Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Michael Vick, from Dog House to Big House!

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Michael Vick stood before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson this morning in a Richmond, Virginia courthouse and barked out the following, loud and clear. "GUILTY" as charged your honor, as part of a negotiated plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors last week. Shortly after stating his guilty plea, Vick apologized "for all the things that I've done and that I've allowed to happen." Vick then began on a serial apologizing tirade by asking for forgiveness from the Atlanta Falcons, his teammates, his coach, the National Football League and, of course, the young kids who buy his line of clothing and footwear merchandise, for his "immature acts."

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Immature acts include stunts such as running around outside with your girlfriend's bra on your head or making random crank phone calls. Pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture, wagering on dogs fighting to the death, wetting and then electrocuting the dogs who didn't fare so well and gambling obscenely large amounts of money on the outcome of said fights, are just a tad more than immature. It's called a FELONY punishable by confinement in a federal prison.

I sometimes wonder how coaches and managers of professional sports teams can sit in such a composed state as they watch guys do the most ridiculous things on and sometimes off the field. I get no joy out of paying $30 - $100 for a ticket to a sporting contest to watch professional athletes making millions of dollars per year, make bonehead plays that a twelve year old would know enough not to make. Normally those mistakes don't result in the death of innocent animals for other's amusement or for their love of gambling. They just cause the loss of games and the eventual firing of coaches and managers who have to fall on their swords for failure to reach the intellectual level of the athletes they're paid to teach. That low they apparently can't go.

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If you think Michael Vick is getting out of the dog house unscathed, think again. It's true he may have to spend a year or so in a federal prison, but at what cost? For starters, Michael Vick will not receive his $6 million salary for the 2007 NFL season. The Atlanta Falcons will probably be able to recoup $22 million in bonuses already paid out. Nike Athletic Apparel has terminated its $50 million endorsement deal with Vick. For accepting a plea arrangement, Vick can expect to pay approximately $350,000 in fines for the dog fighting operation. Vick has also lost other monies in lesser endorsement deals. Suffice it to say, because of his love of dog fighting, Vick will lose more money than the overwhelming majority of people would earn in ten lifetimes. In the next seven years, Vick will lose approximately $71 million dollars in salary, $50 million in endorsement deals, $22 million in bonus money, $350,000 in fines and $250,000 in legal fees. Dog fighting is an expensive proposition to bankroll.

Look at the bright side, Michael Vick found religion as a result of being caught murdering dogs.

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He wants his young fans to do what he says, not what he does. He won't be able to afford expensive, felonious endeavors in the future. He won't get injured from a vicious hit on the football field. He will be a convicted felon. He won't be in demand to endorse products. I do hope the former signal barker learns some new hobbies once he gets out prison. How about the idyllic game of golf? Vick can maybe get together with another former NFL star named OJ Simpson whom he may be able to relate to on some level. They can play hours upon hours of golf together. If that's not meant to be, maybe they could fight to the death. That's something a lot of people would pay to watch and perhaps, wager a few dollars on as well......


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