Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thoughts on Michael Vick

I've held my tongue for a while now. It's not that I thought the guy deserved a fair shake. After all earning a gazillion dollars is already being considered elite and getting more than a fair shake in things. He's going to forfeit more money by not playing next year than I'll make in my entire life. And yet, there are those that consider the prosecution of their beloved hero wrong.

It's not wrong. Michael Vick, and every other multi-million dollar athlete out there that breaks the law, will just have to live up to it, like everyone else in this country. Being rich and famous should not earn you a free pass to also being stupid and unlawful.

The reason that I let the Michael Vick fiasco go so long is that it's just another one of those "hero's" that our kids look up to being a complete ass and doing something stupid. I have gotten numb to that. The fact is that people do stupid things all the time, and they get caught all the time. The only difference with professional athletes is the scale on which they do them. It's a lot easier to a really big stupid thing when you have an excessive amount of money at your disposal.

However, Michael Vick had a public statement apology yesterday that left me fuming. It was slightly impressive that he spoke without any note cards, but things he said weren't impressive.

He said that dog fighting is a terrible thing and that it was a mistake to take part in it. He said he found Jesus and asked for forgiveness. He said everyone makes mistakes. Then he said he takes full responsibility for what he did, and apologized to lying to his coach, his owner, the commissioner of football. The reason he gave, he was immature.

I doubt that after 6 years of brutalizing and killing dogs he suddenly thinks that dogfighting is wrong. His admission that it is all of a sudden is insulting to the rest of us. His tone and body language when he said he found Jesus and asked for forgiveness were poor. He didn't look like he found Jesus nor asked for forgiveness. He looked like he was trying to win favor with some people and that was all. His admission that everyone makes mistakes while true does not forgive him for this mistake. A mistake is to do something wrong in the heat of the moment, as a one time thing. Willfully breaking the law repeatedly for 6 years is not a mistake, it is just plain trying to get away with illegal activity. He said he takes full responsibility for what he did and always has, but that was not true either. At the start he claimed that his relatives and friends took advantage of his generosity and used the house for things that he was unaware. Since then it has been shown that he was very aware of what was happening, and that he took part. He blamed those closest to him that he trusted and that relied on him in order to save his own skin. That's not taking responsibility, that's not even being loyal to his friends and family. Finally his reason of being "immature" was crap. He was not being immature. It's another way to try to not take responsibility. "I did it because I wasn't allowed to be a kid when I was younger, but now that I have 100 million in my pocket I thought I could do this kind of stupid thing" is not a reason.

The thing that I admired about Vick prior to this is that he didn't seem to have that immature kid in him. He was a man out to prove he was a good quarterback. It didn't matter that I thought he was a good athlete but not a good quarterback. I at least thought he wasn't one of the thugs of football. I was amazed that he seemed so grounded while his brother was a complete terror. It's disappointing to know that even those people in professional football that appear to be above the level of thug may possibly just be better at not getting caught. That puts makes rest of the "good guys" in football suspect as well.