Thank You, Michael Vick

Not for inhumane treatment of animals, or for abusing man’s best friend.

Really, I’m not even sure if I owe any thanks at all. I was offering my gratitude for keeping the NFL in the news through a rather dry period, and allowing the media to cover something other than Brett Favre after the NFL Draft.

Oh, and Brett Favre: go away already!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, we can return to conversation about Michael Vick. I’ve had dogs as pets my entire life; my parents owned three dogs when I was born, and today I have a chocolate Labrador who is considered a part of the family. I wouldn’t consider myself an activist by any means, but I definitely don’t condone the activities that Michael Vick was participating in. And I wouldn’t consider myself a minority; it is safe to assume that most people in the United States have a soft heart for dogs and consider Vick’s actions reprehensible.

We’re a rather forgiving society in America. Unlawful acts or bad decision-making does not go unpunished or ignored, but if the accused serve their time and appear to sincerely regret past mistakes, then forgiveness is usually granted. Michael Vick has served his sentence and has been to hell and back financially – achieving a ten-year, $140 million contract in Atlanta, declaring bankruptcy, and settling for a $10-per-hour construction job in Virginia is quite the transformation.

Now Michael Vick appears to be doing all of the right things to set up a return to the National Football League. Once considered the most explosive athlete at the quarterback position, Vick is undeniably talented enough to compete in the league. Yet he might have a problem finding an opportunity; most teams are prescribing to the “give him a chance, but not here” policy.

Michael Vick has paid his debt to society for crimes committed, as determined by a court of law. He is reaching out to the Humane Society, and wants to show America that he is committed to helping combat the dog fighting problem. Vick appears to be sincere, but it isn’t like he has another option. He has admitted that he grew up with dog fighting as a boy, and never sufficiently questioned it as he grew into manhood. If Vick shows a genuine commitment to make amends, then why shouldn’t he get a second chance?

Leonard Little has been a dominant defensive player for the St. Louis Rams since 2001, when he registered 14.5 sacks through the regular season. He is now 34 years old, has 81 total career sacks, and is entering the twilight of a rather successful career. What a lot of people forget (or don’t know) happened in 1998, when Little got behind the wheel of his car drunk. His actions resulted in the death of Susan Gutweiler, who was taken from her husband and 15-year old son because of the incident.

If Leonard Little can resume his career in the NFL after that incident, then there is no reason why Michael Vick shouldn’t have the same opportunity. Little wasn’t anywhere near the celebrity that Vick was when he committed the crime, but that shouldn’t make any different. And it should be mentioned that Little went on to get arrested again in 2004 for speeding and drunk driving, showing that he had no regret or remorse for the 1998 incident.

Michael Vick still has a lot to prove to the American public, but eventually he should receive a second chance. His actions will likely justify vocal protest when he signs on with a team in the NFL, but that is a consequence he’ll have to endure.

And I’ve heard a lot of rumors that Seattle may be a good fit for Vick when he does return. Not a chance. I’ve covered this in a recent blog entry (Michael Vick?), but let me reiterate: there is no way Michael Vick returns to the NFL as a Seahawk. It doesn’t make sense from the perspective of the organization, which prides itself on retaining players of character and good quality. It doesn’t make sense from the perspective of the coaching staff, who (Jim Mora and Greg Knapp) inherited Michael Vick in Atlanta and were forced to try and make things work with him in a West Coast-style of offense – Vick never flourished in the system, and doesn’t have the skill set necessary to be a successful West Coast quarterback. It doesn’t even make sense from a team perspective, with Matt Hasselbeck still on board and capable of playing at a high level.

The Seattle Seahawks don’t get a lot of national recognition tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, and Michael Vick is not necessarily the coverage you want to draw.

So what is everyone’s opinion of Michael Vick, his second chance in the NFL, and the Seattle Seahawks as a potential suitor?

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Bankruptcy Brett Favre Construction Job Dog Dog Fighting Drunk Driving Greg Knapp Humane Society Jim Mora Leonard Little Manslaughter Matt Hasselbeck Media Michael Vick Pacific Northwest Quarterback Seattle Seahawks Second Chance St. Louis Rams Susan Gutweiler Tim Ruskell Virginia West Coast Offense

  • Urbancritter

    Don’t do it, Seattle!!! You’re better than that!

    Plus you don’t want the animal loving community protesting every game, which we would do.

    Sure, let Vick redeem himself and have a career. It just shouldn’t be in the NFL in my opinion.

  • Jon

    He wont be coming back as a QB most likely. He was only a mediocre QB, but his athleticism shows that he could come back as a back up QB (Seattle needs), a RB,WR, or mabe even on the defensive side of the ball.

  • Jeff in Austin

    I don’t even like seeing Vick’s name being mentioned in the news. Ever since I found out what he had been doing with his dogs I’ve had a pretty good idea what kind of punishment I’d like to see him receive. Unfortunately, the law won’t allow him to be punished that way.

    I do not believe, by and large, that people change that much once they are adults. Michael Vick will probably never participate in or sponsor dog fights again, but not out of his own consience or morality – only because he doesn’t want to go back to prison. He is a despicable human being and no amount of handling by an agent and fake apologies will change that.

    The Seahawks are a MAJOR part of my leisure life and were a big part of my growing up. If they even considered taking a look at Vick I would seriously have to question if I could even support the team.

  • Ken Kendrick

    You can multiply thes numbers by thousands as these are just incidents that made it to the news.

    PITBULL KILLS BABY -28,500 Articles!!!!!

    PITBULL KILLS CHILD-181,000 Articles!!!!!

    PITBULL KILLS OWNER – 799,000 Articles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PITBULL KILLS 7 Month OLD – 140,000 Articles!!!!!!!!!!

    PITBULL KILLS INFANT – 46,900 Articles!!!!!!!

    PITBULL ATTACKS BABY – 108,000 Articles!!!!!!

    PITBULL ATTACKS CHILD – 147,000 Articles!!!

    …And whoever believes the gross fabrications written in the legal documents released about Vick should have their heads examined. The real thugs being financed by MV were making up the craziest accounts possible to SAVE THEIR OWN HIDES!

    This story is over! Evaluate Vick on his ability, a former 3 time pro bowl QB worth $140,000,000.00 two years ago that is young, in fantastic shape and will likely be had for a deep discount! Full stadium, winning team. What’s not to like? IGNORE THE PETA FANATICS! LOVE THE HUMAN!

  • Peter

    keep him away from seattle!!!

  • Anthony in Tacoma

    I hate all dogs and they should all be killed!!!! Just like the Humane society does.

  • Waldron

    I, as well, employ a pit-bull who may be the most warm animal I have ever owned. Soon, a brand new dog breed will arrive along to the media to blast, as they have completed rotties and dobies in preceding many years. Unfortunate that media sensationalism breeds much inaccurate info.