This is a joke, right? No… Sorry, I just wish it were.
As unbelievable as it might seem, Michael Vick, the former NFL quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons will soon be back playing in the NFL. You know, the same Michael Vick who was convicted of sponsoring a dog-fighting league and of the brutal torture and death of dogs that didn’t win their fights. Yeah, him. It seems to be only a matter of which team will outbid others for his services.
Take a moment, America, to think about what this says about us as a society: It doesn’t matter how vile you are or how horrible a crime you commit. If you can connect with your tight end on third down, “Hey, bud, it’s all good!”
I’m sure many of you are dog lovers. I will purposely avoid rubbing your faces in the details of what horrors and atrocities Vick plied on these poor dogs whose one shot at life was spent in abject terror and horror at the hands of an absolute sadist who saw their suffering as a way of making money while establishing his “thug credentials.”
Note: Take heart, there is a happy ending for the vast majority of dogs recovered from Vicks. More on that in a minute.
If you want, you can read about Vick’s meteoric rise from the streets of “Bad Newz” (Newport News, VA) to the NFL in a Sports Illustrated article. I have absolutely no interest in doing so.
Incredibly, after years of funding and participating in the brutalizing, torturing, and killing of dogs, all Vick got was a slap on the wrist; he was sentenced to 23 months in Federal Prison, but served only 18 months. There’s a reason why they call it the criminal justice system, folks. He spent less time in prison than the amount of time he spent torturing and killing who knows how many dogs? In a perfect world, Vick would be too old to do anything but drool on a football by the time he would be released.
Even more incredible: Now that he is out of prison, Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL (which apparently stands for National Felon’s League), has reinstated Vick, which means Vick is eligible to look for a team that has no conscience or sense of moral outrage. And according to the NY Times, there are several teams talking to him now, including the Green Bay Packers. Welcome to professional sports, USA style. 18 months later, all Vick has really lost (assuming an NFL team is sick enough to welcome him back), is a year and a half at the money trough. Possibly before this week is out, he’ll be back to making more money in one season than many of us will make in our lifetime.
Next Sunday, 60 Minutes will pander to Vick, giving him his big “comeback” spot where he will get to recite talking points provided by his lawyer to show us how remorseful he is… (Say, does anyone remember when 60 Minutes had some journalistic integrity? Oh wait… Me neither).
I was discussing the inevitable Vick come-back the other day with a friend who had studied psychology. He mentioned, “The kind of brutal cruelty displayed by Vick is the kind that can only be attributed to a true sadist. And you don’t rehabilitate a sadist. It’s only a matter of time before something else happens.”
He suggested that somewhere out there in the NFL there is a 340-pound tackle who also happens to be a dog lover. When given the opportunity to sack Vicks for a loss, said tackle may just “accidentally” land all 340 pounds on Vick’s knee, bending it in a direction knees normally don’t bend. With his career gone (along with the millions of dollars in income), imagine what such a sadist might do to make ends meet.
You know, if only Ted Bundy had been a little quicker off the line of scrimmage…
I’ve saved the best for last, however: Click here for a heart-warming story about the rescue of Vick’s dogs, the unprecedented progress they’ve made, and the things some of them are doing today. One of them is now actually a therapy dog working with the elderly.
Fortunately, pit bulls can be rehabilitated with love and treatment over time. As for Vick, don’t bet the farm on it.
I understand he’s waiting for an invite to the White House for a beer. If an injury does end his career, maybe President Obama will hire Vick to train his ACORN thugs how to keep order at Town Meetings.