Friday, September 2, 2011

Suck My Vick

Earlier this week Michael Vick received a $100 million dollar contract ($40 million guaranteed) from the Philadelphia Eagles.  Being that I live in Philadelphia I’ve been able to hear a ton of arguments both for and against this contract.  Those for it generally argue that the man did wrong, paid his debt to society, and has every right to a second chance and thus the right to earn a living.  On the other side you have those who claim that Vick has not changed, his crimes were heinous, he’s only sorry that he got caught, the urge to dog fight is still in him, and he in no way deserves a second chance let alone $100 million.  I am on the first side and not only because I’m an Eagles fan and season ticket holder.   Why doesn’t the man deserve a second chance?  All of those holier-than-thou people irritate the hell out of me.

First of all the discussion is what is the point of prison?  Is it to rehabilitate people to integrate back into society or is to serve as a punishment?  I tend to think it’s a little of both.  I do think that people can change.  In this case I do believe that Vick learned the error of his ways.  Now, if he didn’t get caught would he still be participating in a dog fighting ring?  I don’t know.  Honestly, probably.  Before anyone jumps all over me and says “exactly my point that he’s only sorry he got caught”, let me ask you this.  Have you ever done anything that was wrong/against the law?  Thought so.  If you constantly speed on a certain road and then one day you get pulled over for speeding, are you sorry you were speeding or are you sorry you got caught?  Most likely the latter.  Chances are next time you are on that road you’re going to think twice about speeding.  As far as I’m concerned, Vick did wrong and served his time.  I come from the mindset that everyone deserves a second chance and in this case so does Vick.  Would you rather him not be able to work and then take government handouts that come from your tax money?  Now, if he goes back to dog fighting then that’s another story.  For now, get off your high horse and look for something else to bitch about.

The next discussion is the one that annoys me the most.  You have all the animal, PETA, SPCA, lovers out there that are still outraged 3 years later that the Eagles even signed Vick.  Let me first say I in no way condone dog, cock, pigeon, or any other kind of animal fighting.  To me it is despicable and should never happen.  However there are a dozens of other crimes that are more despicable; murder, rape, and child molestation to name a few.  In the United States legal system, if you are convicted of a crime you get a punishment.  Vick was convicted, received a punishment, and served his time.  Get over it.  These PETA, dog rescue, SPCA people have it all wrong.  They place these animals on a pedestal when there are human beings that are treated worse than these “pets”, yet they get their panties in a bunch when someone harms animals.  They get all worked up when a man paid his debt to society and is trying to move past his transgressions.

Why do they crucify Michael Vick when there are athletes as well as regular everyday people that commit crimes that are far more heinous than dog fighting?  Is it because animal loving and protection is a sexier issue to get behind?  Does it make them feel good?  Back in 2009 Donte Stallworth was convicted of manslaughter for killing a man with his car while drunk.  He served only 24 days in prison, and is now back in the NFL.  Where’s the outrage?  Where are the protests?  Is it because he is not as high profile as Vick?  Is it because drunk driving isn’t as sexy a cause as animal cruelty?  Do they put an animal’s life above that of a human’s?  Ridiculous.  What about everyday businessmen that beat their wives?  Where’s the outrage?  What about people who abuse their kids?  Oh that’s right, you’d rather stand up to the guy that beats Fluffy than the one that beats little Johnny.

 Mike Tyson was convicted of rape, served a sentence, and then continued boxing.  Today he appears to have changed his life around.  Those PETA pet lovers I’m sure laughed at Tyson in both Hangover movies.  Where’s the outrage there?  It’s obvious that Tyson was rehabilitated while in prison so why Vick can’t be rehabilitated?  I guess rape isn’t as sexy a cause as animal cruelty.  Where are these people when a catholic priest molests a little boy?   Isn’t that far worse than dog fighting?  If you say no then you have bigger issues to deal with.   To me the answer is easy; taking up the cause of animal cruelty is much easier to be a part of than drunk driving, rape, or catholic priests molesting little boys.  They can just speak their mind and nobody is going to question them.  Here’s a thought; open your eyes and realize that there are bigger causes out there.  Stand up to drunk driving.  Fight for more money for impoverished inner city schools.  Fight for something that will make a difference in the world and quit being lazy.

The next thing I want to mention is on Philadelphia sports talk radio this week I heard a lot people say that they will not be an Eagles fan now for 6 years (the length of Vick’s contract).  This is preposterous.  First of all this isn’t the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or even the early 90’s.  In professional sports today players rarely play their entire career with one team due to free agency.  Chipper Jones, Peyton Manning, and Derrick Jeter are major exceptions but guys like that are few and far between.  I am a fan of the Eagles.  I will root for them no matter who is playing for them.  The people that say they aren’t Eagles fans now basically weren’t fans to begin with.  If they were, they’d realize that it’s a different day and age we live in.  Players have no loyalty to the team; they go for the money (that sounds like a great idea for a future blog post).  As a diehard Eagles fan I say good riddance.  If you are that fickle, I don’t want you rooting for my team.

Finally I want to mention something I heard on the local news this week.  Someone sent a Twitter message into the local NBC station that said something to the effect that it’s ridiculous that Vick is getting $100 million.  The money should go to schools or to help the poor.  Huh?  Yes I agree that teachers, nurses, etc. are underpaid.  I agree that schools need money, but really?  The two of them are completely separate situations.  As messed up as it is, it’s the way it goes.  I just thought that was funny. 

In conclusion, do I condone Vick’s actions?  No.  Should he get a second chance?  Yes.  Everyone deserves and has received a second chance at some point.  These holier-than-thou people who go on crusades to save animals need to reprioritize.  I am not a dog or animal hater.  In fact I love dogs.  I do think there should be organizations that protect animals, but Fido’s life is definitely not worth more than a human’s.  Get it right people. Grow a set and stand up for a cause that will make a difference.  Don’t opt for the easy way out.  Until next time this is Jimbo saying when you point a finger at someone else, there are 3 others pointing back at you.

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  1. I admire the way Vick has turned his life around and I certainly believe he deserved a second chance. My only problem is with the salaries of professional athletes in general--I wish we could distribute some of their wealth to our educators!

  2. Sandra, as a teacher, I couldn't agree more!!!! LOL!

  3. Coming from the UK, I don't know Vick or anything about the Eagles (sorry!), so I can't really comment too much on his case per se.

    But football is a business like any other. Vast amounts of money are passed over to all sorts of people in big businesses throughout the world. There are global CEOs who have proved their incompetence and yet have been handsomely rewarded in pay-offs time and time again. Nasty individuals who are directly responsible for ruining people's lives by squandering their investments and nest eggs; leaving them with nothing other than excuses and empty nests. As much as I love animals, I honestly believe that the behaviour of some of the global banking industry's fallen Chief Executives amounts to far worse than dog-fighting. Worse still when the majority simply shuttle off to retire in the Bahamas or move on to another public company to mess with.

    Vick went to prison and has served his time. Maybe he's learned from this experience - maybe not. But I agree, worse things happen in the world which generate far less public outcry than some overpaid guy with a criminal history and a penchant for animal abuse and illegal gambling.

    Finally, who really is at fault for the $100m award? Is it Vick? Or is it the business that offers him the money in the first place?

    Best wishes,


  4. Keith, you make a great point. It's easy for the public to get mad at the athlete for their contracts but it is not their faults. If you were offered $100 million to do your job, wouldn't you take it?? The issue I have with people criticizing Vick, is that I feel the public is jealous that they don't have the god-given ability he does. The fact that if they went through the same scenario and got out of jail, they wouldn't be making $100 million. On the flip side to that, there also wouldn't be a public outcry about it because they are not in the public eye. Again, it goes back to putting ALL athletes on a pedestal and not understanding that they are human like the rest of us. My big issue is that people are so concerned with what Vick did but as we all have said, they do not take into consideration all of the other issues that are bigger in the world. I ask this... Take a look at the tag on your shirt, now your pants. Where's it made? I can promise you that the countries that made your clothes are practicing unsafe, unfair, and downright cruel labor laws, but what Vick did is worse than making a 6yr old make 10 t-shirts a day???? I don't condone dog fighting, hell I have a pitbull and it sickens me, but the law is the law. He got convicted and served his sentence, let it go!!!!!!!

    This is Kyle Montgomery asking everyone to help control the idiot population!!!

  5. What's missing from this discussion is the football issues that may arise here.

    I don't see how Vick stays healthy enough to live up to that contract. The line can't protect him, and he takes a huge amount of hits. I wouldn't be totally surprised if he is washed up/out of gas within three years. I know you have to take care of him because he was a monster last season, but 6 years is a long time in the NFL. He's already 31, what are the chances he is still an outstanding player at 37? Can't be greater than 30%.

    He is not that effective of a pocket passer, so what happens when his legs go (and you know they will)? I like the signing, but I don't like the length of the deal.

  6. You post was excellent and as mentioned on Twitter it almost changed my mind, but not quite. However, because of your post, I wrote my own (piggy backed off yours in a sense). Thank you for such an insightful and well written commentary.

  7. How interesting the focus on John Q public here in America. There is such outrage with a non-issue and yet other issues such as children starving, poor education, etc. truly do not receive the attention of this issue or the many realty shows. My sense is we exchanged our cold hard coliseum benches for comfy and cozy Lazy-Boy chairs.

  8. I agree with Keith 100%. Mike Vick making $100 million dollars (most of which he will never see) has no bearing on our everyday lives. The Wall street fat cats and corporate CEO's who DO affect our daily lives don't get half the outrage an athlete does.

    Are athlete contracts crazy? Yes but like I tell my wife all of the time. Sports biz deals in millions we deal in thousands and hundreds. That's just life.

    Keep up the good work guys.

  9. Great article. Love animals, broke my heart to see my blue pit die after going back and forth to the vet for weeks trying to save him. Love to watch Michael Vick play. He's a beast out there, he sat out for two years and no matter what you say, the man still has skills. Now the issue, does he deserve a second chance? Well, when PETA is considering terminating a breed of animal "they" term vicious, when they stop supporting pornography and asking high profile celebrities to strip for the cause- some message to dog loving kids huh! When they stop faking like their not in the stands betting on the Eagles because Mike arm is worth every bit of that 100 million dollar contract and when they stop picking and choosing who to attack, when it's convenient for publicity moreso than the cause, then I think we may have a serious conversation. Until such is the time, Vick will never forget what he did cause guilt and noone else is going to let him and when PETA speak about terminating a breed of dog, they wont remember not one of the dogs they killed. Give Mike what every person who shows that they have made the necessary changes, a chance. Who are you to judge that he hasn't.