So I took some shots at recently released Mike Vick in the morning links and judging from the early returns not many folk appreciated it. Since this issue isn't going away and it's one I can't keep my mouth shut about moving forward, here is a detailed explanation of what I meant this morning and my take on Mike Vick possibly returning to the NFL:
Preface) I'm a dog guy. I have been for a long time. I have an English Pointer named Ophelia, and my fiancée has brought with her an amazing Black Lab named Bandi. I haven't been in a fight in probably 12 years, but I would protect my dogs violently if needed because they're in my care. They would do the same for me, I have no doubt. Also, what follows are my views, and not necessarily the views of anyone else at MCM.
1) Vick didn't just kill a dog that needed to be put down, he funded and hosted a criminal enterprise that profited from gambling and the torture/execution/maiming of dogs that were his responsibility.
2) Yes, rapists and those guilty of manslaughter (or other heinous crimes against people) sometimes serve shorter sentences. I believe those people should serve longer sentences, not be used in arguments to reduce the sentences of others.
3) It's a disgrace that Leonard Little is allowed in the NFL. It's a disgrace that there are a lot of guys to whom Paul Tagliabue should have given massive suspensions, or even expulsions. This is a different day and age, however, and the mistakes of the past should not lead to mistakes in the future.
4) I believe in redemption. I believe in second chances, but second chances and mulligans are not the same thing. Vick's second chance is the opportunity to live a free and non-criminal, not to get his highly coveted and highly lucrative job back. If the Enron guys had lived long enough to serve their terms, I can guarantee you wouldn't see them on the board of another Fortune 500 company.
5) Teams have the ability to sign who they want. I'm not infringing on that or saying that the Commish should give Vick a lifetime ban; it's merely my contention that signing Vick is an unconscionable, indefensible move on a moral level.
6) My beef with Dungy's Sport Illustrated essay is that Dungy is an impressive man who can really help a lot of people from making bad mistakes. Instead, he's letting himself get used by Vick and Co. (in my opinion) in the disgraced QB's bid to get back into the NFL. Dungy did stop short of outright endorsing Vick's return to the league, but Dungy had to know his essay would be spun in a way that helps Vick get back. Dungy had no prior familiarity with Vick; all we know is that he met with an inmate who said he was very sorry and wanted to turn his life around on the outside. Shocking. That's a reckless endorsement in my book.
7) Pretty much nothing is going to stop me from being a Titans fan. I'd even root for the team if they signed Vick, but I would be extremely disgusted and antagonistic about it. I'm sure that has the Titans front office shaking in their boots, but it's the best I got.
So there we have it. I'm not asking anyone to agree with me, and certainly not on a guttural, emotional level. That's all subjective and part of what makes each one of us different. I'm just trying to make my position clear so you folks know I'm not some PETA nutjob. If you want to debate the logic, well that's what the comments section is for... that and fart jokes. Ok, mostly fart jokes, but still.