The Hard Fall and Slow Rise of Michael Vick

Michael Vick: on the run to redemption?

 

After two fairly successful outings (one win and a narrow loss), Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid named Michael Vick as the team’s new starting quarterback.  This news was greeted with enthusiasm by fantasy football freaks hoping Vick’s abilities with his arm and legs will pay off,  and surprisingly mild, but  predictable derision by the animal rights group PETA which sniped in a press release, “As long as he’s throwing a football and not electrocuting a dog,  PETA is pleased he is focused on his game.” 

The worst lapse of good taste came by way of the Philadelphia Daily News and a front page cover of Vick with the tagline, “Top Dog.”   They could have been classy or they could have been cute.  They went with cute.   

Kevin Kolb, the guy Reid traded Donovan McNabb away for, suffered a concussion in the opening game, opening the door for Vick.   Vick is in the last year of his contract and if he performs well he could expect to earn millions from the Eagles or as a free agent for some other quarterback starved NFL team.   

The Philly faithful will cheer Vick because he’s taken so much crap from the clueless elitists who compare him to rapists, murderers, sex offenders, pedophiles, the Frankenstein monster and Attila the Hun. 

Maybe they’re as sick of the lynch mob mentality as I am. Go boycott a puppy mill or something.   

Society can nurse a grudge against those whom have offended society, but that only increases the odds they will re-offend. Deprive a man of legitimate means to take care of his needs and he will resort to illegitimate means.   

I respect the right of people not to forgive Vick.  I have a problem with  people who believe the life of a dog holds more value than the life of a human being.  As lovable as any dog may be they still don’t outrank human beings on the evolutionary food chain.  That includes Michael Vick. 

Nor do I respect people who throw their superior morality in your face then get their ass on their shoulder if you’re not as outraged as they are.   Vick went to jail, lost his freedom, lost years of his professional career, lost millions and lost the respect of many in society. He can get some of the money and respect back but he has to earn both. For the hardcore hater, Vick will always be guilty, always unforgiven and permanently loathed. No matter what Vick does to repent for his crimes it will never be enough for those cynics. Their minds are made up and they will never accept any evidence to the contrary. 

He did the crime and he did the time. He’s out and back in the NFL. That’s all, folks.      

It's official: there's no joke that's too sick for some people.

 

Nobody believes anyone owes Michael Vick anything but withering contempt and utter revulsion for opening our eyes to the existence of “rape stands” and the other hellish accouterments of dog fighting.   Consider this  though:  when the fights were confined to the alleys, garages and lots where homies, rednecks, bikers, and vatos watched two dogs tear each other to bloody shreds, this illicit subculture operated pretty much out of sight and out of mind.   

 Now this ugly little world has been exposed and its veil of secrecy forever ripped away.  Vick gave this vicious game his name and face.  No matter what he does the rest of his NFL career he will have a conjunction attached to the accomplishment.  “Michael Vick, Super Bowl quarterback–and dog killer.”  There’s no trips to Disneyland and no schmoozing on Jay Leno’s couch in his future.  Not now or ever.     

There isn’t a sponsor who would ever entertain  the vaguest of  hopes Vick might rehab his reputation to the point he could ever be a practical pitchman again. It does happen.  Kobe Bryant was accused of rape and now he’s back to shilling shoes for Nike.  Ray Lewis was indicted in a murder and now he wants you to smell like him by wearing Old Spice body wash.  But there isn’t a similar memory lapse coming to the rescue of Mike Vick.   Like O.J. Simpson, his status as a fallen hero is permanent and irrevocable.     That’s a punishment that will endure long after the pained, dying yelps of Vick’s dogs have faded away.I think he deserves one shot at a second chance. I think almost everybody does.  I’m not an Eagles fan and I have nothing invested in Vick’s success or failure.   

But I hope he is successful.  Michael Vick will never be a hero and certainly no role model.   

If he can pull off  the trick of simply becoming a decent human being again that’s good enough.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Hard Fall and Slow Rise of Michael Vick

  1. I’m going to have to disagree on several points, particularly considering this line: “Society can nurse a grudge against those whom have offended society, but that only increases the odds they will re-offend. Deprive a man of legitimate means to take care of his needs and he will resort to illegitimate means.” I’m pretty sure Vick was fighting and killing dogs while he was making his millions as well. He wasn’t doing it because he needed to feed young children at home. He wasn’t doing it because he didn’t have the money to pay for his mother’s insulin. He did it because he wanted to, and he enjoyed it. He enjoyed torturing dogs, fighting them, and killing them for sport.

    I’m of the opinion someone like that doesn’t “deserve” a second chance for anything. He has one, and good for him. But “deserve?” As in “entitled?”

    Never.

    The fact that he did this and he didn’t even need to tells me he is a sadistic man. Period. Talent does not negate brutality. If so, why don’t we give Roman Polanski a second chance as well, while we’re at it?

    “I have a problem with people who believe the life of a dog holds more value than the life of a human being. As lovable as any dog may be they still don’t outrank human beings on the evolutionary food chain. That includes Michael Vick.”

    I’m not sure who officially declared that our lives are more valuable than dogs lives. (note I’m not religious) Dogs have saved our lives. How many lives has Vick saved again? A mother bear will kill us in a heartbeat to protect her cubs, and vice-versa. Every species holds their own above the others. However, humans do everything the rest of the animal kingdom does – murder, rape, torture. What’s more, we do it more frequently and more creatively – and we are supposed to be better?

    Which is worse – the lion that rapes because that’s just what he does as he needs his bloodline to continue, or the human that rapes knowing full well what he’s doing is wrong and will cause permanent scars on the victim?

    “No matter what he does the rest of his NFL career he will have a conjunction attached to the accomplishment. “Michael Vick, Super Bowl quarterback–and dog killer.” There’s no trips to Disneyland and no schmoozing on Jay Leno’s couch in his future. Not now or ever.”

    I hope this doesn’t mean I’m supposed to feel a shred of pity for poor wittle Michael Vick. I guess he’ll just have to take his millions and enjoy them off of Leno’s couch. I find “If he can pull off the trick of simply becoming a decent human being again that’s good enough” a little confusing. Is there any evidence that he was a decent human being to begin with? He did this while in the NFL, quite likely before and probably would’ve afterward. I’m not sure exactly what evidence there is that he was ever a decent human being.

    Just talented. And in America, that’s normally enough to be given as many chances as needed.

    • I don’t want to quibble over semantics, Courtney, but I don’t think I’m suggesting Michael Vick is “entitled” to anything. The man committed a crime, served his time, paid out compensation and screwed his own reputation for life. What’s the statue of limitations on how long he has to continue to be punished?

      Neither one of us knows Vick or whether he was always a selfish bastard or evolved into one. What I do know is while I wouldn’t want the guy for a friend, in America even dog-killers get a second chance and this is his. You are free to believe he is undeserving of it, but the justice system and the NFL disagree with you and that’s all that counts.

      Vick’s a disgrace? We agree. He lied to his family, friends, teammates, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons who made him the highest paid player in the league and to the face of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

      Vick went to jail. He lost millions in salary and endorsements. He made himself a pariah. Nobody else did. He has no one to blame but himself.

      But I really don’t give a shit about public outrage. If he can still throw a football, run with the football and make a positive contribution to the Eagles, those whom are willing to forgive, if not necessarily forget, will give him the opportunity to do so.

      You want to continue to punish Vick long after he’s served his time and paid a heavy price for his crimes? That’s fine. Buy a ticket to a game and throw Milk Bones and flea collars at him.

      But if Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States is willing to give Vick a chance to prove he’s sorry and wants to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, that carries far more weight than the die-hards who will not let this go.

      “If we just punish Mike indefinitely and don’t pivot to this problem in the communities, where kids are victimizing these dogs and then going down a dead-end street themselves, because there are no heroic dogfighters, we will not be doing our job. And I felt we needed to get involved and we needed to do some creative things to reach these kids. So that’s why we have our community based programs. And I am really hopeful that Mike sticks with this and reaches these kids because he can turn some of them around. I really do believe that,

      I can’t reach and discourage some kid from dog fighting. You can’t either. Neither can PETA or the ASPCA or the Humane Society. Maybe Michael Vick can.

      If Vick is still the selfish, arrogant and entitled punk he was before his world came crashing down around him and he’s running a game on everyone, it will come out eventually. It’s all eyes on him and the burden of proof that he’s truly turned his life around and wants to make good is up to Vick and Vick alone.

      I think you’re wrong. If it turns out you’re right, I’ll be the first to admit he bullshit everyone that gave him a second chance.

      What I don’t understand is how much payback you want.

      I’d really like to know how much more and how much longer Vick has to be punished before you are satisfied he’s suffered enough.

  2. And upon further online investigation, things pop up like Vick settling out-of-court for his ex’s suit that he knew he had genital herpes and somehow, this decent person neglected to tell her of that little detail, leading to her infection. Wikipedia has some other details that I don’t care enough to independently corraborate, but there appears to be a long pattern of cruel and selfish behavior.

    He can toss a ball and run. Whoopee do. Not everyone who achieves success is a decent human being, and I never had a feeling he was one of them. Reality appears to support my hypothesis. I continue to be baffled as to why you seem to be so optimistically invested in him.

Don't Be Shy...Leave A Comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s