Okay, here I go.
First we have Michael Vick who was a quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons. As a side note, I’ve never liked Vick and have never ever liked the Falcons. No real reason why for the Falcons but I’ve not liked Vick’s showoffy style or the concept it was a good thing that quarterbacks have almost as many run yards per games as their best rusher. But back to the topic: Vick spent 18mos (1.5 yrs) in prison for animal cruelty (or whatever the final charge was). He spent SIX years funding dog fights as well as torturing and killing dogs that did not win. Did I mention he was in this business for SIX years? He did not admit guilt until every available finger had pointed to him. None of the statements I have read mention that he knows TORTURING and KILLING the dogs was a bad thing. I’ve gotten the impression he thinks funding the dog fights was wrong. From the Wikipedia article, he gave conflicting information to the feds as well as never admitted to torturing/killing dogs. Did I mention he was doing this for SIX years? Vick was suspended by the NFL while he was in prison but has been allowed back on an allegedly tentative basis. The Philadelphia Eagles has signed him to a one year contract. Vick based his initial bankruptcy plan on being picked up by a team. I was thrilled when the first judge said “Nope, come up with another one that includes, say, selling things that you have like cars and a house or two.” To Vick, it is all about money. Who cares about the dogs he tortured and killed for SIX years. It’s the money. Funding dog fights is a big business as is any gambling trade. He had to have made a lot of money during those SIX years. He says he made a mistake and I say that surely to shit in those SIX years you didn’t once sit back and say “Ya know, I make more money in the NFL and if they find out about this, I could lose that money….” But I’m thinking that if it did occur to him at any point, he continued the self-conversation with: “Nah, I’m Mike Vick! I’m the best quarterback ever! The great Tony Dungy will wipe my ass for me if I am caught so it’s all good. Hand me the cattle prod.”
Next up is Donte’ Stallworth who is (was?) a receiver for the Cleveland Browns. (I’ve never forgiven the Browns for refusing to build a new stadium, losing their team because of it, then building a new stadium in order to get another one. And I’ve never forgiven the NFL for letting them have another team) Stallworth has plead guilty to a manslaughter charge of hitting a pedestrian with his car. Stallworth never left the scene, never tried to get out of the charge, settled with the family out of court, admitted on the scene to have been drinking, and basically has done all he can to face his mistake. He is currently suspended by the NFL.
Next up is Plaxico Burress, formerly of the Giants. Burress is a mess and is now about to start 2 yrs in prison on a gun possession charge. His base idiocy is first revealed in that he goes to a nightclub with a Glock pistol tucked into the waistband of his sweatpants. Not in his pocket, but tucked into the waistband. Second, the gun starts to fall down (imagine that!) and the idiot grabs the gun, hits the trigger and shoots himself in the leg. So not only did he have a gun tucked into the waistband of his sweatpants (you know, those things held up with a string?), he didn’t have the fucking safety on! Burress was released by the Giants back in April.
So there’s 3 players. You can guess on my feelings of Vick’s reinstatement by the NFL. It’s all about money. And given the attitude he had when he got out of prison, I’d bet money he got a lot of special treatment while in prison. He had all that time with a captive fan base. I feel very sorry for Stallworth. One mistake has one guy dead and another guy that probably should be put on suicide watch. But that’s the thing with drinking and driving. It only takes that one time, that one second less of response time, and someone is dead. As for Burress, he’s an idiot. A big heavy pistol in your sweatpants? Maybe he thought since cops do it on TV all the time, then he could, too.
It all comes down to money and players in the NFL are being paid too much, especially rookie players. Unlike other jobs, it isn’t often that an NFL player has to work their way up to get the big bucks. A kid fresh out of college with their BA in accounting isn’t hired to run a Fortune 500 company. They’ve not learned true responsibility, learned how to live in the world (such as pay bills on time and be how to spend responsibly), or gotten experience. But the NFL allows teams to pay kids big bucks when they’ve not proven their worth to the team or to themselves.
In Newport News, mentors and others working with underprivileged youth sought to identify lessons to communicate to those who had seen him as a role model. “It’s difficult, because Mike (Vick) is someone who we held up as doing it right,” Bernard Johnson told the Newport News Daily Press. Johnson, who has coached kids, including Vick, in the Boys and Girls Club football program for 28 years, said the lesson to kids now is all about responsibility and accountability.
After he apologized to the judge, his family and his children at his federal sentencing hearing on December 10, Judge Hudson stated:
“I think you should have apologized also to the millions of young people who look up to you.”