Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

Michael Vick…

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I guess I cant be an NFL blogger without sharing some thoughts on the Michael Vick dog fighting allegations. The Vick family are no strangers to run ins with the law but its usually been the younger Vick, Marcus. Marcus has been in trouble both off and on the field. In on field matters he appeared to stamp on Elvis Dumervil during the 2006 Gator Bowl, and was thrown off the team for what was described by the Virigina Tech university president “due to a cumulative effect of legal infractions and unsportsmanlike play.” In off field matters Marcus had 9 traffic offenses as was arrested for wielding a firearm in a McDonalds carpark.

More recently Michael was involved with security screeners at Miami airport where an alleged “secret compartment” was found in a water bottle that Vick was carrying. Last season after a 31-13 loss to division rival New Orleans Saints, Vick decided to “flip the bird” to the fans.

Vick flips the bird

However, the dog fighting allegations are on a whole different level. He and three other defendants have been charged with “with competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines.” If found guilty Vick could face up to 6 years in prison and a $350,000 fine.

We have seen over the years that not every NFL star is a law abiding citizen, but these allegations dwarf any of the slew of DUI, resisting arrest or generally poor behaviour that seems to be dogging the NFL at the moment. Even if not found guilty the damage to Vick as a commodity within the NFL seems irrevocably damaged. His major sponsors in Nike and Rawlings have already started to distance themselves. Nike has postponed the release of the latest Nike shoe to carry Vicks name and Rawlings have ended their association with Vick.

More damaging is the relationship with Arthur Blank and the Falcons organisation. The relationship was already strained after another poor season and the “bird” incident. Blank has said regarding the current situation that “Given the differing perspectives and strong feelings around this issue, we probably won’t make everyone happy, but we are committed to doing the right thing,” Blank said in a statement released by the team. “As the owner of this club that’s, ultimately, my responsibility.” Was it not for the huge salary cap hit that releasing Vick would bring I think he would have been cut by the Falcons already

I hope that the Falcons see sense, take the difficult footballing decision (they wont be the same team without Vick) and ask Vick to take a leave of absence whilst this court case is resolved. As a QB, Vick is already the focus of the team on the field and the added pressure that a court case could bring could cause the team to implode. It’s better that the team are able to focus solely on footballing matters and if that happens to be easier without Vick then that should be the approach.

I’m sure this case will rumble on and on but currently the outlook for Vick doesn’t look great. Even if acquitted the damage to his reputation has been done and I don’t think it will ever recover, no matter what he can achieve on a football field.

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Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 6, 2007 at 11:43 am

Posted in NFL, Players

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