Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Falcons, Michael Vick, and Dogfighting

Statement from the Atlanta Falcons

“This situation has been troubling to many people, including our fans, during the last few months. With today's news, our club and team will continue to be tested as Michael [Vick] works through the legal process toward a conclusion. We are disappointed that one of our players -- and therefore the Falcons -- is being presented to the public in a negative way, and we apologize to our fans and the community for that. Obviously, we are disturbed by today's news from Virginia. However, we are prepared to deal with it, and we will do the right thing for our club as the legal process plays out. We have a season to prepare for and training camp opens next week. Our plan is to continue to do everything we can to support our players and coaches.”

In case you haven't heard, every news outlet (here, here, and here) is reporting that Michael Vick (quarterback and fading wunderkind of the NFL Atlanta Falcons) and 3 others were indicted by the federal government for running an illegal dogfighting operation, raising dogs for the purpose of dogfighting, and executing those dogs that did not perform while dogfighting. Read the entire damning indictment 18 page indictment at The Smoking Gun).

plez sez: in an earlier post, i implored Michael Vick to change his ways... my pleas were obviously a bit late! now, i'm not going to take the easy route and call him a thug and a hoodlum (if the shoe fits...), but i am going to say that this is putting the home team (Falcons) in a rough spot this coming season. we were dreaming about returning to the playoffs, it appears that we'll be LUCKY to win 2 games!

Vick hasn't played very well the last two seasons; there is NO WAY that he is going to excel in a new offensive scheme with a new head coach while having the spectre of a prison sentence hanging over his head! and to add insult to injury, the Falcons traded away his backup QB (Matt Shaub) and picked up a pedestrian (at best) Joey Harrington from the Dolphins (and he couldn't take the QB job away from a Dante Culpepper on a bad wheel!).

the Atlanta Falcons' owner Arthur Blank is very image conscious; i can see him looking at ways to unload Vick before the season starts!

i know that he's innocent until proven guilty, but Federal indictments are no laughing matter and they are rarely executed without lots of corroborating evidence and cooperating witnesses. i just don't see Vick weaseling out of this one (as i said before, he has been walking a tightrope of trouble since he showed up... i think the rope just broke).

and lastly, i have such fond memories of growing up with my family dog; Ace was a black Labrador retriever. long walks in the woods, him retrieving tennis balls out of the Hudson River, romping in the snow, wrestling in the yard, or accompanying me on my paper route... my dog was a fixture and a gratifying experience of my youth. i cannot imagine the ANIMAL who would raise a dog to be mauled and maimed and killed while fighting for sport... the barbarous nature of such an existence escapes me. if he was as involved as the indictment reads, i hope Michael Vick burns in HELL!


Unknown said...

Plez ---> I agree with your thoughts on the Vick indictment. Although he is innocent until proven guilty ... there seems to be little doubt that he knew what was going on. It's a shame that this young brother will never achieve the positive fame that he could have had. Dog fighting is cruel and degrading.

I shared my thoughts on the Michael Vick indictment on my blog as well.

peace, Villager

David Sullivan said...

Character is a defining attribute of a champion. Your teammates know if you are trustworthy, a man of your word and got their backs.

In Football, like no other sport, the QB needs to command the respect of evryone or the team doesn't work as a unit. If a team knows that the QB is shady, even if he hasn't broken the law, then they probably won't trust him in the forth quarter when he audibles a draw play on forth and 7 with 45 seconds to go. Doubt can never be part of the equation. Vick is a great improvisor which tells me he doesn't prepare enough to follow the game plan. He is too busy filling his water bottle or training his dog. Any way I'm not going to "dog" Vick any further (he, he).

Don't waste your energy on the Falcons this year Plez, concentrate on the Wreck.

CapCity said...

He just better hope he doesn't get treated like his "low performing" dogs. All I can do is shake my head. I recall having this debate YEARS ago with one of my sisters that it should be a concern of mine what my significant other does in his time away from Us because it will surely affect US....see? I'm not the only one who thinks that way. What players do OFF the field affects their livelihoods, as well.

BUT - to play devil's advocate a bit - M.Vick has PUHLENTY of Animalistic support/company:
Cock-fighting is an international sport along with Bull fighting, etc. There are MANY venues for his "extra-curriculars"....his greatest crime may be doing so in the USA...

endangered coffee said...

I was going to post my own Vick should burn in hell post, but I'll leave it to you, Plez. And you're right, this doesn't have as much to do with thug behaviour as it has to do with sociopathic behavior. On the way to hell, I hope Vick is shaved, dipped in water, and has a live elecric wire strapped to his body.

Lori said...

Y'all dog lovers don't play, do ya? (smile). I feel you . . . but I bet if you were to ask Vick he'd say he was a "dog lover" as well.

You do have to wonder about the type of person capable of engaging in that type of activity. Is this something he grew up watching or doing? Perhaps he's simply grown hardened to the brutality of it all.

Sleeperwithheavyeyes said...

The Vick brothers don't seem to think that there are consequences to their actions. He's a great quarterback, and he's wealthy, but that doesn't mean he'll get his Black Butt thrown in jail if he breaks the law. It's bad enough they killed those dogs in such a horrible way, but it's incredibly stupid to lose out on millions of dollars and your freedom for something so pointless. I wish his behavior was atypical of Pro Athletes, but it isn't.

plez... said...

lori said it best: "You do have to wonder about the type of person capable of engaging in that type of activity."

i often marvel at this guy's outstanding athletic gift of football and now wonder what deficiencies exist due to that overabundance of talent?

Anonymous said...

This brother has really messed himself up. Great football player, less than great human being.

Your Favorite Teacher said...

Come on, guys! Give Vick a break! Too much of this is the media attacking him... Vick has been an outstanding player and contributor... The media has only built him up, to tear him down... Good blog with great insight! Vernon for Georgia blog was insightful...

Anonymous said...

I don't like to convict a black man of (just about) anything until I have beyond a shadow of a doubt proof. The media is a darn mess, so I don't trust them to provide me with said proof. Nevertheless, I hope Vick isn't as sick and insane as he seems.

plez... said...

i love Michael Vick... he is the ONLY REASON i am a Falcons fan... but it is what it is!

i hope like HELL that he gets off, because the Falcons are NOTHING without him, but like i said before, it's not looking good for the home team!

paul said...

"I hope Michael Vick burns in HELL!"

Are you serious??? And you're a football fan? A sport where the collisions sometimes paralyze people. A sport that is considered one of the most brutal on earth??

What a joke!

plez... said...

my entire quote reads: "if he was as involved as the indictment reads, i hope Michael Vick burns in HELL!"

if he was involved in the brutality and killing of dogs as alleged in the indictment, then, yes, i hope he burns in HELL!

i hope like HELL that he is not involved.

and being a true football fan, i understand that football is a brutal sport. but it is a brutal sport where the combatants wear protective gear and are not subject to electrocution and hanging if they do not perform!

to my way of thinking, the joke is trying to compare football to the summary execution of innocent dogs. HARDY-HAR-HAR!

paul said...

I hope you don't eat chicken. Talk about cruel. Can you imagine living your entire life in a cage about the same size as you and NEVER being able to stand up just so you can get fat so you're enjoyed as people eat you after your death. Talk about living to die.

plez... said...

i've eaten chicken, amongst other kinds of meat, as well. in order to eat meat, someone has to KILL it, pluck it or skin it, clean it, and then cook it.

when i was 12 years old, i was visiting my grandparents down in North Carolina. my grandfather enlisted my aid in holding down a chicken while he cut it's head off. i'll be damned, that chicken ran around the yard for about 5 minutes without it's head!

needless to say, i did not have an appetite for my grandmother's chicken & dumplings that evening at dinner! *smile*

dc_speaks said...

it'd getting hot in here. no pun intended to the reference of "burning in hell"

ok, i have mixed feelings on this topic. I just hope that mike wasn't as involved in the process to the point where he was as involved as it appears.

i know that indictments tend to go way over and above and then get weeded out after the process starts.

In my opinion, i hope everything works out for him and the falcons and i really appreciate the points brough up before me by cap and pd.

kudos to those commentors.

peace all

CapCity said...

I agree with PD - as I stated earlier:

Cock-fighting is an international sport along with Bull fighting, etc. There are MANY venues for his (Vick's) "extra-curriculars"....his greatest crime may be doing so in the USA...

Personally, I don't really care for sports - but is this Brother simply being used as an "example"? We live in such a brutal society...what's he really guilty of even if he DOES participate in the bloody past-time of dog-fighting??

Animal Chaplain said...

Interesting blog... you seem like a thoughtful guy.

If there is anything good about the Michael Vick story, it is that there is an emerging increased awareness about animal cruelty and animal fighting. There is so much anger about this issue. If we channel it into a positive direction, hopefully, something good can come of it. However...

I watched Vick's public apology with my little son who USED TO wear Michael Vick jerseys to school. It is disturbing to think a certain percentage of the population is honestly going to be swayed by Michael Vick's "enlightenment" carefully crafted by his overpaid attorneys. Call me a cynic, but I don't believe a man who has been allegedly torturing animals since childhood coincidentally has a religious epiphany as a result of getting caught and losing his job. I hope I am wrong.

I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, are using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, "carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or gambling?" "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?" The comparisons to dogfighting have been endless.

Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.

Dogfighting pits one dog against another until one of them dies. The survivor gets his flesh torn off, ears ripped off, eyes pulled out, etc., and the reward for being "a winner" is to writhe in pain until the next fight. Enough said. The pictures make my flesh crawl. The losers are tortured, beaten, starved, electrocuted or drowned. For what? Because these poor creatures were unlucky enough to be born a dog!

Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?

Chaplain Nancy Cronk