Big Lead Sports Bar

4/27/2007

Should Vick Be Suspended?

I know this is not Pittsburgh sports-related, but I need to vent on a national topic for a moment.
Let me follow this: Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons is one of the "faces" of the NFL. He has a contract worth $130 million. So why, must I ask, is he not yet facing any of the "bad decision-making" suspensions the NFL has been handing out?
Listen, I doubt the NFL cares much about the lives of Chris Henry, PacMan Jones, Tank Johnson, or most players in their league, for that matter. It's all about business. Sponsors don't like bad headlines. Fans don't like bad headlines. Therefore, the league doesn't like bad headlines. It's all about money, and if it costs the NFL, then you bet they'll be concerned.
There's a perception that misbehavior is new to the NFL; totally untrue. Players have been getting arrested for years (Rae Carruth, anyone?). In fact, I was able to track down a list of every arrest in the NFL for the past seven years. It's a list of scrubs and stars alike...Charles Woodson, Corey Dillon, Ricky Williams, Brian Griese, Plaxico, Travis Henry, Randy Moss...the list goes on and on.
The difference now is that with the increased media scrutiny/saturation of today (TV, sports talk radio, internet, blogs, newspapers, message boards, etc), each incident is magnified. So while this on the surface appears to be a conduct issue, in fact it is more of a PR issue that the NFL is facing.
The latest reports on Michael Vick turned my stomach. As someone who rescued a starving doberman from a shelter, I feel comfortable saying I'm an animal lover. So when I hear that the $130 Million Dollar Man is under investigation for hosting illegal dogfights, I ask the league when enough is enough from Mr. Vick?
Sure, PacMan and Tank have given the league a lifetime of bad publicity. But let's review the case file of #7, courtesy of Wikipedia:
--In March 2005 a woman named Sonya Elliot filed a civil lawsuit against Vick alleging she contracted genital herpes from Vick and that he failed to inform her that he had the disease. Elliot further alleged that Vick had visited clinics under the alias "Ron Mexico" to get treatments and thus he knew of his condition.
--After a Falcons loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Georgia Dome on November 26, 2006 Vick made an obscene gesture at Atlanta fans, holding up two middle fingers.
--On January 17, 2007 Vick surrendered a water bottle to security at Miami International Airport. Due to Vick's reluctance to leave the bottle behind, it was later retrieved from a trash receptacle. The bottle was found to have a hidden compartment that contained "a small amount of dark particulate and a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana," a Miami police report said. "The compartment was hidden by the bottle's label so that it appeared to be a full bottle of water when held upright," police said. On Monday, January 22, 2007 the test results indicated there were no illegal substances in the water bottle and Vick was cleared of any wrongdoing. Vick also was drug tested and he was found innocent.
And this week, Vick was a no-show on Capitol Hill, where he was supposed to show up and support funding for after-school programs. The worst part was that Vick lied about why he missed it. His story was directly contested by AirTran, the very same airline that pays him to endorse their company.
Has Vick gone to jail yet? No. Will he ever go to jail? No. So he probably won't get suspended. But if you were Arthur Blank, the PR-savvy owner of both the Falcons and Home Depot, are you comfortable having Michael Vick as the face of your franchise? And if you are the NFL, would you feel comfortable having Vick as the face of your league? If conduct leads to bad PR, then the dots are connected. Michael Vick is now challenging Jones, Henry and Johnson as a league leader in that category.

7 comments:

worstavid said...

Right on, Raul

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Vick's a fraud.

He was supposed to be this great quarterback in the NFL, he isn't.

He was supposed to be this Jordan-like role model for kids and was marketed as such, he isn't.

He's a mediocre QB that's been involved in a few shady incidents.

I dislike him greatly.

Brad said...

The fact that he has herpes (the gift that keeps on giving) comforts me in that I know karma is at work.

boredinpittsburgh said...

Remember that the Chargers traded their pick that year to the Falcons, (which the Falcons used to draft Vick), and instead drafted LT and Drew Brees.

Who would you rather have?

Steeltown Mike said...

The root of the problem- this line right here:

It's all about money, and if it costs the NFL, then you bet they'll be concerned.

Corporate sponsorships bring them even more money, and their ticket prices continually rise.

As someone who would have to budget for months in advance to buy two tickets to nosebleed heaven at a Steeler game, I'd have a hard time feeling sorry for the Suits if someday they get bit by the actions of one of their superstars.

Until the day comes when the gap between "money" and "love of the game" is considerably smaller, we, as fans, will keep ranting about things like this.

Andy said...

But wouldn't it be racist to target him?

Michael said...

Goodell is a piece of shit.

As long as everyone remembers this, it will all make sense, even through the NFL Network/ESPN barrage of incredible bullshit.

He's got the PR machine tightly wound, but he's just another jerkoff in a suit running a league that kills people and throws them aside, while promoting happy United Way faces.

What a crock.