Thursday, July 26, 2007

Primetime! Primetime!.... Whoa, Primetime?

The follow-up to this book will be "My Big Mouth. How talking out of my ass finally ruined my career."

It was only a matter of time before the NFL's resident verbal diarrhea laureate gave us something to chew on regarding the Vick situation.* Neon Deion Sanders weighed in on the Mike Vick situation this week and as you could probably imagine, his eloquence was only outdone by his logic:
This is all the result of perspective.

What a dog means to Vick might be a lot different than what he means to you or I. Hold on, don’t start shaking your head just yet. Listen to me.

Some people kiss their dogs on the mouth. Some people let their dogs eat from their plate. Some people dress their dogs in suits more expensive than mine, if you can believe that.

And some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street. You’re probably not going to believe this, but I bet Vick loves the dogs that were the biggest and the baddest.
You're right, Deion. He loves them to death.
Still, I must ask the question: Where is all of this going?
(Edit: a lengthy bit about Deion's own German Shephards and how you don't want to mess with them. You can read the whole article by clicking the above link.) Now back to Primetime:
Why are we indicting him? Was he the ringleader? Is he the big fish? Or is there someone else? The fights allegedly occurred at a property that he purchased for a family member. They apparently found carcasses on the property, but I must ask you again, is he the ringleader?
(Edit: Deion referenced New Jack City. The reference had no relevance to the Vick situation.)
Are we using Vick to get to the ringleader? Are we using him to bring an end to dogfighting in the United States?

The only thing I can gather from this situation is that we’re using Vick.

Was he wrong? Absolutely. Was he stupid? Can’t argue with that. Was he immature? No doubt. But is he the ringleader? I just can’t see it.
O....K....? And your point is? If he is not the ringleader, do we let him go? Should we feel better about Vick if he simply financed the operation but let others run it? Or should we feel better about Vick if he was the person who killed all the dogs himself but he didn't have anything to do with running the operation? Can't we just indict him because there's enough evidence to take him to trial? Or does the Feds motivation matter? It seems as though you're suggesting that we shouldn't condemn Vick not because he didn't kill dogs, but because he may not have been the person running the day-to-day operations of the dog killing enterprise. I'm not picking up what you're putting down here, Neon. More Deion:
I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death. It’s like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn’t tap out when he knows he can’t win.

It reminds me of when I wore a lot of jewelry back in the day because I always wanted to have the biggest chain or the biggest, baddest car. It gives you status.
Whoa! Am I the only person who had kind of a "holy shit!" type moment while reading that last part? Not just the "I know many athletes who share (Vick's) passion for dogfighting" part--though I think that comment may earn Primetime a phone call and meeting with the Feds--but the manner in which he glorifies dogfighting is a bit unsettling. Comparing the allure of dogfighting to ultimate fighting (a sport in which people rarely die) and his own passion for jewelry (a passion for which rarely results in death) is a little sick. I mean, how far does this go? Is it ok to do anything in order to achieve this "status" that Neon speaks of? I'd probably gain status amongst thieves if I stole a Picasso from the Guggenheim, but that desire for acceptance doesn't make me less guilty of thievery. Oh, but there's more Deion:
Can I pause for a moment to ask you a question?
(I love this feature of Deion's writing style. The conversationesque interjections that make it seem as if you are sitting across from Deion and having a heart-to-heart.)
Who shot Darrant Williams? Remember the Denver Bronco cornerback? I’m just more concerned about bringing to justice someone who killed a human. Or finding out who broke into Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker’s home, tied him up and robbed him at gunpoint.

We’re attacking this dogfighting ring the same way a teenager attacks his MySpace page after school (by the way parents, make sure you monitor your kids). We should have the same passion for man that we have for man’s best friend.
I love when people do this. If they see a crime story that they feel is blown out of proportion, they cite another crime of greater moral significance (or heinousness) as evidence that we don't have our priorities straight for not paying more attention to the other crimes, as if we should only focus on one thing at a time. Well, once we get that Williams situation solved, then we can start worrying about Vick. No one's going to argue that Darrent Williams murder is a lesser crime than Vick's, but you Deion should know better than almost anyone that who you are makes a HUGE difference in the level of attention paid to what you do. There are few bigger NFL stars than Mike Vick. We pay more attention to him because of this fact. But let's get off of those particulars for a moment and continue with what else he said up there. I especially enjoyed his parenthetical PSA about "web monitoring." That was classic. I don't particularly get the MySpace - Attack analogy (for one, dogfighting is illegal while MySpace is not. Nor do I agree that the purpose of all of this Vick-bashing is that "we" are attacking dogfighting as an institution, though there certainly has been a ton of that. And lastly, the veracity and manner with which Vick is being attacked seems completely dissimilar from that of a teenager and his/her webpage no matter how tenacious his/her typing skillz may be. But I guess that's just me...), and as for the comment about our passion for "man over dog," if Mike Vick was electrocuting people to death and there were 30 human carcasses on his property, this would be a little bigger deal than it already is. But it is the "man over dog" comment that for me highlights what a lot of Vick supporters don't seem to get about this whole deal. That we are somehow elevating a dog's existence to that of a human's. While I personally have a genuine love for dogs and have more respect for some dogs than I do some humans, that's not exactly the greater issue. Treating a dog like shit and killing dogs indiscriminately (btw, the verb is not "murder" here. You can't "murder" a dog, only a human) isn't bad because it's a dog and dog's are important to us, it's bad because when you treat animals that way it suggests that you have no concept of how to function humanely in society. If the story was instead that someone of note tortured mice or birds or fucking penguins by burning them to death or hanging them or whatever, even if it weren't illegal you would condemn that person because they are completely fucked up. If Vick were a serial bird igniter, the Feds may not be involved but I guarantee you his sponsorships would be pulled and his career would be killed. It's the nature of the depraved indifference that gets me about it. It'd be naive to say that because "man's best friend" is involved that the story doesn't pull on your heartstrings a little stronger, but when you train animals to kill for sport and then fucking hang them or drown them if they aren't good enough or they get injured, that's fucked and you deserve whatever comes to you. But I digress. Deion ain't done:
The reason this is turning into a three-ring circus is that baseball is boring, basketball is months away, football is around the corner and we in the media don’t have a thing interesting to write about.
Yes, baseball is boring so we're just searching for that catchy story like a famous athlete killing dogs to add some excitement to our summer. If this happened during the Winter Olympics, no one would say boo about it. That makes sense. Stories about the most famous player in the NFL getting indicted for a federal crime would never beat out the coverage of the Bucs v. Seahawks score or Brad Miller putting up 20 and 12 against the f'n Grizzlies. It's just a slow news month (what with the whole Donaghy story and Bonds and whatnot), that's why we're talking so much about it. And also, "we in the media?" Since when is Sanders a media member? Just because you wear a fedora that looks like the ones the 1920's boxing beat writers wore doesn't make you a media member. And lastly, more Deion:
How will this end up? I have no idea. All I know is Falcons fans better pray because Vick’s backup is Joey Harrington. Enough said.
I may be mistaken but it seems as though you are suggesting that because YOU don't have confidence that Vick's backup is any good that WE should maybe not protest so loudly about Vick or else we'll be stuck with this backup. That makes sense. I often times change my mind about criminal acts because of the way it affects my fantasy team (actually, depending on the act, I do). Well, at least you have your priorities straight, Primetime.

*I would be remiss if I did not note that this story is covered by almost every blog on the planet and I learned of it via Deadspin through the fellas at Fanhouse. A little "T O' The H" to those guys.


John said...

It's just baffling that there isn't someone in the entourage to vet these things before they go to print.

The Outsider said...

If Deion's really so concerned about the Darrent Williams case, you'd think he'd spell the victim's name right.

Out of respect for the dead, if nothing else.

Yeah, where's the Copy Edita, yo? Was he waxing the Benz when Deion finished typing?