Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Suspend Mike Vick? Yup.

Life for Goodell was easy when he was putting away the "cartoonishly bad" guys (see above mustache twister) like Pacman, Tank & Henry. Things got complicated when the face of his sport turned out to be as big a scumbag.

I don't envy Goodell with this Vick situation. On the one hand he has his beloved precedent with his new conduct policy. Bad guys who continue to do bad stuff get suspended. And he was lauded for this hard-handed policy. On the other hand you've got a guy in Michael Vick who while having been associated with some "issues" that reflect poorly of his overall character (giving herpes to someone and being tested under the alias "Ron Mexico," carrying weed through an airport, flipping off fans, etc.), he hasn't been that bad a guy when compared to Jones and Henry. So when Vick is associated with a disgusting act of brutally abusing animals for money, what does he do? It's technically his first "offense." Do you take into account his previous transgressions? He was never formally charged in response to any of the previous situations he was involved in. So you're kinda throwing out the "totality of 'bad stuff' history" argument that in some ways justified (and immunized from criticism) the heavy handedness of the Jones and Henry suspensions. This is Vick's crime and only in isolation can it be judged. It is because of this that if you suspend Vick (and now they say they aren't), you have to suspend him as if he has been convicted of the crimes he's charged. You either don't do shit and let it play out and let the NFL get dragged through the mud or you go all the way take a very tough stand. But the thing is that in this situation you have enough information to do just that. No matter what happens with the "Michael Vick Legal Case," Goodell has all the information he needs to suspend him today.

What bothers me about this situation is that those people that defend Vick cite the Duke rape case. They say that you can't jump to conclusions because those kids got indicted and none of the evidence stood up. The people on the other side of the argument ("Vick haters" or "hate-uhz") distinguish this case from the Duke case SOLELY by concluding that because the US Gov't is involved, Vick's indictment carries more weight. They go into this whole spiel about how the Duke prosecutor had extra-legal motivation for railroading those kids and the US Gov't has a 95% conviction rate, so common sense says that this case is different. While that is evidence that would lead me to believe that Michael Vick may be more screwed than the kids at Duke were, I don't need that information to know that Vick's case is WAY different than the Duke kids'. In the Duke case, the only undisputed factual evidence was that there were strippers, there was drinking and we knew that one woman went to the hospital. The rest was "he said - she said." With Vick, we know for a FACT that on a property owned by Vick, more than a couple maimed dog carcasses were dug up. That is not a crime but it certainly would lead you to believe that something was amiss, either that or Vick's yard is to Dogs what the Bermuda Triangle is to commercial ships. They also found blood all over the place, a fighting pit, training manuals and videos and they determined through doggy autopsies (not even taking into account the testimony of this mystery witness) that the manner in which the dogs died shows that they were exposed to a level of violence that would make Tarantino blush. Again, none of that information suggests that Vick was even there or knew about it, which is necessary to convict him of the conspiracy portion of the crime. But, as many have pointed out, this is not a court of criminal law. We are talking about the NFL and its image. Michael Vick's property was used by his friends (and likely himself) in some degree as a training ground or stage in promotion of some of the most low grade and base entertainment imaginable. Scum of the earth type shit. That information is factual. Mike Vick's excuses about what he knew or when he knew it doesn't excuse what happened on his property. Whether Vick was present and knew of all of this or knew about the manner in which these dogs were executed or even participated in the executions will determine his fate in the court of law (and public opinion), but it need not be proven in order to hold him accountable for what happened or the perception of the NFL because of what happened. And he should be held accountable. Because regardless of what comes out in the trial and whether or not he is found guilty of any of the charges, at the end of the day Mike Vick was still somehow involved in the senseless killing of a ton of animals and is a sick fuck. It's a tough precedent to set, I know. But since the NFL is into taking setting tough precedents, eliminating another sick fuck from the league is a precedent that I think few will shed a tear about.

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