When it was announced tonight that Goodell has asked Vick to stay away from training camp until the NFL has completed its review of the situation, I didn't feel the least bit bad for Vick. I generally agree with the policy though I do believe it sets a dangerous precedent for future "non-offenders." It's just that this case in particular is so disgusting that taking the time to get it right is probably a good call for Goodell. Plus, no one (save for Stephen A. & Emmitt Smith) will shed a tear for Vick considering the charges pending. But there is one problem I have with the decision and that is the timing in the wake of the recent protests by PETA. These groups bother me so much I only gain sympathy for those these gorilla organizations rally against.
No matter what effect the PETA protests had on the decision (which was likely zero), the folks at PETA will claim they had an effect and will thus become more emboldened. It is the perceived effectiveness of the Gorilla tactics by these groups with their mob rule mentality that makes my fucking skin crawl. And you know what they just don't get, had they not gone to the extremes in this situation and tried to time their protest to coincide with Goodell's announcement so as to make it look as though they somehow swayed Goodell's decision, they and their cause would gain credibility as opposed to losing it.
The problem with these interest groups generally is overinvolvement. A group like PETA protests the opening of every worm farm and Chucky Cheese (the pepperoni on the pizza was once some sort of animal) from Tulsa to Taipei, yet they wear cotton clothes picked from cotton plants, which happens to be the food source for the common boll weevil leaving the weevil to starve to death. They also wear synthetic blends and dyes created from oils of creatures that died millions of years ago (lousy hypocrites). If there's a fucking rat crushed on the subway or someone posts a sign that says "don't feed the pigeons," inevitably PETA will show up flapping their malnourished gums about the inequality in treatment of all living things. Similarly, groups like the Rainbow Coalition and Al Sharpton Inc. show up anytime race is brought up and only fan the flames of racial tension in order to bolster their own image(s). But it's because of this ubiquity that these groups are losing credibility. If they were more selective with their vocal support, they would gain credibility and maybe even sympathy (though in Sharpton's case, that ship has LONG since sailed). Imagine if there was no Tawana Bradley or if Jesse hadn't promised to pay the tuition of the Duke rape accuser. Imagine if PETA didn't protest at fishing competitions or supermarkets and instead focused their efforts on treating pets and zoo animals properly or causes like the humane importation of animals. Imagine if PETA's more public face was that of developing wildlife refuges for animals as opposed to fighting for the rights of lab rats who are responsible for saving the lives of millions and WILL BE the reason we are able to cure cancer some day. That cause would be something I could get behind. Instead, because of how extreme and fringe these groups have become, their mere involvement causes eyes to roll and credibility in the greater cause to diminish. They have cried wolf too many fucking times and I for one am sick of people getting out of bed every fucking time they continue to cry no matter how real the wolf threat is (really what I'd like is a new "wolf crier" without a hair trigger on their cryin voice).
And it's because of all this bullshit that anytime a group shows up to rally behind one of their pet causes (pun intended), I don't want to be associated with them or their cause. In fact, I would much rather be pitted on the other side no matter how much I agree with the greater cause they are rallying behind. And I don't think I'm alone. The general public hates these groups. They represent something extreme and pointed and angry, so it turns off the the support of the mainstream-middle-of-the-road public (of which I am a member). In the Vick case in particular, PETA's involvement was completely unnecessary. Did they think we didn't know where they stood on this? Goodell could give a fuck what PETA thinks (no offense, ladies). He cares what the football watching public thinks and we were pissed. Imagine the shot in the ass of the greater PETA cause (that of treating animals well) created if without their assistance the football community had risen up and not let Vick's actions stand. Imagine if the football fans caused Vick's suspension without any goading or nudity from the ugly, visible rib cages of the PETA army. Now that would have been a statement for the ethical treatment of animals. The momentum from such a dis-interested public outcry might have been strong enough to open the door to tougher laws against dogfighting. These are things that a large group of sane individuals with no agenda can accomplish. Concerned citizens can get the attention of their local Congressman. PETA members are led out of the Capitol by security. But PETA blew it. They showed up and whined and chanted and created unclever signs to make this issue a PETA cause, not a public cause. And once PETA got involved and raised all bloody hell, anyone with a breath of sanity in their bones distanced themselves from the issue so as not to be associated with such a radical and loony group. It was an opportunity lost despite the fact that they'll view it as a battle won.
So sleep in tomorrow Mike Vick and know that while the world is completely against you, if PETA keeps this up, you'll likely earn a little sympathy from this guy. That is until Revs. Al and JJ come down there and make an even bigger mess of it.