April 4, 2009


Ray Ratto wrote in the SF Chronicle, “The world gets faster with each passing day, and here’s the proof. America is sicker of Jay Cutler in a faster time than America got sick of Brett Favre. Of course, Jay Cutler is a lot worse at manipulating public opinion than Brett Favre. Jay Cutler is a lot worse at manipulating public opinion than Terrell Owens, or Michael Vick, or typhoid fever.

Tom Robinson wrote in the Hampton Virginian, “Maybe, in the sad and surreal case of Michael Vick, Thursday’s silence was a signal that we all really can just move along. Perhaps the surprising lack of public spectacle outside the U.S. District Court building – which inside held the convicted and still imprisoned dog-slayer – spoke clearly that the time for bitterness has passed. There were plenty of TV vans and trucks, but no clusters of protestors, nary even a straggler. No signs, placards or posters of dogs with mangled faces and bloody ears ripped off. No animal-rights’ activists eager to lean into a microphone and call Vick the devil on earth. It was informative – because Vick is close to coming home. Close to freedom. Close to appearing again, almost certainly, in some football team’s training camp. Close to beginning his $10-an-hour construction job that’s been set up for him, according to Vick’s attorney Michael Blumenthal. Close to taking the very public steps Vick will surely take, to paraphrase Blumenthal, toward proving in his new life that he’s learned from his old life. The normalcy outside the courtroom suggested there might be more pressing issues in the world than harassing Vick’s pending return to society and probably the NFL. We can hope. If a team wants to let him try, Vick shouldn’t have to apologize for accepting the chance. Inside, though, the desperate chaos involved in rescuing Vick’s financial future suggested a classic cautionary tale, a horror story, even. One to be repeated wherever young and brilliant athletes gather and dream. It’s a story of what can happen when outrageous athletic talent meets unfettered arrogance and ignorance in a void of oversight. The perfect disaster. Vick obviously had neither the personal judgment, nor did he have the proper guidance when he ruled the world, to make the right calls regarding money, hobbies and behavior.

He’s got plenty of guidance now.”

Tom Knott wrote in the DC Times that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “hasn’t said how he intends to check on Vick’s state of remorse. He hasn’t said whether he will wave a remorse wand over Vick’s body to get a reading. He hasn’t said whether he will look deep into Vick’s heart.

Goodell has said just this: “I think it’s clear he’s paid a price, but to a large extent he’s going to have to demonstrate to the larger community – not just to the NFL community and to me – that he has remorse for what he did and that he recognizes the mistakes he made. It is absurd, starting with Goodell wanting to evaluate Vick’s remorse.

Goodell cannot know what lurks in Vick’s heart. He cannot know how confinement has changed Vick.

Vick undoubtedly will be motivated to say all the appropriate things to both Goodell and a dog-loving public. He may even mean all of it. Or some of it. But that is not the point. Only he will know the depth of his remorse.

Unless he remains stuck on stupid – a genuine possibility with him, of course – Vick should be granted the opportunity to return to the NFL this fall.

Otherwise, the further kicking of Vick while he is down is unbecoming.






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