Michael Vick’s Stats Can’t Hide The Monster Within

You won’t find any fawning Pro Sports fans here at Grand Rants, so if that’s what floats your boat, you might as well enter the URL for ESPN  and be done with it.

Source: Bing.com

For a long time, it has been the opinion of all three writers here at Grand Rants that Pro Sports, like  the entertainment world in general, is emblematic of all that is wrong with American Society: Greed, avarice, and the absolute willingness to rush headlong towards the lowest common denominator in society and cling to it as if it were an enviable aspiration.  We Americans have come to embrace hype over substance and are willing to look the other way at any and all behavior, no matter how abhorrent, as long as the person is good-looking or famous. Nothing illustrates this so well as the media and public response to celebrities and professional athletes.

Ask yourself: Would Charlie Sheen be the subject of such adulation (from both sexes for, sadly, many of the same reasons) if he weren’t a star of TV/Movies?

Would Michael Vick have been welcomed back to his old job after serving time for his involvement in illegal dog fighting if he was a computer operator instead of an NFL quarterback? What message does it send, not just to the other NFL players, but to children who look up to professional athletes as their inspiration? This is a tragic case of opportunity lost (or as Barack Obama would call it, “A Teachable Moment”) and, as a society, we’re too damned stupid to even understand what, exactly, we’re missing.

Case in point: The sports world is buzzing over the performance of Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick logged on Monday Night Football’s matchup against the Washington Redskins. In that game Vick passed for 333 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 80 yards and another two touchdowns. On the first play of the game, Vick threw an 88-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson.

(continued)

In the end, the Eagles romped to a 59–28 victory and the ESPN broadcasters went into a sustained orgasm, drooling all over one another in an embarrassing display of fawning. One would hope that if and when the second coming of Jesus Christ occurs, he will be afforded half of the accolades lauded on Vick.

On the basis of this game, Vick was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame asked for his game jersey to display as Vick became the first player to pass for three touchdowns and rush for two touchdowns in the first half of a game.

Not bad for a Dog Killer Extraordinaire. Or did they forget that little footnote? In case you did, here’s a quick refresher for you; a signed admission of guilt by Michael Vick and an article I did on Michael Vick when the Philadelphia Eagles welcomed him back.

And the hype… to hear the press coverage, you would think this was the biggest rehabilitation in pro football since the resurrection of Willie (Steamin’) Beamen (the quarterback in the fictional film “On Any Given Sunday”). And ESPN was, perhaps, the worst of the offenders since MNF airs on the network of “Anything Goes As Long As You’re A Winner.”

Even over at Hot Air, guest blogger Matt Lewis is “conflicted” as to whether or not it’s time to forgive Vick.

But there’s no conflict here at Grand Rants. Far be it from me to interject a little sanity and truth into the fray, but no matter what stats Vick compiles, it will never outshine the horrors and atrocities he inflicted on innocent dogs, nor will it ever whitewash the fact that he has displayed behavior than can only be described as psychopathic. And the mere 16 months he spent behind bars doesn’t even come close to payment in full for the atrocities he inflicted, not just on the dogs he was responsible for killing, but for the tortured dogs who will never fully recover from their ordeal… not in 16 months, nor 16 years.

For every touchdown pass, there’s a dog shaking in fear somewhere. For every bruise to Vick’s ribs at the end of a game, there are untold scars (physical and emotional) in those dogs who managed to survive his psychopathic behavior.

It’s a common belief in the psychiatry field that a psychopath is never truly “healed” from his/her behavior. The NFL and ESPN would have you forgive and forget Vick’s brutality. But hype and hoopla from the likes of the morally clueless like ESPN’s Mike Sando (who just bumped Vick up to the number 3 position in his so-called “MVP Watch“) cannot and never will cover the truth about people like Vick. They are little different to those “journalists” who, 2 years ago, didn’t have the guts (or intelligence) to vet Barack Obama.

Vick has made statements apologizing for his actions, but they read like something from a legal brief written by his lawyer and edited by his publicist. There were a few appearances where he spoke out against the kind of abuse he perpetrated on his dogs, but once the cameras were turned off and there was nothing further to be gained, it seemed those appearances ended. And it’s simply gone back to “All About Michael.” A quick trip to his website has nothing  other than a photo of Vick with the plea to “Vote For Michael Vick – 2011 Pro Bowl” with a link to the NFL web site entry ballot. All about Michael…

Not that I give a rat’s ass, but one wonders just what kind of parameters Mike Sando employs when coming up with his MVP list. Obviously, statistics are the key, but apparently character doesn’t weigh heavily in the process. If only Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and Sadam Hussein had good throwing arms and running games, perhaps Sando would find room on his “prestigious” MVP watch on ESPN for them as well.

Let me make this clear: The moment Michael Vick’s name appeared on Sando’s list, Sando himself  lost any claim to having anything prestigious (or credible) about his work and merely became another contributor to the decline of western civilization as we know it. Period.

And somewhere, OJ Simpson must be sitting in his prison cell thinking, “Damn! Maybe if I had committed my crime when I was playing in my prime, I’d still be in the hall of fame and I’d probably be doing play-by-play coverage at ESPN!”

Damn the luck, eh, OJ?

Gerry Ashley

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22 Responses to Michael Vick’s Stats Can’t Hide The Monster Within

  1. Dantes says:

    So what? Is he supposed to grovel? Live in a monastary?

    He was punished according to the law…the way it is supposed to work.

    I could not care less about football…but what would you have the guy do?

    Really, this is a pathetic rant.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      So what? Thank you so much for your astonishing reply. In TWO WORDS, you’ve managed to illustrate perfectly the “I don’t get it” approach to life that excuses people from taking any kind of moral stand.

      You’ve successfully missed every salient point of this post.

      YES: Vick was punished according to the law. A law that allowed him to plea bargain away the more serious aspects that could have locked him up for years.

      What a shame those dogs couldn’t plea-bargain with Vick and his band of thugs before they were slaughtered in the fighting ring or, just as horrific, electrocuted, shot, drowned or otherwise tortured. He treated those dogs with even more brutality than OJ Simpson subjected HIS victims to.

      But “So what” right?

      The main point of the article is just as much how the American public (including you, apparently) shrug your shoulders and say, “So What” and move on…

      We have become a nation of people with such little character that we can conveniently forget his psychopathic behavior because he can complete passes of 60 yards, rush for touchdowns… and look good doing it.

      You ask what would I have him do? It’s NOT ABOUT THAT. I would EXPECT him to come right back to the NFL trough and eat his way to riches again. He would be a fool if he didn’t. The NFL established they have no class when they decided to NOT ban his pathetic ass from the game for life. Most of the other NFL teams had the class and decency to say, “Nope… take your sorry ass elsewhere.” But I knew it was only a matter of time before some team would find a way to justify it – just as you have – and welcome him. The classless owners of the Philadelphia Eagles turned out to be the bunch of pathetic ethics-free morons who put sports stats above anything else including decency or “character.”

      Put it this way: If this had happened 30 years ago, maybe even 20 years ago, you’d never see Michael Vick in a professional football uniform again. But we’ve managed to sink so low in society that we no longer worry about something like “character” when it comes to winning or being popular.

      I don’t wish any ill on Vick. But I AM willing to settle for whatever Karma has in store for him… like a 375 pound tackle who is also a dog lover.

      • Stefani says:

        Bravo Gerry. Bravo. I’m not as big a person as you though. I know two perfectly good citizens who live daily with disability due to spinal injuries as a result of “freak accidents,” yet Vick is well and playing football as I type, basking in our President’s embrace. Some justice n this world.

  2. Dantes says:

    He was caught, punished according to the law. It really doesn’t matter that he plea bargained the case…that’s the way the law works. You don’t like it, go try and get it changed. Ex post facto punishment is unconstitutional (although, under liberalism, that is changing for the worse)

    You rather see him a ward of the state? Doing hard time on the taxpayer dime for the rest of his life? Who made you king of the NFL…rhetorical question…you aren’t.

    If you don’t like the NFL rules…go buy a team and change them. Otherwise, (Editor’s note: Offensive obscenity reference removed)
    You say in your post that professional athletes are role models…not in my book. If you let your kids choose professional athletes for role models, fine. If they don’t live up to your standards, that’s your problem, not theirs. I can think of a few dozen professions that serve as better role models for “our” children.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Dantes

      You either aren’t reading my reply or simply not getting it. More on that in a minute. But first, unfortunately you need a refresher course in acceptable online behavior:

      We employ standards on grand rants and if you would like to continue posting responses here, you will abide by them. If you haven’t already done so, please click on the “Comments Policy” button above and read it.

      If you are unable to make your point without having to resort to obscene phrases (even through acronyms), then you have no point to make, period. I have removed that comment as it added nothing to your reply.

      Getting back to the rest of your reply, let’s take it by the numbers since you still don’t get it or chose to reply with what you THINK I’m writing rather than actually reading it:

      1. You write: “Ex post facto punishment is unconstitutional (although, under liberalism, that is changing for the worse)”

      Moot point. If the NFL had done their job and banned him for life from the game, that is not Ex Post Facto Punishment as it is coming from the NFL and not from the judicial system. Learn your terms if you’re going to use them in an attempt to make a point.

      2.) You write: “You rather see him a ward of the state? Doing hard time on the taxpayer dime for the rest of his life?”

      Please don’t put words in my mouth merely because you are unable to understand what you are reading (or injecting your agenda in place of my words). I did not imply he should be a ward of the state. There are many other professions besides football that one can go into if he or she has an education. What’s the alternative? Anything goes? Just do your time and then it’s welcome back to PROFESSIONAL sports? Baseball made the hard decision to ban Pete Rose from Baseball FOR LIFE because he was caught gambling. I think dog-fighting, slaughering, torture and murder is far more serious than betting on games.

      Incidentally, last time I checked, Pete Rose wasn’t a ward of the state or homeless.

      3.) You write: “You say in your post that professional athletes are role models… not in my book.”

      Nor in mine. Nor did I write that. In fact, Nowhere in the post do I write that Professional Athletes are role models. Can you at least quote me correctly? You’re using a technique one would expect from an Obamanite Groupie: Make up a statement that sounds rediculous, attribute it to the person you are attempting to denigrate, then offer an opposing view (to the statement YOU made up).

      That said, all too often, kids DO look up to sports heroes, actors and celebrities. It’s just a fact of our society where character is no longer stressed in far too many homes. Is it the responsibility of professional sports athletes to be role models? I believe there is an inherent responsibility to ALL adults to make every effort to be a good role model for ALL children. And we shouldn’t have to be told that by someone writing a blog, it should come natural to us (and it does, but only if we have character).

      And that is my main point: We, as a society have lost so much character that all levels (NFL, fans and society in general) give a pass to the wrong people and for the wrong reasons… or, worse, no reason at all.

  3. Dantes says:

    “In fact, Nowhere in the post do I write that Professional Athletes are role models. Can you at least quote me correctly? That’s a technique on would expect from an Obananite Groupie:”

    From your original post.

    “What message does it send, not just to the other NFL players, but to children who look up to professional athletes as their inspiration?”

    That’s sophistry. What is another name for a professional athlete whom a child looks up to as their inspiration if not a role model. If anyone is playing Obamanite Groupie, here, it is you.

    Well, I’m not going to replay plowed ground, except to say that if kids look up to sports figures as heroes, that’s a reflection on parenting…not the sports hero’s. “It’s just a fact” of our society…Gee, Mr. Conservative, I thought that parents were supposed to take responsibility for their children, not society.

    Where, exactly, does it say the NFL…a private business…has to ban anyone for life? It’s their business, not yours. Like I said, go get an NFL team.

    If there is anyone here hero worshipping, it is you. You think professional sports are such an important profession that Mike Vick is not good enough to play in this field, which is his talent. But you think he would be ok as a what? Counter worker at McDonald’s? Garbage collector? Plumber? How about this…what if he became a teacher, and a coach?

    What you’re saying is that there are some professions which are good enough for the rest of us lowlifes out here…so Vick could work along side of me in my profession, of course…but not good enough for the NFL. I guess that means you believe that these other professions aren’t really “honorable” if Vick can work in them.

    Try again.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      You keep missing the point either intentionally or otherwise.

      First, it would help if you understood the difference between “role model” and “inspiration.”

      Role Model: A person who serves as a model in a particular behavioral or social role for another person to emulate.

      Inspiration:
      1. stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc, to special or unusual activity or creativity
      2. the state or quality of being so stimulated or aroused
      3. someone or something that causes this state
      4. an idea or action resulting from such a state

      In short, a role model is an “active participant” where an someone who is an inspiration is usually a passive participant.

      I agree that the real responsibility in raising a child lies with the parents. Look back 50 years and you can see how well THAT’S worked out. We have children having children… who eventually grow up with little example to follow. They turn to those people in society who are praised for their accomplishments which, today, only has to be having a hit movie, CD or the ability to hit a high inside fastball. Character is no longer a prerequisite in our society and that’s my point.

      As to the rest of your reply, it’s filled with “I don’t get it” so many times, it’s not worthy of a response. I am categorically NOT saying what you are trying to attribute to me. The fact that you don’t (or won’t) get it is not my problem, but yours.

  4. Dick Whitman says:

    One point:

    30 years ago nobody gave two rips about dog fighting. We were closer to our agrarian roots and had not completely anthropomorphized dogs yet. But then ‘Old Yeller’ came out; a bunch of people who had didn’t grow up farms saw it and soon enough Michael Vick is Ted Bundy.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Dick,

      That’s an interesting point. However, I disagree with what I believe to be your premise here (or maybe I agree but misunderstood the premise – it wouldn’t be the first time).

      First, I’m having a hard time trying to figure out your last sentence:

      “But then ‘Old Yeller’ came out; a bunch of people who had didn’t grow up farms saw it and soonenough Michael Vick is Ted Bundy.”

      I assume you meant that a bunch of people who didn’t grow up on farms (and therefore, I assume, connected with dogs) saw it and suddenly dogs were in favor even with non-farm dwellers.

      Note: For those who are not familiar with the film, “Old Yeller” was a Disney movie that came out 53 years ago (1957).

      Here’s where I disagree with your premise, Dick: There wasn’t a farm within 20 miles of where I grew up, yet I treasured our two dogs as most kids do… even in suburban areas.

      My point: Communications is what has changed more than anything. Not so much our feelings about dogs. We’re simply more aware of what goes on in the world… and are being shocked by some of what we now have rubbed in our faces daily.

      I have a friend who hates dogs. Doesn’t want them around him at all. But even he see’s what Vick did as unfathomable behavior. Worse, Vick’s behavior was a textbook match of a psychotic killer. And most psychotics don’t find there to be much of a jump from treating animals like that to doing the same to humans if, in their own opinion, they are provoked.

      Is Michael Vick comperable to Ted Bundy? You’d have a hard time selling that to most people, but anyone who takes the time to do an in-depth study of psychopathic behavior will come away nodding their heads in agreement… it’s not that much of a stretch, because a true psychotic doesn’t differentiate between the life of an animal or human. And if you think that’s a stretch, prisons are filled with people who have been diagnosed as psychotic who have killed.

      And then, of course, there’s O.J…

      • Stefani says:

        Yes, Michael Vick is perilously close to Ted Bundy. Pyschopaths, both. The question is, will Vick move on to humans? After all, Bundy, like most future serial killers, tortured and killed animals before he moved onto people.

  5. From dog fighting to OJ…Kabuki theater. Did it occur to you that redemption can be a role model…or inspirational?

    (additional comment deleted)

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Dante, going down in his own flames, writes: “Did it occur to you that redemption can be a role model…or inspirational?”

      Absolutely it occurred to me. However, apprently unlike you, I require EVIDENCE of an event before giving credit. The only evidence I’ve seen of any such redemption on the part of Michael Vick is that he made a couple of appearances on behalf of the Humane Society early on in his release, perhaps as part of an agreement of early release more than actually as a result of him having had any personal epiphany. That seems to me to be part of a carefully scripted attempt to try to reinvent his public image (Issue a statement of regret through your publicist, have a photo op with dogs, make a donation to the Humane society and then get back to the big money machine known as the NFL).

      However, true redemption lasts longer than one or two personal appearances… and would continue long after he returned to professional football. I see no evidence of ongoing behavior to suggest he has done anything to make anyone of intelligence believe there is any real redemption going on.

      That said, let me pose a final question to you:

      Did it ever occur to you to get lessons in etiquette? Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t entitle you to hurl insults. That’s not an “intellectual discourse” (which you claim to be seeking).

      All readers here at Grand Rants are invited to respond (and welcomed to disagree) with us. We welcome well-documented and written opposing views. If you had the intelligence to do anything other than hurl epithets and ad hominem attacks, you’d have taken the time to see that people disagree with us from time to time and manage to post opposing views without showing their childish inability to communicate without insulting. We enjoy well documented views regardless of whether or not they agree with our position.

      We’ve given you several chances to catch on, but obviously your liberal agenda and background has made it impossible for you to do anything in forums of this type other than drop your little insult bombs. A word of advice: The only person you are impressing is youself.

      I would like to cordially invite you to take your own advice and find another blog where intellectual discourse (along with common courtesy) is optional. It’s not optional here.

  6. Jacob says:

    Comment deleted by admin.

    • Stoutcat says:

      Jacob, we try to keep comments on topic and informative: if you have an opinion we will be glad to hear it. Ad hominem attacks, however, will be deleted. As yours just was.

  7. Boyd says:

    They’re dogs…dogs…. Why are dogs placed at a higher level then insects or rats/mice? Oh ya… It’s because they’re “icky”

    • Boyd says:

      Oh yeah, and way to keep the post classy with a photoshopped image of Vick. That’s unbiased journalism for ya

  8. Will says:

    George Bush aided in killing thousands of Americans. You honor him with highways, museums, and the title of former President. Mike Vick harmed animals. You act as if he killed Jesus. GTFOH

  9. Will says:

    Its sad the same folks whose ancestors readily hanged our ancestors wanna point their barbaric fingers at Michael Vick. Our whole existence in country is because of you. He learned it by watching you

  10. Will says:

    The way some Americans kill animals in the name of hunting, or use dogs to bite and mame pigs, is the way some Americans have dogs kill one another or fight. Its a difference in cultures. The same cultures that turn on a person in an instant then try kiss their asses when their back on top. We Love you Mike

  11. Malik says:

    Gerry Ashley
    Although I commonly have problems with a lot of the stuff people post on the internet I won’t usually reply with my opinion because I can tell by its belligerent and offensive nature that the person is close-minded and moronic so my efforts would be wasted, but you seem to have taken the time to constructively voice your opinion so I will tell you why I think you’re wrong.

    From your article I can see that you believe that the entire football community up and forgave Vick just because of his outstanding athletic performance, but as a NFL fan who has followed many players including Vick from their time as rookies I can tell you that it is not that simple. The NFL community has forgiven Vick because after giving him a second chance, (that many actually fought), following his submission and punishment by the law he has shown a positive transformation and his on the field performance is actually an expression of that and not the reason for his renewed acceptance.

    You started the article off with Vick’s infamous F you picture which is great because it ties right into my point. Before going to jail Vick was one of the worst off-the-field players in the league, he was cocky, rude (picture), was known to be the last one on the field at practice and the first to leave, and generally had a bad attitude regarding much of the demanding work necessary to perform at a peak NFL level and that would express in his common mediocre performance as a Falcon. When he came out of jail I found that most people I talked to were against him returning to the NFL, but at the end of the day that is the owner’s decision and when we found out that he would be coming to my home town Philly the local media blasted the eagles, local sports stores refused to carry his jersey and anyone you talked to thought it was a bad idea both because of his past and his disappointing performance as a Falcon.

    But since coming to the Ealges Vick has shown nothing below the level of class that a professional athlete in the limelight should carry and has impressively kept his composure through all the muck that much of the country has thrown at him. The eagles have said that he is now very devoted to the sport and is spending the necessary time and putting in the necessary work that a star quarterback should and this has paid off through his success. The people who gave him a second chance have seen both his on-the-field and off-the-field transformation and feel rewarded by giving it to him because he has shown that he has been reformed by the justice system or some other means into a better person and in turn a better player.

    Those are the reasons why Mike Vick is receiving acceptance not just because of his performance. Your views tell me that you are either simply not an nfl fan which is understandable or that you are the type of person that simply can’t stand certain controversial issues and will take a clean stand on the surface with ideas like “he committed evil in his past so he is evil don’t support him” without digging deeper to truly understand the person you are condemning, and how his actions fit into his past and present. Trust me disregarding how well he might have played after his second chance, although a small number of fans would accept him simply because of performance, the majority of the NFL community would not accept Vick if he hadn’t shown through his actions that he is a changed man by his behavior off the field and his devotion to working while on it.

    • Stoutcat says:

      Malik, thanks for your comment. If you knew Gerry, you would understand how deeply he felt about this issue. And I’m certain that he would have responded to you, and that the two of you would have had a very interesting dialogue. Sadly for us all, Gerry passed away last year, so you won’t have the opportunity to discuss this with him.

      You can learn more about Gerry simply by reading more of his posts here at Grand Rants. I hope you will.

  12. David Paul says:

    We still live in a world where a white man with a pen place a higher value on a dog than a black man who repented. White men who hunt innocent animals, eat meat and probably beat their wives always try to paint a negative picture a rich successful black man. He didnt kill the dogs by the way, it was his cousins and friends. The people from PETA people should go eat a burger and sit somewhere and shut up….

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