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Michael Vick’s Suspension Should be Lifted by Roger Goodell

Usually I take a pretty hard-line stance when it comes to disciplining athletes for off-field issues, especially when it’s something that involves hurting other people such as driving drunk or using steroids. Michael Vick’s case is pretty unique because there’s no precedent for bankrolling an illegal and brutal dog fighting operation. On one hand, you could make an argument that dog fighting isn’t much different from people and athletes who enjoy cock fighting, and that even horse racing can be considered inhumane. On the other hand, Vick was a megastar in the league, and rather than concentrate on his quarterbacking skills, he completely headed up a disgusting organization and participated firsthand in some heinous activities.

I could give Michael Vick a pass and say the guy had way too much money on his hands and got caught up in the wrong group, almost like hazing in a fraternity. I won’t do that, but I’ll say that the guy definitely served his time and was punished much more than other criminals in the league. The guy’s losing about two years of his life and should get another shot in this league — only if a team wants to take him. Problem is Vick wasn’t more than an average quarterback before going to prison — he was all sizzle and no steak. The guy was so well-marketed and such a creation of hype that he sold jerseys and packed stadiums and highlight reels. Now? Who’s going to be bold enough to buy a Mike Vick jersey? Tough question.

What sucks for Vick is that there are plenty of guys in the league who have done far worse. Take Leonard Little and Jared Allen for example, both guys have multiple DUIs and Little’s repeat offense came after he killed someone while driving drunk. Pacman Jones inciting strip club shootings and Chris Henry getting arrested 40 times since being drafted are both worse than what Vick did. Thing is Vick’s popularity, stardom, and hype is all coming back to bite him four-fold because now he’s the most notorious of all NFL criminals. It’s almost like the same way he got extra pub on the field for stuff he didn’t deserve he’s now getting excess negative backlash. Guys like Henry, Pacman, Allen, and Little should be out of the NFL faster than Vick should be. No matter how you slice it, they’re all scum and impossible to root for unless they’re helping your team win. But Vick wasn’t that good too begin with, so who would even bother with him?

Michael Vick’s Pit Bulls to Star in Reality TV Show

Michael Vick DogA few days ago I passed along the news that some of Vick’s pit bulls had been rescued and were up for adoption. (I’m still interested in putting together an LBS fundraiser to snag one as the site’s official mascot, fyi). Anyway, pressing along, apparently these dogs are heading to Hollywood for the big time, as WSBTV reports:

Pit bulls that once belonged to Michael Vick will be featured in a reality show this summer about an animal sanctuary.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 22 of Vick’s dogs are now at Dogtown. The National Geographic Channel began a series about Dogtown, an animal sanctuary in Utah, in January.

In an episode airing this summer will focus on four of the toughest cases and the staff’s efforts to resocialize the aggressive pit bulls, according to the National Geographic Channel.

My goodness, people actually watch this stuff? Now, I wouldn’t mind watching a show to see Vick adjusting to life in prison — that would be tight. You know, footage of him getting Bubba’d in the shower with soap suds seeping down … never mind. But a reality show about the dogs trying to resocialize? That’s incredible. Who would’ve guessed that these dogs would be playing on Sundays on TV before their owner was!

You Can Adopt Michael Vick’s Pitbulls

Skeetsie over at Deadspin linked to this over the weekend (his farewell tour at Deadspin), and I would like the chance to elaborate on it here. A few months ago I was worried that Michael Vick’s pitbulls were going to get the axe since they were originally raised to fight. Now word has come out that Michael Vick’s pitbulls are up for adoption. Hurray!

Five dogs that were rescued from the most notorious dog-fighting kennel in the country trotted out in Oakland on Friday to meet the public, wag their tails and try to dispel some long-standing human prejudices about canines.

Michael Vick’s former dogs are among scores of pit bulls available for adoption from the Bad Rap kennel in Oakland. Prospective owners must pass a rigorous screening and pay $150. More information is available on the group’s Web site, www.bad rap.org.

Now that’s one hell of a souvenir. I might have to make the drive up to Oakland for the occasion. I say we start a fund raising project to buy one of the dogs — if there’s one thing LBS is missing, it’s definitely a mascot. Anybody in?

(photo credit Paul Chinn/SF Chronicle)

Morning Paper: Vick + Pot = Good?

Mike Vick could have reduced his sentence with pot? [100% Injury Rate]

Conference poon sites popping up everywhere [Mister Irrelevant]

Longhorns partake in choreographed in-game dances [Awful Announcing]

What’s gotten into Hilary Duff‘s chest?? [Popoholic]

Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones meet at a bathroom stall [BDD at KSK]

Overzealous Cubs fans now have some gear to sport [Foul Balls]

Dodger management is to blame [Obscure Sports Quarterly]

Chad Johnson’s touchdown dances are now sponsored [FanIQ]

Kristin Bell rocking the bikini, lovely [Egotastic!]

U.S. women’s soccer coach makes a major gaffe [Epic Carnival]

Hockey starts Saturday? Who knew? [Signal to Noise]

Vick Removed From Madden ’08 Game

There’s nothing that will rob a man of his dignity quite like removing his character from a video game. Particularly when the game in question is John Madden Football. And that’s what happened to Michael Vick, a sure sign that things have hit absolute rock bottom.

The most dynamic player in the Madden franchise over the past five years has been removed from the game. Michael Vick, the Falcon’s star awaiting sentencing for dog fighting related charges, was removed from the Madden NFL 08 roster update. There has been quite a bit of speculation over the past several weeks as to what EA Sports was going to do with Vick – and the removal has many Madden die hards very happy, and many very upset.

From being on the cover of the game to being removed. You couldn’t possibly find more polar opposite conditions. Wow. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is truly sad.

All Michael Vick News on LBS:
Ookie Forgets to Buckle Up
Meet Ookie Vick!, Vick Indicted
Back When Vick Was Cool
Say Goodnight to Vick’s Pitbulls
Michael Vick’s Water Bottle

Video of Michael Vick’s Apology

I have to say, I was quite moved by Michael Vick’s speech today. He apologized to Goodell, Blank, his teammates, and the fans. I’ll let you judge it for yourself, with much thanks to Awful Announcing for the video.

Really, I think he knocked it out of the park, and it seems like he will be doing some soul searching. I bet he still can’t believe that the dog fighting led him to this much public embarrassment. Again, I completely bought the speech, and really appreciated the fact that it was straight from the heart, seemingly un-rehearsed. And thank goodness it was his speech — not that of a public relations firm.

Who’s Worse: Vick, or $$ Hungry Dad?

Alright, we can all pretty much agree that what Michael Vick is alleged to have done is pretty bad. But if anyone would stick up for him, you would at least figure it would be his family, right? Wrong. Vick’s dad, who’s been described as an estranged father, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Vick’s been involved in dog fighting for a long time and is responsible for the entire operation. Before we go on bashing Vick once again, let’s examine the motives for the Dad to speak out.

[Michael] Boddie said he is speaking out because he’s been hurt by his son and wife’s failure over the years to correct what he considers inaccurate media reports that Vick grew up without his father present.

Boddie, 45, lives in a Duluth apartment that his son has paid the rent on for the last three years. Vick, who has a $130 million contract with the Falcons, also gives him a couple of hundred dollars every week or two, the father said.

Boddie wanted more. Two years ago, he said, he asked Vick for $1 million, spread out over 12 years, enough to keep him comfortable for the rest of his life. Vick declined, the father said. In recent weeks, Boddie asked Vick, through an assistant, for $700,000 to live on.

[Boddie] said he’s not perfect. He said he hasn’t worked since 2003, went through drug rehab in 2004 paid for by his son, was sometimes high or drunk around his children when they were young, has gotten in trouble for drinking and driving and had his driver’s license revoked.

Snitching on your own son? That’s pretty low. This guy sounds every bit as shady as his kid. I’m not saying we should just disregard the man’s word — I figure there has to be some truth to what he says — but come on, he’s a pretty sick character too. Doesn’t sound to me like this guy’s words would carry much weight in a courtroom once you unveil his motives.

(photo courtesy Curtis Compton / AJC)