Monday, August 17, 2009

A little perspective on the Vick signing

Unless you are not a sports fan or are living in a cave, you know that the Philadelphia Eagles signed ex-convict Michael Vick to a 2-year contract late last week. There has been the predictable hullabaloo from the predictable sources.

A Web site,, quickly sought protesters to contact the Eagles' corporate sponsors, and it had posted many of them and their CEOs with e-mail addresses and phone numbers, from PepsiCo and Sprint Nextel to Lincoln Financial.

Philadelphia native Jan Garber spent Friday morning calling Eagles sponsors after finding them on the team's Web site, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"This is my own campaign; the corporate sponsors are on the Eagles' Web site," Garber said in an e-mail to the newspaper. "I am not an Eagles fan, just a native Philadelphian who is shocked and dismayed by this clandestine signing of a criminal to the local franchise.
And, of course, what's a little hullabaloo without a token protest.
As a board member for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Jennifer Utley, the wife of Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley,was among a group of protesters who stood outside the Eagles' practice facility Friday as the team introduced Vick during a news conference inside.

"We fight animal cruelty every single day in this city," Utley told Fox 29 of Philadelphia.
Okay, people. Take a deep breath. It's time for Uncle Vulture to shower a little perspective on you.

First, what Michael Vick did - running a dog fighting ring where the "losers" were drowned or strangled - is about the most heinous thing a person can do to an animal as loving and devoted as the dog. He's a disgusting turd of a human being.

Second, I'm no fan of his playing abilities, either. Vick is O-ver-Ra-ted *clap clap clap clap clap*. He is little more than the black Bobby Douglass. He's Vince Young with a slightly more accurate arm.

That stated up front, I find the reaction of fans to Vick's signing more than a little puzzling, especially given the reaction for offenses I consider far more appalling.

Take the case of Leonard Little. His little birthday celebration in 1999 ended up with an innocent women dead. Little was driving with a BAC of .19 when he crashed into and killed Susan Gutweiler. He served 90 days in jail and was suspended for 8 games by the league.

Donte Stallworth struck and killed a man just this past Winter. While it can be argued that the man was at least equally guilty as Mr. Stallworth (he was jaywalking), the 24 days in prison Stallworth received as a sentence for driving with a .126 BAC was laughable. The NFL has suspended Stallworth for the entire 2009 season.

Now look at Vick. He served 19 months in prison for his role in the dog fighting ring, as well as charges of animal cruelty. He voluntarily sat out the entire 2007 season waiting for the criminal justice system to deal with his case. And he's not cleared to play until at least Week 6 of the 2009 season, at which time the Commissioner will decide whether he can be activated again.

90 days in jail for vehicular manslaughter. 24 days in jail for accidentally killing a man while intoxicated. 19 months for dog fighting and animal cruelty? I'm a little confused at the priorities of the criminal justice system.

Now look at the relative suspensions. 8 games for vehicular manslaughter. 16 games for accidentally killing a man while intoxicated. At least 21 games - maybe more - for dog fighting and animal cruelty. Again, count me as perplexed.

Vick is a scumbag and a lousy player. But he's paid his "debt to society" and he's got every right to a second chance. So lighten up, people!

Besides, the dog in the inset picture has her eye on Vick!