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

November 17, 2010

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.


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Welcome Back to the NFL, Michael Vick

August 12, 2009

Michael Vicks

Michael Vick

 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.”

Oh, goody.

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…

Vick-tims of a sadist

Vick-tims of a sadist

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.


Gerry Ashley

Courage of Our (Super Bowl) Convictions

January 31, 2009

Or: Arrested Development

Tomorrow is arguably the premier sports event of the year. Super Bowl XLIII. Steelers vs. Cardinals. Security will be tight at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. Sports fans will be subjected to metal detectors, x-ray machines, and bag inspections. And with nearly 60,000 excited and excitable fans ready to cheer their favorite team to victory, it’s probably good that security will not allow such items as weapons, knives, explosives, fireworks, tripods, frisbees, poles, and sticks in the stadium.

However, based on recent research, it’s not the fans that are likely to be the problem. Our professional sports teams, and in particular the NFL, are rife with rustlers, cut-throats, murderers, bounty-hunters, desperadoes, mugs, thugs, pugs, nitwits, half-wits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bush whackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, sh*t kickers, and Methodists!

Actually, that may be just a little over the top. But only just a little. It seems that our competitors this weekend have some  issues, shall we say, with obeying the law. Based on which team has the most arrests, it seems Pittsburgh will be a shoo-in to win. However, if you’re rooting for law and order, the Cardinal should be your guys. It breaks down like this:



Santonio Holmes, possession of marijuana , 10/08 J.J. Arrington, disorderly conduct,  06/08
James Harrison, slapped his girlfriend across the face and broke her cell phone,  03/08 Larry Fitzgerald, Assault, restraining order,  12/08
Jon Dekker, obstruction of justice, 01/09
Steely McBeam (mascot), arrested for DUI, 04/08
Deshea Townsend, assault (charges later dropped) 05/07
Cedric Wilson, assault, 03/08
Larry Zierlein (coach), emailed porn to employees, including league commissioner Roger Goodell, 05/07

This of course, is simply a small current sampling of the NFL, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Of necessity it excludes those who didn’t get caught, who bought their way out, who hushed up a scandal with money, or otherwise weaseled out of trouble. And it’s only one facet of professional sports. Imagine the scale of not just two pro football teams, not just the entire NFL, but also pro basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer. If you do a little research, you’ll find it’s a veritable rogue’s gallery of miscreants.

So in the future, I suggest you pick your favorites based on which team has the most convictions. Michael Vick was unavailable for comment.


11-5 and No Playoffs??

December 28, 2008

How the heck can that happen?

Coming off 2007, a year in which the Patriots played a perfect 16-game season, won every playoff game, only to lose the Super Bowl to the NY Giants, this should have been the year. After what could have been a disastrous early-season injury to star QB Tom Brady, the Pats rallied behind waiting-in-the-wings understudy Matt Cassel, who showed the New England fans (and the team) just what he was made of.

After being touched by so much stardust, how is it that this team is not going to the playoffs?

Surprisingly enough, I blame Cassel. Anyone who could put in a performance like this clearly doesn’t deserve the playoffs.