I've never been the biggest fan of NFL football. In fact, I'm one who loves to watch the commericials in the Super Bowl moreso than the game. The following post is more serious than most but is an issue that should be addressed.
Today, I was reading the newspaper while having lunch at Taco Bell. I came across a couple of letters to the editor about whether Michael Vick will become part of the Bears. One of the letter was against having Michael Vick on the Bears, the other said basically why would we put dogs before people?
My first reaction as a person who lived in Chicago was that he made his bed, let him lie in it. Part of me feels that he never gave those dogs he killed a second chance. He tortured some of those dogs and his dogfighting went on for six years, since he was twenty-one. His arrested cohorts told of "how Vick participated in the killing of dogs that didn't perform well in test fights by shooting, hanging, drowning or slamming them to the ground".
In July of 2007, he believed that he was not guilty as his plea stated. Three months later, he changed his plea to guilty but still pleaded not guilty for animal cruelty. I think that eighteen months in jail is pretty lenient considering there were 66 dogs were confiscated.
One of the dogs, Meryl was so aggressive, she was ordered by a judge that she could never be adopted. If Best Friends hadn't pushed for her, she would have been euthanized. At least she's in a sanctuary where there are people who love her. One only wonders where Meryl would have been if she hadn't been in Michael Vick's home in the first place.
Then, you hear about the success stories, like Halley who was the first dog out of the bunch to find a home after two years of rehabilitation, and you think ok, maybe something good came out of this.
Still, there are questions that cross my mind. "Would Michael Vick be so remorseful if he wasn't caught?" "Is he doing this because he means it or because he wants to have his career in the NFL again?" "Did he see the fear and pain in those dogs' eyes when he and his "friends" were hanging them and drowning him?
I then read about Michael Vick in an attempt to see how someone who had so much skill, talent and a little bit of luck, could live his a charmed life so recklessly. Did you know the odds of a high school football player getting into the NFL is about .0008%? Basically, 8 out of 50,000 students will have that chance. The odds decrease immensely when you factor in that person having a lifetime career. Vick had already surpassed some enormous odds by being in the league for six years.
I also learned that he first witnessed dog fighting at eight-years-old. That's very young age to be exposed to something so heinous. He is also doing everything he can to make amends for his past mistakes. What kind of adult would let an child get interested in something so violent?
Still, many teams right now aren't even looking at him. Being reinstated in the NFL, he qualifies for a minimum salary of $620,000 a year. That's more salary than what an average person makes in ten years. As his agent said, who knows what teams will need another replacement if their first team player gets injured?
He is very lucky to have been given a second chance by the NFL. It shouldn't be easy for him to come back though. When high profile actors have screwed up in their life, roles that would have been written for them in the past, are not existent. They are lucky to get an audition and if the director likes them, then they'll get the role. If Michael Vick is truly genuine about wanting make retribution for his past mistakes, he's going to have to start from the bottom in more ways than one.
Above all, the NFL is a business. The fans' buying the tickets as well as the numerous sponsors are what give the NFL its revenue. I think any team who is considering this man as part of their team, should get the input of the season ticket holders and their sponsors. What Michael Vick did was despicable. As much as I hate to admit, it was part of his private life and not part of his job. Yes, he got off way too easily by the court system. Yet the guy has done this and he's not even 30 years old yet? Will he never do something like this again?Will he be physically fit enough to pick up where he left off? Will he be able to focus on the game and not succumb to the scrutiny of his fans, teammates, opposing teams and animal organizations? Is he truly sorry and has learned from the error of his ways? I think that time will be the only thing that will answer these questions.
I will never like Michael Vick, am not much of a football fan and being a citizen of the United States, can see that everyone deserves a chance at redemption. I'd like to hear from all of you what your thoughts are on this topic? Do you think he deserves a second chance?
Thanks for stopping in. I hope you guys have a great night.