Just because Michael Vick is a knucklehead, we should all suffer?
I was surprised when Vick was indicted and horrified reading the allegations. But it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to see Vick on the field this season. Flat out, if Vick is not the quarterback, the season is presumptively tanked. Joey Harrington is not the one.
The NFL is full of manslaughter committing, murder trial having, gun running, marijuana trafficking, drug dealing, drug taking, wife beating, baby mama abusing, bar fight starting, DUI getting, strip club fight starting, pain pill abusing, steroid rage having, cleat stomping assholes. Vick is not the first and he won't be the last NFL player to get into trouble. Michael Vick should not be singled out. If it gets to that, let him pay his debt to society and/or the league and let Ookie back on the field.
There is no way that Vick should be suspended with or without pay before due process takes it course. That would just be an unfair action with total disregard to Vick's presumed innocence. And one idea that has been gaining steam - that Vick should take a leave of absence - should not be considered unless the legal proceedings substantively interfere with Vick's ability to do his job or the situation otherwise becomes untenable. Yeah, they'll be some booing at the games, but it'll settle down. The league has been through this before.
There is no need for Falcons owner Arthur Blank to overreact to the situation. Locally, Vick's current troubles make little difference to the Falcons fans. Vick has long been a divisive presence in Atlanta (for a variety of reasons). So, if you were a Vick detractor, you'll just be a more enthusiastic Vick detractor. If you are a Vick supporter, he needs you more than ever.
Still, the tone of the ESPN coverage on Vick is so somber, it's as if Vick is being held for assassinating the president. The analysts have gone stupid just to paint as dire a picture as possible. This morning, Mike and Mike wondered why Kobe Bryant's endorsers reacted more swiftly against him than Vick's endorsers have. Because Kobe was accused of violently harming a PERSON, not a dog, geniuses. Plus, I assume Nike, maker of leather shoes, could care less about PETA. Also, The NFL Live panel had an entire debate on whether Vick could handle a trial during the season. For some unknown reason, they decided the trial would be occurring in 4 months. Their own analyst, Roger Cossack, said a trial would probably not occur inside a year. Still, they chose a selective "fact" they wanted to run with and ran with it.
Nevertheless, any publicity is good publicity. If Vick stays on the field, the Falcons will be the number one story of the season. If Vick is not on the field, we'll be an afterthought. I bet ALL the networks who have Falcons games this season want Vick on the field. It might not be the kind of publicity Arthur Blank prefers, but it's better than none. The Falcons don't really have any other options.
As a fan, I am not interested in the morality of the players on the field. Judging the relative "goodness" of players is an exercise in futility. I will settle for wins. In that respect, Michael Vick is my best hope.