Tag: Michael Vick

[Business Day One] Where, Oh Where, Michael Vick

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My girlfriend is a Patriots fan, but her knowledge of the NFL in general isn’t terribly thorough (and by that, I mean that she knows who Peyton Manning is and that’s pretty much it). So when she struck up conversation on Michael Vick and whether or not he’d come back into the league, I was just a touch surprised. It goes to show you the kind of notoriety you can get from being a monster. Anyway, she wanted my opinion on what Vick’s options were once his 23 month prison sentence was over (which will be in the summer of 2009). Her father, a fairly knowledgeable NFL fan, went as far as to say that almost every team in the league would have interest. While I wouldn’t go that far, I can think of four that would likely make a couple of phone calls.

So let’s go through them, in order of least to most likely:

Number 4: The Cincinnati Bengals Read More

Conduct Detrimental


So Michael Vick will be spending twenty-three months in jail for promoting and funding a dogfighting ring. Let’s get right to it: will he ever play the game of professional football again?

While he played, Vick had profound athletic talent, making him one of the most agile and aggressive quarterbacks in recent years (if not the most accurate). He could have easily made his bones as a running back or a tight end. If he keeps up his conditioning while, erm, in prison, there’s no reason he couldn’t start again.

But two years out of the game is a long time. It’s one of the longest sentences handed out to a football player anyone’s cared about in recent history. Will the NFL forgive, or has the door slammed on Vick’s career?

Let’s take a look at some other convicts whom the NFL has embraced again:
The Mean Machine
Tank Johnson: Suspended eight games for misdemeanor firearms possession, Tank has since found a new home with the Dallas Cowboys. He put up three solo tackles and one sack against the Giants and has failed to make headlines since.

Chris Henry: The Bengals didn’t share the Bears’ issues with keeping their prodigal son in the fold – Henry suited up the first game he was free and caught for 99 yards against the Ravens. Not bad for providing minors with alcohol, eh?
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Getting a Good Look at a T-Bone


It’s hard out there for a sports-blogger, especially ones like us who work only occasionally and try not to work blue. So for the first time ever, a little “behind-the-scenes” up the butcher’s ass at NerdsOnSports, via gchat between myself and Will. I think I’m pretty much right; there isn’t a single angle on Ookie Mexico that I can come up with which hasn’t been covered by someone already. Except that time he got serious about dolphin-safe tuna…

Anyway, two boring nerds talking ahoy:

12:03 AM Will: I’m supposed to write something for wednesday

my mind is blank

12:06 AM me: you’re better off than me

i’ve been sooo unable to come up with anything

i’m trying to compare wacky japanese USB products to fantasy football picks but…

12:07 AM well…

that’s insane.

Will: yes

me: and it doesn’t work, quite frankly

Will: I believe you could continue your epic

or talk about a game with 30 runs

me: true

12:08 AM “lo, gil meche did commence sucking a fat one right around the all star break”

33 runs, if you add them both together

12:09 AM Will: right

only 6 of them charged to my pitcher

me: wait til next year, GM.

12:10 AM either way: not much else to cover

seems that the problem is blanket coverage


me: and that proves my point

everything that could be written has been written

well, not EVERYTHING

12:11 AM but we’re getting there

We needed a Wednesday update you say?

12:12 AM Will: well, my day is wednesday

me: we’ll call it collabo then

Oh, and hey, Starbury? Don’t ever, ever open your mouth again. You dumb bastard. Nobody asked you, don’t volunteer it. Matter of fact, that goes for everyone. Quit forgetting the lesson of Bad Dudes: “Never Trouble Trouble ‘Til Trouble Troubles You.”

Cruel and Unusual


Michael Vick Pleads Guilty

Michael Vick will plead guilty to conspiring to run a dog-fighting operation, which may land the Atlanta Falcons quarterback in prison and jeopardize his career in the National Football League.

The 27-year-old former No. 1 draft pick will enter his plea Aug. 27 in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, his lawyers said yesterday. The conspiracy charge carries a punishment of as much as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


The NFL said in a statement that it’s aware of Vick’s decision and “we totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons.”

The league will conclude its own investigation of the case “as soon as possible” before deciding on discipline for Vick, the statement said. Commissioner Roger Goodell last month said the quarterback shouldn’t report to the Falcons’ training camp. The NFL season begins Sept. 6.

Michael Vick Pleads GuiltyI’m actually going to leave aside the legal aspects of the story for now and focus more on the disciplinary side. Michael Vick operated a dogfighting ring out of his own home for years, using the money he received from the Atlanta Falcons organization to bankroll it. How should the NFL sanction him?

As far as I’m concerned, Michael Vick should never again play the game of professional football.

Whatever the law declares, animal cruelty cannot be condoned. There’s a certain mindset that revels in wanton abuse – the ability to torture someone or something that isn’t big enough or smart enough to fight back. That’s the kind of behavior that we expect of eight-year-olds torching ants with a magnifying glass – in other words, people who don’t know better. Not college graduates earning a steady paycheck.

Nothing but the dog in meAnd when I say “animal cruelty” here, I’m not talking about testing cosmetics on animals. Torture or not, that at least has a veneer of utility to it – it’s being done for a greater end. And I’m not talking about packing veal together in a pen, either. I’m talking about killing a dog by slamming it into the ground as hard as you can. I’m talking about soaking a dog with water and then electrocuting it.

Even a ruthlessly efficient dogfighting ring would find quick ways to put down losing dogs. Clearly, this wasn’t about disposing of a business’s dross. No one drenches a dog and zaps it to death because they think that’s the cheapest way to kill it – they do it because they want to experiment. They do it because hey, it might be funny to see what happens. This is wanton cruelty.

Killing dogs is bad enough when it’s a means to an end: a brutal gambling operation. But killing dogs as an end in itself points to a different type of madness. It points to the kind of twisted soul that finds the suffering of a living creature entertaining.

A man capable of this level of cruelty should not play in the NFL. The game already claims enough victims every year by virtue of how hard it is to play. There’s no reason to make the situation worse by letting sociopaths run rampant.

Put down Michael Vick’s career. And make it quick and painless.

Crazy Football Predictions


As Perich mentioned yesterday, it’s the second happiest time of the year. There are many signs that are pointing to this fact: all the sports blogs are posting about football, everyone in your office is asking about this year’s Fantasy Football league, and Madden 2008 is available for purchase. I’m part of the first one now; I already consider my $50 a lost cause; and I’ve thought about renting the 17th roster update for EA’s largest game — They have this new “weapons” system that sounds a bit intriguing.

But football isn’t actually here just yet, but I will tell you what to expect from this year. (Note: I am no expert and I’ve only done about 2 minutes of research.)

  • You can expect another well known football player to get arrested and fined by the NFL.
  • Michael Vick will spend a year in prison. During that time he will be able to work out more often, increase his strength training, and do some reading. The results of this will be threefold: 1 – there will be a football match against the guards that the prisoners win. 2 – The increase in strength will allow Vick to play as his own offensive line. And finally 3 – the increased reading time will allow Vick to earn his associates degree in both refrigerator maintenance and nursing.
  • Crowd noise will be on a rise throughout the league now that the crowd noise penalty has been stricken from the records.
  • Younger sister of Jets center Nick Mangold will be heavily scouted by colleges around the country until she tells them all football is just a hobby, she wants to be a doctor.
  • The New England Patriots are going to win every game they decide to play this season.
  • The New England Patriots will decide not to play their final game of the regular season.
  • Beckham will cry when he doesn’t make the playoffs Sorry, wrong “football”
  • ADD interruption: Check out this Slip & Slide.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson will rush for approximately one million yards.
  • Due to the Madden Curse, Vince Young will have 3 heart attacks, a broken arm, and catch malaria this season.

That’s all I can think of for now. What do you think is going to happen this year?

Onwards to Vick-tory!


Jonathan Lee Riches is my new hero. Oh, wait, sorry, I meant Jonathan Lee Riches©. Nothing warms my heart like a seriously disturbed pro se litigant suing a dog-fighting, herpes-passing, ganja-toting NFL player in federal court.

He’s done what none of us non-Federal-inmates have had the stones to do, and sued Michael Vick. The allegations seem to ‘focus’ -if that word is even close to appropriate- on Vick’s penchant for stealing this guy’s dogs and “using his copyrights.” This last the nefarious Vick accomplished by “selling T-shirts, Jonathan Lee Riches mugs.” Funny, I didn’t know Vick used another alias.  Mr Riches© seeks 63 BILLION dollars in damages.  I mean, the poor QB’s already got PETA, the FBI, the IRS, the NFL, and I think Baskin-Robbins gunning for him; does he need to get hit with a crazy suit right now?  (Yes, of course it will be tossed from court; Michael Vick is not a federal agent open to a Bivens action… at least, I don’t think he is.)

Nutty lawsuits, even those handwritten from prison but dressed in the expected formalities, are nothing new. But there’s something special about this guy; this isn’t the first time he’s done this.  Jonathan Lee Riches is the Mozart of deranged lawsuits. There’s Riches v. Bush et al., a suit filed last year in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania which named Chris Berman, Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, the Ming Dynasty, eBay, and the Statue of Liberty as defendants. Also Malcom X, Vanna White, and Michelangelo. And Waffle House. Also the Hubble Telescope, Expedia, and Emeka Okafor.  Depositions must have been a gas- gotta feel for the paralegal who was dispatched to find Jimmy Hoffa.

I can’t say he’s entirely in the wrong. He did sue the drafters of the Uniform Commercial Code.  Can’t wait to see what he does next.

[Business Day One] Make It Rain Dogs


What could be said about Michael Vick and Pacman Jones that hasn’t been said yet?  I won’t leave you in suspense – nothing.  It’s all been said.  Pundits weighed in and race relations were discussed and speculations on suspensions have been put forth.  Just so that I am not left completely off the “blog about idiots that forget they’re famous athletes” wagon, I’m going to weigh in for a paragraph or two before I get to the fun stuff I want to do:

One of my best friends in the world played Big East football for four years.  He was a popular and touted defensive player in a big time conference.  He was covered on national television, interviewed by local media and was someone that everyone on campus knew.  At last check (I e-mailed him about a week ago), he was not involved in any strip club fights, drug runs or illegal cabals.  In point of fact, he was going home to visit his family and get some quality video game time in.  Football obviously doesn’t turn people bad.  Pro sports as a whole doesn’t either.  Playing in front of the cameras runs someone through an industrial process, not an alchemical one.  They get pounded and sculpted and scrutinized, but their component parts do not change.  What you put in is what comes out, generally.

Pacman Jones came into the League with behavioral issues.  Vick had a hard knock life in Newport News before he got to VTech and eventually Atlanta.  These were guys with big chips on their shoulder and posses of folks that hoped they’d be earning enough bank to put them up in guest rooms.  These guys brought a lot of emotional and entourage baggage with them into the process, and this is what happened.

Alrighty, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff.  I have compiled a Hall of Fame Jackass and Criminal All-Star Team for this upcoming season.  Here we go:

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Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain


Roger GoodellWe are approximately ten months into the Roger Goodell era and arguably the most significant development has been the controversial and often-discussed personal conduct policy for NFL players. (I don’t consider the international expansion of the sport, including the recently aborted China Project and next year’s London Game to be a Goodell decision, but a remnant of Tagliabue’s brilliant reign as commissioner.) My question is whether the policy, in its admitted infancy, has had its intended effect. Read More