Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Need to Believe

So this is the straw? Dog fighting? Dog fighting is what is going to make Sports Illustrated dispatch damning statements like this about Michael Vick:

"In recent days, talked to multiple sources who have known Vick well for years, and they say his troubling pattern of recent behavior belies a penchant for questionable judgment, an unwillingness to distance himself from the wrong crowd, and a long-standing belief that the rules don't apply to him.'

...Vick is not a 'bad guy,' the sources say, but he refuses to take direction from anyone, often fails to recognize good advice when it's offered, and is unwilling to separate himself from bad influences, who are largely friends and members of his ever-present 'posse.'

...Blank is in complete denial, in part because he spent $130 million on the guy,' one source said. 'Vick is his investment. When Vick does something wrong, he has Blank to run to. Blank and his wife, Stephanie, really coddle the guy. They baby him. I think they've enabled the situation to the highest degree. They've not held Vick accountable for his actions."

So Vick gives a girl herpes (allegedly), flips off a fan, gets caught up in airport security, but dog fighting has finally set off this media intervention? Ironically, dog fighting may be the thing that bonds Vick with some of his redneck constituents in Georgia. North Georgia is a national hotbed for dogfighting.

I just find it astounding that Vick is now suddenly considered to be of questionable character. Fighting dogs is not a nice thing to do, but is not necessarily anymore reprehensible than any of Vick's other missteps. Michael Vick is the same ol' Michael Vick. He has just arbitrarily become the media's latest whipping boy. And I'm not taking the bait. I need to believe. He is the quarterback. He is going to be the quarterback. So Atlanta Falcons fans like me are just going to have to coexist with Michael. Sports Illustrated can do whatever they want.

And head coach Bobby Petrino is with me.

"I need to believe in Michael. Since I've been here, a couple of situations have come up. We've sat down and talked about them, and certainly his track record with me has been that he's told me the truth, so I'm going to believe in what Michael tells me."

It seems more appropriate that Sports Illustrated focus on Michael Vick as it relates to sports, not character. And it seems Coach Petrino wasn't one of their sources, because the head coach of the team seems satisfied with Vick's commitment to football.

"Petrino said when it comes to football, Vick's focus has not waned.

'Since the incident's happened, he's here in the building more,' Petrino said. "He's spent more time watching video, throwing the football, working out. He's taken it upon himself as, 'I'm going to learn this offense. I'm going to run this offense.' Maybe it has motivated him just the opposite as far as being a distraction."

I, for one, do not care much about Vick's canine pursuits. Vick has had a lot of offseason issues, regrettably. However, I have heard no complaints about his on the field commitment. When Sports Illustrated does the expose on that, lemme know.


RT said...

As a Falcons fan myself, I think we should prepare for Vick being suspended for the year. Even if he is not convicted, the commissioner has established with Pacman and Chris Henry that a conviction is not necessary for suspension. I love the site, but in my opinion, dog-fighting is one of the worst things a person can do. Aside from acts of violence on people, raising animals for fighting is insanely cruel. It is one thing to "allegedly" smoke pot and attempt to take some on a plane. I personally have no problem with an athlete smoking weed. I'm sure at least half of the players in the NFL do, but don't harm innocent animals.

Ryan T

The HCIC said...

Dogfighting is pretty depraved, yes. But a lot of the people outraged plopped down $55 for the fight between humans a few days ago. What's more depraved, really?

And don't mind me. My cat has programmed me to be quite anti-dog. :)

Pacifist Viking said...

Humans consent to get in the ring and beat each other up; dogs are forced to do so without their consent, and it's often a fight to the death. There is no moral equivalence between humans fighting and forcing dogs to fight for human entertainment or gambling.

I would argue that this is far, far worse than any of the things Vick was previously in trouble for. Flipping off a fan? Emotion, free expression: nobody actually hurt. Spreading an STD? Irresponsible, but not overtly malicious. Problems with airport security? The problem really turned out to be nothing (and if he was hiding weed, I couldn't care less).

However, to raise and train dogs to maul each other against does hurt a creature, shows malicious intend, and is very illegal.

The HCIC said...

Yes, humans have free will. But (certain) dogs have instinct. Does that count for anything? And does it matter if it's not a fight to the death match? It is my understanding that all matches aren't intended to result in death.

PV, I know u are against horse racing as well. Are u against all use of animals in sport?

Pacifist Viking said...

I'm against exploiting and harming animals for our entertainment, yes; I'm not opposed to any and all uses of animals by humans.

The dogs have instinct: then let them hang out with each other, and if they want to fight, that's their business. But when you train them to fight, then set them in a ring against another dog, and force it to fight (using its teeth, which if it's not to the death, is definitely with the intent of causing serious harm to the other dog), now you're not talking about instinct: you're talking about a human abusing an animal.

I realize I'm an extremist on animals and don't expect many people to see the world as I do. However, even pretty moderate people seem appalled at the idea of forcing dogs to maul each other for entertainment. It's not just an issue for people like me who have gone off the deep end, but for a lot of people who see it as a pretty barbaric practice.

I'm not saying this to pile on Vick (like I said, I barely paid attention to the earlier issues because I thought they were so minor). I'm just saying forcing dogs to maul each other is a much worse offense than those others.

Da Arsonist said...

Who snitched on Vick....they need to watch Cam'Ron on 60 minutes...

DP said...

Im NOT an extremist on animals, but Dog fighting is bad news, especially on the scale being reported here. Michael Vick will probably get by on this one in the legal sense, cause he didnt LIVE there, but his complicity is bad news.

Telling the fans they are number one is tacky, and classless, but it isnt illegal.

Animal Cruelty is another matter entirely.

Vick has issues...not Pacman Jones issues, but Michael Vick issues.

He has the kind of issues that should be handled in-house.

Roger Goddell isnt going to suspend Vick based on what is currently in the atmosphere.

But Vick is dangerously close to being in range of Vick's doghouse.

Good thing you guys went and Got Joey Keys, isn't it.

RT said...

That's really the scariest part. If Vick isn't playing, Joey is. At least last year, the backup was unproven. This year, the backup is proven...but it ain't good.

Brother T said...

"I just find it astounding that Vick is now suddenly considered to be of questionable character."


Umm...where you been? His character has been in question for a LONG time now. It is not "suddenly" in question.

And, on the dog fighting. Whether you find it amoral or not...whether it is a fight to the death or not...The state of VA has legislated that it is a FELONY offense. So, debate YOUR personal views on dog fighting all you want. If he's connected, he will have committed a felony. And that won't bode well with Mr. Goodell.

gsi45scada said...

I can tell you exactly why this issue seems to be the biggest deal of all with Vick. White people love their animals much more than black folks do.