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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Vick must avoid trouble like a pass rush

For a guy who has extensive interests in breeding pit bulls and Rottweilers, Michael Vick got an ominous - yet appropriate - warning from his boss.

"He is in essence on a short leash," Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told SI.com.

And with that, the gauntlet has been thrown down. Vick, the tremendously gifted and troubled Falcons QB, is running out of time to prove he's worth the bad press to his old owner and new coach, Bobby Petrino.

Over the years, I've been an unabashed apologist for Vick. My judgment was probably obscured by his considerable talent, his giving life to the nickname "Ron Mexico" (can't say why. This is a family news organization) and that his success with a usually pathetic franchise like the one in Atlanta flew in the face of conventional NFL perceptions of what a QB should be - or look like.

But I'm tiring of him and the negative headlines he's generated in recent months. This latest incident, which connects him to illegal dog fighting at a home he owns in Virginia, has tested the patience of his fans and employers. And it's even tested the loyalty of the people he calls "friends."

Two of them recently told SI.com that they are convinced he's been involved in dog fighting and that he has a longtime "affinity" for the culture surrounding dog fighting.

"He knows what's going on in that house in Virginia," one told SI.com. "There's not a doubt in my mind he's involved with it."

With friends like those ... well, you know the rest. The next set of decisions Vick must make are much easier than reading a Cover 2 defense or figuring out how to avoid Julius Peppers: he needs a new set of friends and almost certainly a different hobby.


Blogger Edward said...

Mr. Anderson,

I'm quite sure that you have friends from your past that are not of the most reputable character.

I understand you believe Mr Vick aka Mr Mexico should just abandon the friends of his troubled youth, but what you don't understand is that it's not that easy.

These same friends and family members are the ones who supported, cheered, nurtured, and shaped Michael into the man he's become. They've had a tremendous 'loving' influence on his life.

Is Michael supposed to abandon all of these people to 'upgrade' to groupies and fanatics as his new friends or should Michael live in isolation?

Who fills the void when you abandon all of your 'good', and i use the term loosely, old friends.

The 'replacements' won't know him, understand him, comprehend the intricate details of his make up.

The best friends are the people that have been there for you through thick and thin, for better or worse, through it all; for what it's worth.

Does Michael need to manage his relationships and friendships better? Yes, he does. It doesn't serve anyones best interest for Michael to now abandon the people that have been there for him as he developed as a person.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Michael Vick can associate with anyone he chooses, relatives, friends with questionable and in some cases illegal activities.

However, being a professional athlete in the nation's top pro sports league is NOT a right, it is a priviledge that only a few can experience. Being a member of one of the country's great football franchises, comes with the responsibility of representing your fellow team mates, owners and management of the team. Plus, fans of the team, the city and region where the team is located.

If Michael Vick does not like this burden of responsibilty he can choose to return to his old friends and family members that supported him. He does not owe them so much, from their shared past that he needs to support family members in illegal, violent and inhumane dog fights. Dog fighting is illegal in all states in the US.

Before anyone starts with the "He didn't know what was going on the house he owned." Let's consider that he and most other high profile professional athletes have agents, attorneys, publicists and advisors. Most of us regular people have attorneys review and approve the most basic home purchase contracts and lease agreements to cover us from various forms of civil liabilty.

No one achieves the level of success in pro sports, especially in the NFL as a quarterback on just talent and athleticism alone, it takes many years of study, determination, attention to detail, a tremendous work ethic and a refusal to quit. All of these traits makes it impossible for me to believe that Michael Vick had no knowledge or warnings that Dog Fighting was taking place in a home and property that he owned.

One of the reasons that this breed of dog and a few others is associated with so many maulings and attacks of innocent people in the US and worldwide is the purposeful breeding to increase "Prey Drive", Dog aggressiveness, combined with a high level of hardness, (lack of reponse to pain and serious injury). Then combine with the training to attack and fight and other forms of irresponsible ownership, e.x. 60 dogs in one property, some injured and malnourished. Is it any wonder that some dogs from these breeds have attacked, severely injured and killed innocent people?

Can Michael Vick redeem himself in my eyes? Absolutley, but the burden requires far more than, the I am sorry, I didn't know excuse.

6:02 PM  

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