Michael Vick may return to the NFL for the 2009-10 season and The Modern Spectator offers one of the more entertainingly honest takes on this reality. Especially if you value human life over pets.
Now, the person who wrote this particular piece uses a pseudonym, but it doesn't make it any less effective in it's point: That Michael Vick has been punished enough and we should all move on now.Of course, this is an opinion that's been voiced by many, many , many people since Vick's incarceration and public vilification from his Bad Newz Kennels involvement. Yet, in the Modern Spectator piece, we not only get some sober rationalization of Vick's crimes, but some disturbing personal anecdotes as well. Many block quotes ahead.
In the first one, the author gets a first-hand glimpse at how some people become way too attached to their pets, as he recounts a time living in an apartment complex in Seattle and was awakened by the "horrific" scream of his neighbor outside. She was in the middle of the road, clutching her dead cat which had been run over by a car:
I wasn't alone. The whole apartment complex came pouring out of its doors to find a woman, bent at the waist in the glare of her headlights, unleashing horror-movie scream after horror-movie scream over the soon-to-be lifeless body of … a cat.
There was a light steam rising off the animal, and as we all watched, it shuddered one last time and lay still. Against all reasonable expectations, this woman found another gear, another pitch, for her blood-curdling screams. Only now they no longer curdled my blood, but boiled it. I looked down. I was in my underwear. I had been summoned, by an existential alarm, by a signal that tapped into a universal sense of shared humanity and pulled me, quite involuntarily, but unhesitatingly, out into a situation that could have been deadly. In my fucking underwear. And for what? A cat?!
The second one is a little less forgivable, but equally important to how the author gets to his perspective on Vick. He accidentally ran over an English Bulldog on a stretch of dark road in Faifield County, Connecticut. Unfortunately, this accident occurred right in front of its owners, whose car was stranded on the side of the road. He stopped and pulled over. Bad move.:
As it happened, by stopping I just gave them a target for their terrible, wrathful grief. I came out of the car with profuse apologies but was shortly shouted down by not one but two daughters of this genteel Connecticut clan who sputtered and swore at me like two schizophrenics off their meds. I can't imagine how the reaction would have been more extreme if it had been their child lying in the road and not a (former) English Bulldog...
And finally, we get the one-to-grow-on moment — of what these incidents have taught him in the context of the Michael Vick saga. Conclusion? Enough is enough.
Look, I recognize that defending a man who has admitted to hanging and drowning dogs is an uphill battle, at best, but someone has to do it. Seriously. This story has generated some of the wildest hysteria this side of the Barbaro message boards. The federal sentencing guidelines for Vick's crime recommend 12 to 18 months. He got 23-and a bracing dose of financial ruin. There's no question that public opinion had an influence on this outcome.
Vick's crimes were sickening and cruel, but the man has paid an Argentina-in-1989 inflationary price for them. It's time to leave him alone. How many of Vick's bashers have heard of Leonard Little, the St. Louis Rams defensive end, who, after boozing it up on his birthday in 1998, hopped in his car and ran a stoplight, slamming into another car and killing its driver, a human being named Susan Gutweiler? Mrs. Gutweiler had a husband and a 15-year-old kid. Little got 90 days in jail, 1,000 hours of community service, and was suspended for eight games of the following season by the NFL.
It is with this that we realize that, yes, each and every team that is in need of a quarterback next season will toss out the idea of bringing Vick into the fold, always with the one caveat that is his talent (what's left of it) worth the public scrutiny that will befall any team that takes a chance on him. It'lll depend on how much the new team owner will value human life over a dog's life.
In Defense Of Michael Vick [The Modern Spectator]