Tag: you lack discipline

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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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.

Oklahoma’s 2005 Season Erased; Time/Space Continuum In Peril


NCAA erases Oklahoma’s 2005 Season

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma must erase its wins from the 2005 season and will lose two scholarships for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, the NCAA said Wednesday.

The penalties stem from a case involving two players, including the Sooners’ starting quarterback, who were kicked off the team last August for being paid for work they had not performed at a Norman car dealership. The NCAA said Oklahoma was guilty of a “failure to monitor” the employment of the players.

The Sooners went 8-4 and beat Oregon in the Holiday Bowl to end the 2005 season. Records from that season involving quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn must be erased, the NCAA said, and coach Bob Stoops’ career record will be amended to reflect the erased wins, dropping it from 86-19 in eight seasons to 78-19.

NCAA Commissioner Myles Brand declared the sanctions in a press conference on Wednesday, standing in front of the NCAA’s TimeScrambler 2000, which he used to go back in time and rewrite the face of history.

“The evidence seems clear,” Brand said, yelling to be heard over the time machine’s buzzing and whirring. “This level of corruption could only have succeeded with the support of the university’s athletics department.”

Commissioner Brand then entered the appropriate spatio-temporal coordinates into the TimeScrambler, pausing only to don lead-lined goggles.

Budweiser stock (symbol: BUD) gained 4.8 points on the day, as the undoing of Oklahoma’s 2005 wins resulted in 741,500 gallons of beer going unconsumed. Nine maimings resulting from postgame brawls were instantly healed, forty-one vandalized cars restored to their pre-victory condition, and three children born to Oklahoma co-eds winked out of existence.

“You see this after most major disciplinary actions,” said Dr. Anton Parallax, NCAA director of temporal anomalies. “It’s not as devastating as you’d think, because there’s no actual harm done. The affected parties never existed.”

Parallax cited the 1988 censure of St. Meinrad University for a decades-long conspiracy to inflate the grades of their student athletes. The NCAA erased thirty-two years of wins, resulting in a temporal flux so severe that St. Meinrad became a Benedictine abbey instead of a Division I technical school and their division rival, the previously unheralded University of Notre Dame, became a storied powerhouse. Few fans have complained about or even noticed this revision of history, even though, as Parallax says, Notre Dame “really isn’t that good.”

The Three Gentlemen from Durham

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Duke DA Disbarred

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A judge said he would suspend District Attorney Mike Nifong on Tuesday after learning that the prosecutor disbarred for his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case intended to stay in office for another month.

Earlier in the day, Duke University announced it had reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the three former lacrosse players falsely accused of rape last year.

Nifong, who was disbarred Saturday for breaking more than two dozen rules of professional conduct in his handling of the case, said in a letter released Monday that he would leave office July 13. His departure date wasn’t soon enough for Hudson, who decided to suspend Nifong from office.

Mike Nifong, ex-attorneyIt’s been clear to anyone who’s been following the case of the three Duke lacrosse players accused of rape – Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans – that the case has been mishandled from the beginning. Even if the case against the three students was airtight, it’s improper for a District Attorney to go on a national news program and call the defendants “a bunch of hooligans [whose] daddies could buy them expensive lawyers”.

But as more information came out, the hollowness of Nifong’s case became more obvious. The accuser told vastly different stories to hospital personnel and to police. She picked her assailants not out of a lineup but out of a stack of photos of the entire lacrosse team – a process guaranteed to nab a white defendant, but not the guilty party. There was little to no medical evidence of rape, and no DNA evidence connecting any of the three men. And on 60 Minutes, the other dancer who’d been performing with the accuser that night, Kim Roberts, said she hadn’t left the accuser alone long enough for an assault to have occurred.

Duke Blue Devil(To be fair, Ed Bradley’s interview with Roberts suggests that the boys were hardly gentlemen – they were drunk, rowdy, and grew irate when they felt the women stopped dancing too early. Other witnesses claimed to hear the boys yelling racial epithets at the women after they left. But none of this lends credence to a rape charge)

Now, more than a year later, all charges have been dropped and the Attorney General of North Carolina has declared the three boys “innocent.” Mike Nifong has stepped down as D.A. and, as of Tuesday morning, has been more or less fired.

So has justice finally been done? Not quite.
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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

Double Secret Probation


In order to alter the size of the tagcloud to my left, your right, I’d like to talk about a sport that’s not baseball.

pacman.jpgOn Monday, June 4, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a series of suspensions for off-field misbehavior:

  • Tank Johnson, DT, Chicago Bears: for violating probation with misdemeanor firearms possession: eight games
  • Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: driving with a suspended license, supplying alcohol to minors: eight games
  • Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, cornerback, Tennessee Titans: aggravated assault, inciting violence, travelling with gun-toting felons: one season

All three are appealing the suspensions.I don’t feel the least bit of remorse for either of these three. All of them are repeated delinquents: Pacman Jones has been arrested five times in two years, Henry a mere 4 times in fourteen months, and Johnson was already on probation for a firearms charge nine months earlier. Criminal charges clearly haven’t been sufficient, especially since these guys earn enough money to defend themselves out of anything short of assaulting a federal officer with rolled-up stolen missile plans.

sig229ba.jpgI have no sympathy for their plight, but I do understand how they ended up where they did. Each of these young men were earning more money in a month than I earn in a year. Tank Johnson’s suspension, for instance, is estimated to cost him $255,000, which works out to $42,500 per unregistered firearm (and you thought your hobby was expensive). College athletes at universities with strong football programs already live the life of Achilles – and that’s when they’re (technically) not allowed to be paid for their work (ha ha, wink wink). Throw $1,212,000 at me within my first two years out of college and some of it just might end up on a stage in a Vegas stripclub.
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