for the league, which has taken several of them in the past year. The last thing Goodell wants to see is animal rights activists at every NFL stadium this season and continuously outside his office in New York like they were earlier in the week.
When are these high-priced athletes going to get it? When are they going to understand that money doesn’t allow you to continuously break the law and get away with it.
My opinion is that Vick should be suspended for the first half of the season regardless of what happens in court. If he is indeed found guilty, he should be done for the year, maybe even longer.
Vick smashed the NFL’s code of conduct to pieces. I hope he loses every endorsement out there. I hope he finds it difficult to find a job in the NFL. I hope he gets the maximum in prison time the alleged crime calls for. If that happens, he may well be too old to play in the league anyway.
To be a part of this alleged dogfighting ring is despicable. You have to wonder about a guy like that. You have to wonder about his morals.
I don’t want to hear it’s (dogfighting) a big part of the Southern culture and the black culture. It’s wrong, plain and simple. White or black, it’s wrong.
And, when you are an NFL quarterback who is one of the most recognizable names and faces around, and the owner of some great endorsement deals, you have to be above reproach. You need to be a role model even if it means distancing yourself from bad influences, whether they are family or close childhood friends. Sometimes, you are only as good as the company you keep.
Why can’t there be more guys like Peyton and Eli Manning? They get it. I’m sure the Mannings know that there are people out here that are just waiting for them to screw up. That’s human nature. I know the Mannings aren’t perfect, but both seem to have it together.
One last thing.
This was not a witch hunt, though I’m sure many people think the Feds are trying to make an example out of Vick. The only reason the Feds found out about dogfighting is because Davon Bodde, Vick’s cousin, was arrested on drug charges. Authorities got search warrants for Vick’s property to allegedly search for more drug paraphernalia, and that’s when the dogfighting stuff was uncovered.
Vick claims he’s hardly at the house, yet there are reports of him carrying in bags of money to pay off bets when his dogs lost. If everybody is so innocent, why are some of the outbuildings painted black? Why is the privacy fence so high? Obviously these guys had something to hide, and I’m happy they got caught.