A Dog (found at the House)
I’ve pretty much avoided the Michael Vick dog-fighting mess. I’ve avoided it because I don’t know what to say. I’ve avoided it because I cannot wrap my mind around a human being bitting animals against each other to the near death – for sport. I cannot look at a person who simply accepts those things. And I certainly can’t root for anyone who participates.
And that’s a shame. It’s a shame because I always rooted for Michael Vick. I rooted for him to overcome the allegations that he was more suited for running back than QB. I rooted for him to lead the ATL Falcons to the Super Bowl to dispel the assertions that he was simply not an NFL-caliber QB.
Now, I can’t do that any more. Nope. I’m done. Yeah, I know all about innocent-until-proven….blah, blah, blah. And I know the allegations that Vick is a “player” in the ugly, ugly, ugly – and felonious – world of dog-fighting are only allegations at this juncture. But I’ve heard enough to be sick at my stomach. To be sick of the “sport” (it was hard to even type that word in this context). To be even sicker at those who fall into the hey-it-his-business or it’s-just-the-culture camps.
I don’t even want to hear it. Dog-fighting is a felony in 48 states, a misdemeanor in one of the other two.
But more than that, it is just sick. The idea of it is sick. The practice of it is even sicker. Go ahead google “dog-fighting” and check out the details. Or check out this look/history of the sport. But stay near the bathroom.
Just recently I learned that dog-fighting may not just be a Southern thang, as it has been portrayed. In fact, a friend tells me there’s been dog-fighting in Harlem for years. She also noted another cruel practice: Pit bull owners cut out the dig’s voice box so they a) make less noise during battle and b) and the owner can more easily sneak up on people for either fun or crime.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a conundrum. This stuff has made me think Pacman Jones is fit to teach kindergarten. Jones was suspended for an entire season for his string of misbehavior. Vick is not a first-timer, either. But any punishment meted out in Goodell’s new kinder-cleaner NFL should be harsh. Emphasis on should.
The conundrum is that Vick is a bone fide star. He’s one of the faces of the NFL, maybe it’s most recognized QB not named Brady or Manning. Pacman could walk by me today and I wouldnt know it. Goodell should now be swayed by Vick’s star status, but we’ll see.
How much should Vick be punished? Who knows. It won’t likely happen soon, not until more evidence surfaces and perhaps after/if prosecutors file charges against Vick stemming from discoveries at the home he owned (he sold it about 48 hours after the pit of hell of discovered) that is at the center of this storm.
He’s already paying a slight price. One of his endorsement relationships, AirTran, went kaput this week when airline officials said they would not re-up Vick after his contract expires on May 8. Vick also has a contract with Nike.