Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Dog Eat Dog World of Michael Vick

Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons once seemed to be the most potential rich athlete in the NFL, if not perhaps all of professional sports. Although not that easily impressed, I was moved enough by his skill set to gush about him in an article for Suite101.com that can now be accessed at the end of this post at A Line A Day: Vick Still Slick?

That was then, this is now. On the field Vick has not quite lived up to his potential the way you can say someone like Lebron James has somehow managed to equal his hype, but the greatness of Vick's athleticism is undeniable and has led to many spectacular moments from end zone to end zone. His career is still in a relatively early stage, his team is no doubt better with him on the field than off, so what he lacks in playoff victories he has more than made up for in endorsements thanks to his being a pretty decent quarterback trapped in Eric Dickerson's body - the NFL's ultimate double threat. The sky has continued to be his limit even though other players at his position such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have managed to achieve more tangible success with their physical gifts than Vick has with his highlight reel theatrics. To put it most mildly, when your turn comes up to play against Michael Vick (once known as the smarter of the Vick brothers which isn't saying much when your brother has the track record of Marcus Vick), you don't neglect to keep Michael's skill set in mind when concocting your defensive game plan.

If one has the proverbial whole world in his hands and opts to throw it away, hopefully the reasoning will be sound and heart true to self. Or in the case of Ricky Williams, you better at least have an excellent supplier of your favorite muscle relaxer (Isn't the brain a muscle? If not, it oughta be). The world of professional sports is full to overflowing with stories of superstars who screwed up their near magical careers, threw away the ridiculously wonderful opportunity to be paid a fortune to play a game they naturally excel at. The culprits tend to be repeat offenders - addictions to alcohol, to drugs, to whoring, to gambling, and combo packages of all of the above.

Michael Vick has certainly upped the ante when it comes to being a screw up. His vices fall within the genre of gambling, but they did not lead him to typical destinations such as the casinos of Las Vegas or Atlantic City. To the best of my knowledge he does not run in the same circles as Pete Rose or any NBA refs. Rather than falling under the spell of the blackjack table, Vick has managed to jeopardize his endorsements, his career, his reputation, and his liberty (not to mention safety from the wrath of PETA members and other friends to canines) by allegedly running an illegal dog fighting operation (not that there is any such thing as a legal one).

If guilty, and the evidence certainly does seem to be overwhelming, only one word comes to mine. ASSHOLE. Whatever interpretation you personally take from this description, chances are it applies. Unlike many, I don't expect or insist that the athletes I admire strictly for their athletic skill be perfect role models. I understand that like everyone else in the world they are imperfect, and therefore subject to temptation from all ten of the commandments and each of the seven deadly sins. Throw in tax evasion to either of those lists. I shake my head whenever these stories make front and back page news, but by no means am I shocked beyond belief or unwilling to forgive if they seek it sincerely. Child molestation is probably the one horrific act that I find completely beyond redemption, but it tends to be the result of serious mental/emotional issues that one can at least try to empathize with. But pitting dogs to fight each other to the death (not to mention killing pooches who aren't good enough at it by other sick means) to make a few bucks but primarily for the perverse thrill of it is about as low as the depths of hell gets. I've combed through my dictionary, thesaurus and extensive vocabulary of ebonics and a lone word of description keeps jumping to the top of the list.


Here's the indictment for those who may find the specifics of the alleged heinous acts of interest: http://msn.foxsports.com/id/7035302_37_1.pdf

Consider this article the exclusive opinion of Roy L. Pickering Jr. (Author of Feeding the Squirrels)

- Roy Pickering (author of FEEDING THE SQUIRRLS: A Novella)


  1. Sounds like there will be no taking it easy on Michael Vick by his team or the NFL. This is a dog loving country, whereas the most entertaining of black men here are merely tolerated at best (not that the issue here has much to do with race), so Vick has apparently used up all three of his strikes on one swing. I suggest he get some tips from Paris Hilton on how best to handle his jail time.


  2. Vick pleads not guilty to charges


    Innocent until proven otherwise, right? Probably more relevant is the fact that he has the money to hire top notch lawyers, and top notch lawyers know how to manipulate the law to get their clients off. Should be an interesting trial that will draw some interesting characters out of the woodworks.

  3. NFL star Michael Vick will plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges involving illegal dogfighting, one of his attorneys has confirmed.

  4. Hi,

    This Press Release is in memory of the animals tortured and slaughtered in dog fighting. As personally satisfying as it would be to spay and neuter Michael Vick (with no anesthesia), we prefer to teach people how animals SHOULD BE TREATED, and what a blessing they are in our lives. Thanks for reading it and passing it on. ~ Nancy Cronk at www.Animal Chaplains.com.
    Press Release August 22, 2007

    "Animal Chaplains To Honor and Bless All Creatures on World Animal Day"

    ~ from the Interfaith Association of Animal Clergy

    While Americans have watched in horror as celebrity athlete Michael Vick admits being a willling participant in one of the cruelest, most horrific crimes against animals ever committed, America needs an emotional healing. That day is World Animal Day.

    In what will look like a scene from the popular family movie, "Evan Almighty", scores of Animal Chaplains around the world will bless hundreds, perhaps thousands of animals in many different settings on October 4th 2007. At a pet cemetery on the east coast, to a city park in the desert, to a sandy beach on the west coast, they will walk in on a leash, fly in on a harness, and slither in their cages. Barking, mewing, bleating, mooing, whinnying and purring will join human voices in hymns of praise and worship. World Animal Day is a day dedicated to honoring, blessing, and protecting animals all over the world.

    World Animal Day was founded at an ecologist's convention in Florence, Italy in 1931 as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4th was chosen as World Animal Day because it is also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic Church holiday which is often celebrated with an annual "blessing of the pets". Since then, it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and has been widely celebrated around the world. Churches and synagogues in many faiths traditions have adopted "Pet Blessing Day" or "World Animal Day" in increasing numbers every year.

    The Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains prepares for World Animal Day by referring its members and visitors to the official World Animal Day website. The site provides ideas and resources to individuals, families, community groups and congregations everywhere. People can post their pledge for volunteering at a World Animal Day event. In addition to blessing pets, volunteers will work at animal shelters, zoos, rescues, and other nonprofit organizations. Dogs will be walked, cats will be brushed, horses will be groomed, and fish will benefit from freshly cleaned tanks. Donations will be given to animal welfare agencies, and pets will be adopted. School children will collect pet food to be donated to charities, and bake sales and car washes will be held as fundraising events. Veterinary clinics will hold free spay and neuter days, or may offer to vaccinate pets at no charge. All over the world, on the very same day, the well-being of animals will be on the minds of millions of people.

    Interfaith Chaplain Nancy Cronk feels a day honoring animals is very important at a time when the headlines speak of animal cruelty such as athlete Michael Vick's alleged ties to illegal dog fighting. Animal Chaplains would like everyone to know that every major faith endorses the responsible stewardship of the earth and all of its creatures. "Deliberate harming of animals is in direct opposition to teachings in all of the major world faiths. Caring for animals is our global spiritual responsibility. If we can teach this ethic to all of our children, animal abuse and suffering will someday become a distant memory".

    To find out how to get involved on World Animal Day, go to www.WorldAnimalDay.org.uk. To find out more about Animal Chaplains, go to www.AnimalChaplains.com.

    (This article may be reprinted.)

    Nancy J. Cronk
    Founder, Chair and Chaplain
    Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains
    Email: AnimalClergy@aol.com