Michael Vick, explained
August 20, 2007 7:33 PM   Subscribe

You probably heard the news today and saw earlier threads about Michael Vick, but ESPN has done an amazing job wrapping up the entire case into a handy one-page FAQ. Written by a sports lawyer, it explains all the interesting aspects of the case: what happened, when did it happen, and what results we'll likely see.
posted by mathowie (75 comments total)
 
Jeez, why didn't he just shoot the dogs or smash them over the head with a metal bat or something? Hanging a dog is just strange.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:44 PM on August 20, 2007


Two quick observations: (1) I would be surprised if the prosecutors let Vick off with anything less than one year in prison because the public outcry would be enormous; and (2) if Vick spends one year in prison, then it is unlikely that he will return to the NFL, if at all, before 2010, at which point Vick will be 30 years old.

On the one hand, I am sad because Vick has such amazing natural talent, and because I think he probably could have developed into one of the greatest players in history. On the other hand, the guy was drowning dogs. Drowning and hanging dogs. That's awful.
posted by Slap Factory at 7:45 PM on August 20, 2007


Yeah, just try and delete this one, poopy heads.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:46 PM on August 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


Dogfighting seemed a lot cooler when Method Man was doing it on The Wire.
posted by dhammond at 7:47 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, the guy was drowning dogs. Drowning and hanging dogs. That's awful.

What if those dogs had information that could've prevented a terrorist attack?
posted by Poolio at 7:47 PM on August 20, 2007 [25 favorites]


That's a great explanation of what's going on. Somewhere between 1 and 3 years, it looks like. I guess Vick doesn't have much to fear from state charges, though the ESPN lawyer, Munson, doesn't seem to be the local prosecutor's biggest advocate.

Oh, and fuck Michael Vick.

I hate to see this. I couldn't wait to see this guy succeed in the NFL. I thought he had a chance to change the way the league looks at quarterbacks.

To throw it all away for dog fighting, of all things...
posted by ibmcginty at 7:49 PM on August 20, 2007


I don't think the prosecutors understand the impact they might be having on my football season.
posted by zerolives at 7:54 PM on August 20, 2007


Ya know, we sort of condone this kind of behavior in a lot of ways...

Let's cap the salaries on a 30 man team in any major sport at about 1.5 million total...

let's make it about skill, and the love of the game, and let's get it out of the camps of ego and money...
posted by HuronBob at 7:57 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow. That was actually very helpful. Cool.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:57 PM on August 20, 2007




Angry Falcons fans have sent more than 100 Vick jerseys or T-shirts to the [Atlanta Humane Society], occasionally with a charity check attached. Just the other day a woman handed [AHS President Carl] Leveridge a bag full of Vick T-shirts with his familiar No. 7 on them.

The jerseys and T-shirts don't go to waste, though. The nice ones are used as pillows for the animals. The others are used as rags to clean the kennels.
*
posted by grabbingsand at 8:01 PM on August 20, 2007 [8 favorites]


I really doubt any NFL owner is going to make this PR nightmare the face of their organization after he gets out of jail in a couple years, except maybe the raiders. And he won't be able to get a visa to play in Canada either. So look for Vick to wind up in the Arena League.
posted by puke & cry at 8:06 PM on August 20, 2007


Let's cap the salaries on a 30 man team in any major sport at about 1.5 million total...

Most players are not making anywhere near Michael Vick money. Also, most players are only in the league for a few years. Also, many players have years taken off their lives by playing professional football for a living. Also, if players were paid less, even more of the profits would go to the already filthy rich owners.

/ end derail
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:06 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Vick dog toy.
posted by puke & cry at 8:08 PM on August 20, 2007


HuronBob writes "Let's cap the salaries on a 30 man team in any major sport at about 1.5 million total..."

Yes it would be much better if all those workin' it to the bone owners made the millions that would otherwise go to players.
posted by Mitheral at 8:09 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dogfighting is some pretty repugnant stuff (not as bad as the conditions in your average slaughterhouse, but let that be) but you could make an argument that watching 22 men from overwhelmingly disadvantages backgrounds beat the living daylights out of each other for four hours is also a pretty barbaric way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Professional sports, American football more than any other sport I can think of, are machines that chew up the bodies and minds of enormous numbers of young people and only provide a decent living to a tiny minority. Contracts aren't guaranteed, and the average career for the few that make it to the big leagues is 3 years. Get hurt and get cut? Hope you were paying attention in those communications classes at Florida State, because getting thrown to the ground without dropping a ball is not a revenue source any more. And football players die of Alzheimer's in their forties, and that's assuming their knees last long enough for their brains to get beaten into a pulp.

There's an easy counter-argument to the moral equivalency I'm insinuating here: even if football were as dangerous for people as dogfighting is for dogs, which it surely isn't, people can choose to play football or not, while no dog can choose whether or not it gets trained to fight and killed if it loses. And if someone wants to live gloriously and die young, like Achilles, that's a rational choice by my lights. Still, I think there's enough brutality in our society between people that it's hard to get too sanctimonious about what we do to animals: lupus est homo homini.
posted by sy at 8:11 PM on August 20, 2007


s/disadvantages/disadvantaged
posted by sy at 8:13 PM on August 20, 2007


Now that is how to make a post about the Vick plea. Thanks Matt.
posted by caddis at 8:17 PM on August 20, 2007


Still unanswered: were any of them white dogs?
posted by basicchannel at 8:23 PM on August 20, 2007


To me, the incredibly shocking thing about this whole affair has got to be the efficiency and efficacy of the federal investigators who rolled this case into such a tightly packaged and focused bitchslap that not even Vick's substantial celebrity status and financial largesse allowed him to deflect or dodge the blow. Strong is their legal-fu.

I am impressed. I mean, I think this is how the law is supposed to work and everything. I'm still getting used to this. I'm reeling.

I mean, WTF, OJ? What was that shit about?
posted by krippledkonscious at 8:37 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Let's cap the salaries on a 30 man team in any major sport at about 1.5 million total...

let's make it about skill, and the love of the game, and let's get it out of the camps of ego and money...


That's a noble idea, but the problem lies with the fact that the money is already there. The owners/teams are dragging in hundreds of millions a year and the players are getting their share, considering they're really doing all the work.

Capping it would only make the owners super-rich and would lead to massive under-the-table and black market payouts. It would be a Black Sox scandal writ league-large.
posted by unixrat at 8:38 PM on August 20, 2007


Plenty of people destroy their knees playing rec volleyball in the elementary school gym after work. Or running charity 5K's. Is that also the NFL's fault? Or are they only responsible for the knee injuries due to football? How about baseball? That destroys a lot of teenage pitcher's elbows. Let's get rid of Little League too.
posted by smackfu at 8:42 PM on August 20, 2007


Watching the Bears pre-season, this is all the sportscasters are talking about.
"Well Jim, I think Vick's sister in law's uncle's cousin's car was keyed by some animal...oh, uh, touchdown Colts...some animal protesters last week. Which could mean blah blah blah"

Do I care? If found guilty of committing a crime he should (and hopefully will) be sentenced like any other criminal. If he's not playing on the field right now, I don't really give a damn.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:54 PM on August 20, 2007


That distant, wailing sound you hear is loquacious howling in misery thanks to a mouse button broken from repeated flagging.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 9:02 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Let's get rid of Little League too.

And recess. Fucking bastards aren't learning anything anyway, why give them a break?
posted by graventy at 9:09 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


let's make it about skill, and the love of the game, and let's get it out of the camps of ego and money...

I find this attitude annoying. Not only should professional athletes be good at their sport and entertaining, they should also be humble and ego free, because while it's alright for you to enjoy what they do vicariously, it's just awful when they enjoy it themselves, or enjoy it in a way that seems somehow uncouth.

I'm not much of a sports fan, but it seems like some people just want to be able to appreciate sports without being jealous.
posted by delmoi at 9:12 PM on August 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


Don't know if it was linked in previous threads, but here's a 2-page PDF from the U.S. Humane Society listing the states that still consider either legal or just a misdemeanor 1) dogfighting, 2) owning dogs for dogfighting, or 3) being a spectator at a dogfight. Hint: If you live in New York, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, West Virginia or Wyoming and care about this issue, you might want to make some phone calls.
posted by mediareport at 9:13 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can I add some perspective without making it seem like I'm being an ass? Cuz I'm not. I'm just a former sportswriter.

Contracts aren't guaranteed

NFL players have a union. They could lobby for guaranteed contracts, but spend most of their energy handling the enormous dollars in ancillary revenue that the union is able to generate for itself. For example, player-likeness licensing (for video games, trading cards, etc) provides lots of money to players that no one ever hears about (i.e. tens of thousands per year for the lowest level players, significantly more for the high-paid veterans). The union also provides a pension and lifetime health care for players.

and the average career for the few that make it to the big leagues is 3 years

I'd actually be surprised it was three years, actually. More like 1.5, given the large number of players on scout teams and so forth.

Get hurt and get cut?

No one gets cut because they were hurt in a game or on the practice field. Medical care is offered free in this instance (fun fact: the team will get it paid for out of worker's compensation payments). However, a team can certainly refuse to offer you a new contract the following season.

Hope you were paying attention in those communications classes at Florida State

This is the statement that stood out for me. For one thing, the NFL has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of the NCAA, although the relationship is certainly a cozy one.

But people seem to miss the enormous amount of money that is provided in the form of scholarships for college players. It is certainly exceedingly rare for the average high school player to receive a football scholarship -- something like 1 in 10,000 players. But there are 100+ Division I colleges, each offering 80+ players per year a full ride scholarship, which includes room, board, books, tutoring, food and medical care. There is no restriction on the type of education provided, either -- you can major in communications or chemistry. Your choice.

100 teams x 80 players = 8,000 potential college graduates per year, getting their education completely free of charge.

Ahem. That's a better record than the United Negro College Fund.

Granted, and fair play to the UNCF, only about half of college football athletes actually graduate in four years. But that's not usually the college's fault. You can fault the schools where it is not handled well. But you can't fault the schools for offering it.

Moreover, the financial successes of college football teams often provide the operating dollars for all the other college sports programs that can't charge $50 a ticket. Want to know why UCLA has such as great women's soccer program? For one thing, it's because they have a men's football program that pays the bills.

College football has its minuses. But it has several pluses, too.

And football players die of Alzheimer's in their forties, and that's assuming their knees last long enough for their brains to get beaten into a pulp.

Yes, there is oodles of evidence that NFL players often have debilitating lives following their careers. Concussions, knee injuries, heart issues, etc. Earl Campbell was a top-level player in the 70s. Today, he can't walk.

But dying in your 40s from Alzheimer's? I hadn't heard that particular story. Sounds a little hyperbolic.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:19 PM on August 20, 2007 [8 favorites]


I can't say I've been following this but I'm interested in knowing why it's a foregone conclusion that the NFL will come down all over this. I've heard the connection drawn to Pete Rose, but he bet on the sport he was involved in, while the NFL isn't affiliated with dogfighting. I could understand no team wanting to sign him to a contract ever again, but I don't understand on what grounds the league will ban him when his crimes had nothing to do with football. Do they ban anyone who gets convicted of a felony?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:44 PM on August 20, 2007


that faq was dank, thanks.
posted by vronsky at 9:48 PM on August 20, 2007


I'm trying to decide if the scumbags who enjoy dog-fighting should be shot or the sad little people who are outraged their star quarterback is being prosecuted for being a dog-fighting scumbag should be.
posted by maxwelton at 9:52 PM on August 20, 2007


I would be surprised if the prosecutors let Vick off with anything less than one year in prison because the public outcry would be enormous

HAW. HAW. HAW.

Where is the public outcry about hundreds of other things of greater importance? I have no doubt that we've arrived at a point in American culture where someone can admit to torturing animals to death but still carry on a public career like this. It'll be swept under the rug with all the other crap...

American Sport is an institution entirely without any kind of distant semblance of honor or rules. You can strangle your own coach at practice and then take your pick of teams in the league as long as your numbers are good. We can absolutely forget about the league shunning a star player with good performance stats because he's done things the public finds morally questionable. Kobe Bryant? Barry Bonds? We're talking rape and drug use, friends. I don't think cruelty to animals is even going to register.
posted by scarabic at 9:55 PM on August 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


When in doubt, shoot them all.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:56 PM on August 20, 2007


But dying in your 40s from Alzheimer's? I hadn't heard that particular story.

I haven't either, but there is some truth to it. Steroid use destroys nerve cells while using one's head as a battering device probably leads to earlier cognitive impairment: Physicians had diagnosed 33 players with Alzheimer's. The higher prevalence of the memory-destroying disease was more noticeable in the younger age groups -- those below age 70 than in those over that age.
posted by Brian B. at 9:57 PM on August 20, 2007


I always expected Marcus to end up in jail (though he hasn't yet), but Michael's antics didn't seem up to the same level.

I don't think it's possible to overstate how embarrassing/devastating this is for the whole Atlanta Falcons organization. I remember that around the time of the whole Jim Mora incident, I read an article about how the team owner, Arthur Blank, is considered a pillar of the community and was deeply offended by Mora's comments.

I also remember reading an article, pre-Vick-crisis, debating reasons why the Falcons would not trade Vick (a rumor at the time). One of the reasons was that Vick was hugely important to the African-American community in Atlanta. I wish I could find the article; it makes a good case for his key role in the organization.

It speaks to how much time I've spent over the past year reading about football that I have absolutely no idea where that article was.

(And in trying to find it: in what universe was Chan Gailey ever considered for an NFL position?)

posted by bijou at 9:57 PM on August 20, 2007


only about half of college football athletes actually graduate in four years

If that's true, college athletes are doing better than most college students:

A report published recently by the Education Trust, an independent nonprofit organization, found that only 37 percent of first-time freshmen entering four-year bachelor's-degree programs actually complete their degrees within four years.
posted by mediareport at 10:00 PM on August 20, 2007


I mean, WTF, OJ? What was that shit about?

Well, for one thing, that shit was about not admitting guilt because admitting guilt meant life in prison or the death sentence, not *maybe* a year behind bars.

Who knows? If Mr. Vick was literally fighting for his life, we might see another huge long clusterfuck trial over this, too. But odds are that, given that the kind of prison time we're talking about is probably less than such a trial could take, holmes would prefer to just plead guilty, get some sense of "atonement" on the record, and move on.
posted by scarabic at 10:01 PM on August 20, 2007


I mean, WTF, OJ? What was that shit about?

My theory is that a lazy cop placed one of the bloody gloves on OJ's property in order to make a slam dunk case the easy way. This would have angered OJ's defense team as a matter of pride.
posted by Brian B. at 10:07 PM on August 20, 2007


You can strangle your own coach at practice and then take your pick of teams in the league as long as your numbers are good.

So, I guess you're talking about Latrell Sprewell.

He didn't "get his pick" of teams.

He lost $27 million. He was kicked out of the league for a year.

Then he was traded to a team across the country.

Sprewell was suspended for 10 days without pay. The next day, in the wake of a public uproar, the Warriors voided the remainder of his contract, which included $23.7 million over three years, and the NBA expelled him from the league. Sprewell took the case to arbitration, and, as a result, the contract voiding was overturned and the league suspension was reduced to the remainder of the season. Sprewell did not play again until January 1999, after the Warriors traded him to the New York Knicks...

So, imagine your boss gets angry and yells at you. You tell him to fuck off. He walks across the room and yells at you some more. You lose your temper and you start a fistfight that lasts, according to witnesses, about 20 seconds.

Now, imagine not only do you get fired from your job, you get fired from all the jobs for which you're trained for a year. And when you come back, they tell you that you have to work for a different employer in an office 2,000 miles away. In fact, there's no other way to return to work, except to take this new job you've been assigned to take.

Kobe Bryant?

... was exonerated of all charges because the accuser was an idiot that lied to just about everyone.

Barry Bonds?

... has not yet been found guilty of anything. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know he cheated. But can we at least have a trial first?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:08 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


My theory is that a lazy cop placed one of the bloody gloves on OJ's property

During closing arguments in the civil trial, the plaintiff's attorney pulled out a graphic that read something like, "Either O.J. Simpson is guilty, or all of these people are lying." And the list is about 100 names long, of people that all had to be "in" on the cover-up in order for it to have any shot at working.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:15 PM on August 20, 2007


My fantasy prison football league stats are going to be off the hook. Thanks, Vick!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:20 PM on August 20, 2007


I'm trying to decide if the scumbags who enjoy dog-fighting should be shot or the sad little people who are outraged their star quarterback is being prosecuted for being a dog-fighting scumbag should be.

or perhaps the weenies who decry sportsfilter ;)
posted by caddis at 10:20 PM on August 20, 2007


"Either O.J. Simpson is guilty, or all of these people are lying."

Guilt and a lazy cop are not mutually exclusive.
posted by Brian B. at 10:21 PM on August 20, 2007


"I mean, WTF, OJ? What was that shit about?"

FBI > LAPD

(Not that that's saying much...)
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:06 PM on August 20, 2007


...from the U.S. Humane Society listing the states that still consider either legal or just a misdemeanor 1) dogfighting, 2) owning dogs for dogfighting, or 3) being a spectator at a dogfight.
Being a spectator at a dogfight doesn't sound like a felony to me. But I'm pretty much at odds with where the legal system has gone on this. Probably starting somewhere in the WoD, it's gotten ridiculous how many felonies there are on the books these days. It's spiralled to where in discussions like this, if you think anything should be a misdemeanor (for which you can still, btw, be put in jail) you are implicitly seen as defending it. But, no, I think felonies should be reserved for (approximately) aggravated assaults, rapes, and on up from there, and being a spectator at a dogfight doesn't rank.
posted by Bokononist at 11:27 PM on August 20, 2007


Hanging a dog is just strange.

not if you're a sadistic psycho fuck who gets a rise out of see them suffer.

And the list is about 100 names long, of people that all had to be "in" on the cover-up in order for it to have any shot at working

incompetent prosecutors who only care about getting book deals + TV gigs and racist, dumb cops who very likely plant -- or tamper with -- evidence to make an easy case into a slam dunk deserve to lose all the cases they bring to court. they pollute the system when a system needs legitimacy in the eyes of its weakest subjects -- the LA riots didn't really teach much to some people, did they. of course, the irony is that a black millionaire was benefited by the widespread hate and mistrust for the LAPD that LA minorities rightly have.

the Darryl Gateses and the Mark Fuhrmans of the world, in the end, are a liability even to law-and-order types who want the darkies to stay in their place -- you abuse the system too clearly for too long, there'll be backlash. either riots, or a clearly guilty man acquitted every once in a while just because the jury wants to send a message to the cops. or both things
posted by matteo at 11:29 PM on August 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately his prison time will be a plush life behind a wall. Tho his sentence time will have little time off for good behavior, 50 days is the max a year.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:16 AM on August 21, 2007


I am sad because Vick has such amazing natural talent

Still attempting to process this.
posted by davebush at 3:50 AM on August 21, 2007


I mean, WTF, OJ? What was that shit about?

OJ is what happens when you frame a guilty man who can actually fight back, instead of the more common practice of framing guilty men who can only afford public defenders.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:28 AM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought you could only "frame" an innocent man.
posted by tommasz at 5:39 AM on August 21, 2007


Cool Papa Bell, thanks for the perspective and additional information. I had the Alzheimer's facts wrong; I was misremebering this article. Having slept on it, my sympathies have shifted from middle-aged men with gimp knees and senior moments to polar bears and soldiers with PTSD, both of which lie beyond the scope of this thread. Oh, and the dogs.
posted by sy at 5:50 AM on August 21, 2007


I know that it's an easy thing to harp about hypocrisy, but really... there are so many people screaming about this story who probably wear winter coats with a dog fur collar. Check out how those dogs are killed sometime (look on yt).

*shrug*

Westerners don't eat dogs, so they have a special place in our culture. The way we allow animals on these huge feed lots in Greeley (just to name one place) to be treated isn't exactly HUMANE.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:54 AM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


From Today's New York Times:

Vick Gambled With Career, and Lost
By George Vecsey
Published: August 21, 2007


Michael Vick is almost surely going to jail and his football career is probably over. All the years he spent as a pampered celebrity in the general vicinity of education did not provide him with the insight that torturing dogs is not good and, besides that, could get him in trouble.

The plea bargain he struck with federal prosecutors in Richmond, Va., yesterday gives no real suggestion that he knows right from wrong. He does know that his former friends turned on him for the prosecutors, and that he is in big trouble, which is a start.

In one significant way, Michael Vick is part of the values of middle America: He is another symptom of America’s major gambling jones.

Up to now, Vick had been scrambling, looking for an opening, the same way he played quarterback — past tense, most likely. But yesterday, the play ended. By admitting to charges from the vile operations of the Bad Newz Kennels in rural Virginia, he could go away for up to five years, although he will probably serve only one.

That guilty plea should be quite enough for the N.F.L. to bar him permanently, particularly because of the gambling implications. These people who slipped furtively into the camouflaged farm Vick owned were not there just because they liked to see dogs chew each other to death. They were gambling.

Here we have Vick’s connection with mainstream America — the commercial on television showing a cute couple arriving at one of those upscale gambling dens, out where Americans used to grow food or make things in factories.

In the commercial, the two young suburban types shuck off their workaday duds at the door, eager to have some fun at the tables. America is hooked on that image, relying on lotteries to build roads and schools. In financing the vicious death machine out in the woods, Vick was right on with the so-called gaming industry. Hey, you never know. Fluffy might rip Spot’s jugular at 6-5 odds. Followed by a lounge act at 11.

Here’s something that might make a new reality show. We all love reality shows, don’t we? For a pilot of “Welcome to the Hoosegow”, I’d recommend putting The Crooked N.B.A. Ref, Tim Donaghy, in the same waiting room with The Dog-Torturing N.F.L. Quarterback, Vick, while they are measured for orange suits.

For plot purposes, Vick would probably think Donaghy is a weasel for violating the sanctity of his sport, while Donaghy would think Vick is a sadist, but then they discover their commonality: the culture of odds. They are Contemporary Americans. They make peace with each other and then they make a wager on who gets out first. (As the Geico Gecko, who, by the way sounds just like David Beckham, says, I’m just making that part up.)



The N.F.L. now has enough on Vick to justify keeping him out of the Atlanta Falcons’ uniform, probably forever. The league has sold itself as the bastion of American values and manliness — human pickup trucks barreling into one another at brain-destroying speed — but the league cannot be sending a dog-torturing quarterback out in front of the fans and the cameras, can it?

While the league suspends the occasional roughneck or steroid user for four games here or there, it has a much stiffer code for gambling. After all, the players need to be on the up-and-up for all those folks with the weekly betting cards in their hands on Sunday afternoons.

It does not matter if Vick actually pleads guilty to gambling. Dogfighting would be construed as gambling, and according to the league’s policy, gambling can be punished by “a suspension from the N.F.L. for life.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell is said to be awaiting a report by his staff. Yesterday, the league issued a statement acknowledging Vick’s guilty plea. It said, “We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons.” The statement continued, “In the meantime, we have asked the Falcons to continue to refrain from taking action pending a decision by the commissioner.”

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issued a statement that it was “happy that swift action was taken in response to Mr. Vick’s dogfighting ring and we fully expect prosecutors to arrive at a punishment that fits the crime.”

The S.P.C.A. added, "The practice of dogfighting is not sport, ever — it’s cruel barbarism and must be stopped.”



The Associated Press reported this lovely tidbit, that about a dozen Vick No. 7 jerseys have been donated to the Atlanta Humane Society, which uses them for blankets and also to mop up.

That would be funny, except for the blood that was spilled in the woods on Michael Vick’s property, quite obviously with his active cooperation. Vick deserves a life away from football to ponder it.
posted by billysumday at 5:57 AM on August 21, 2007


I sure hope Mike gets some serious prison lovin and human punchbag action in Club Fed. Maybe he can think harder about his hobbies when Jake 'The Snake', 'Buttcrusher' Bob and 'Big Fred' make him drop the soap...
posted by The Salaryman at 5:58 AM on August 21, 2007


I thought you could only "frame" an innocent man.

OJ is proof otherwise. He was guilty AND he was framed (or at least, it's pretty clear that evidence was planted). Guilty or not, you don't get to plant evidence.

And I hope Vick spends some serious time in jail. I hope he doesn't suffer what The Salaryman wishes on him, since the penalty for dogfighting is jail, not rape (even though I have to grit my teeth while typing that).
posted by biscotti at 6:09 AM on August 21, 2007


That people are bemoaning- or even questioning- if Vick's career is over astounds me. He tortured animals to death. I'm not a hardcore vegan animal-rights-equal-to-humans nut or anything like that, but I'm pretty confident that Vick's treatment of other living creatures classifies him as a psychopath.

The question shouldn't be "is his career over?"; it should be "why isn't his career over yet?" Vick shouldn't be in a position to play a professional sport reliant on physically hurting other people any more than a professed child molester should be allowed to teach kindergarten. Whatever punishment is levied for his crimes is fine with me (though I'd honestly find a 7-figure fine to be paid to the Atlanta Humane Society much more effective than turning him into a jailhouse celebrity), but allowing him to play a violent sport ever again is just criminal negligence.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:39 AM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I sure hope Mike gets some serious prison lovin and human punchbag action in Club Fed.

I sure hope you don't own any pets.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:41 AM on August 21, 2007


I think felonies should be reserved for (approximately) aggravated assaults, rapes, and on up from there, and being a spectator at a dogfight doesn't rank.

Actually, I agree with you. Thanks for the reality check. I think serious cruelty to animals - like owning dogs for dogfighting - does rank, though.
posted by mediareport at 6:50 AM on August 21, 2007


I sure hope Mike gets some serious prison lovin and human punchbag action in Club Fed.

Ha ha, because the suffering of dogs is an unfathomable wrong, but the nightmarish anarchy, and systematic torture and victimization in America's prisons is just deserts for inhuman scum.
posted by dgaicun at 6:54 AM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Another idea would be to make him a pair of briefs out of raw ground beef and set some ill tempered wild Dingos loose on his tackle. Before getting out the electrodes and the fake diamond encrusted kiddie pool full of hot salt water...
posted by The Salaryman at 6:55 AM on August 21, 2007


Michael Vick is the living embodiment of this study:

"The researchers found men’s testosterone levels determined their behavior toward their dogs, after the dogs performed poorly in a statewide agility competition. Men with high levels of testosterone punished their dogs by hitting them and yelling at them whereas men with lower levels supported their dogs by petting and praising the losing animals."

Mefi's own Sensitive New Age Males can represent the cake-eating supportive dog owners. Though most of you no doubt own cats.
posted by dgaicun at 6:59 AM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


<derail>Since Latrell Sprewell was brought up, I feel compelled to remind everyone to be careful of his action figure. As you can clearly see in the picture, it's a choking hazard. </derail>
posted by MtDewd at 7:20 AM on August 21, 2007


scarabic,

I agree with your sentiments concerning the American public's ability to ignore the crimes of their sports heroes, but:

We're talking rape and drug use, friends. I don't think cruelty to animals is even going to register.

is going too far. How can you equate drug use to rape and animal cruelty? Sure, kids idolize celebrity athletes, and maybe it's not too cool for them to publicly advocate drug use, but that's a whole different ballgame than intentional brutality towards women or animals.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 7:35 AM on August 21, 2007


Am I the only one that found it a bit disgusting that, less than 24 hours after Vick's plea bargain, ESPN spent a good 5 minutes on SportsCenter talking about what it would take for Michael Vick to be a success in the NFL once he's out of prison? And how he should "focus on the positives" of his situation in order to best be ready to come back when it's time?

I know SportsCenter has gone downhill in the last few years, but that was pretty disgusting.
posted by pdb at 7:42 AM on August 21, 2007


Cool Papa Bell,

Calling Kobe Bryant's accuser an idiot who had lied to everyone is a bit much. The case against Kobe looked fairly strong. One of the reported features of the case's fact pattern was consistent testimony from witnesses who saw her immediately after the alleged rape. All agreed she looked distraught. That's not conclusive evidence, however it isn't like she started having regrets some time later and then convinced herself it was a horrible experience. But to get to the point, Kobe Bryant has been forgiven by the public because they don't care to look at the story. For most, acquittal means actual innocence and conviction, actual guilt. The accuser was facing a very brutal public cross examination and bailed. It is understandable that because of the nature of the crime and the evidence, rape trials where the accusers have a history of mental issues will be handicapped. Kobe Bryant was lucky to have had such a vulnerable accuser. He was also lucky that the evidence couldn't be summed up in a convincing headline, as in 'Dead Pit Bulls on Vick's Property!'. The public wants to look away when a sports star is accused of a heinous crime. With Kobe Bryant they are able to.

And on a side note:

These stories along with the forum and blog posts that follow in their wake always make me wonder why there isn't a bigger marketing effort aimed at all the prison rape enthusiasts out there. I can't think of a larger untapped market segment. What's holding them back? Taste? Class? Does America not have any entrepreneurs who want to make a buck? I'm thinking T-shirts and towels to start. And then of course, shower accessories: soap on a rope could be huge...
posted by BigSky at 9:53 AM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm still amazed at how many people think rape is a great way to punish men. Wonder if they think of applying the same to women as well?

And I'll agree with the Humane Society about being a spectator of dog fighting should be a felony. Doing so directly funds the cruel murder of animals.
posted by Talanvor at 10:06 AM on August 21, 2007


Vicks Dog vapor rub-a-dub.
When U make-a da money.
Don't hang around thugs!
posted by doctorschlock at 11:49 AM on August 21, 2007




The only possible comparison is to the virtuoso work of Greg Garrison, the Indianapolis attorney who prepared and tried the rape case against former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, which led to Tyson's conviction and three years in prison.

Tyson was railroaded.
posted by Kwantsar at 4:14 PM on August 21, 2007


Calling Kobe Bryant's accuser an idiot who had lied to everyone is a bit much.

I recommend you go back and re-read the news reports from that time.

The case against Kobe looked fairly strong...

... right up until the moment the prosecutors dropped the charges when they realized they had such a shaky, possibly mentally ill, witness on their hands.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:26 PM on August 21, 2007


surely going to jail
Prison, there is a difference which state jail/prison time would be a lot tougher.

I sure hope Mike gets some serious prison lovin and human punchbag action in Club Fed.

It’s not like that in club fed. He’ll be called a bitch and throw one punch and that will be the end of other inmates attacking him. He’ll be under 24 hr watch like all his cellies and maybe at a guards notice, do push ups…like I said above, a plush life.

all the prison rape
It's mostly seen among correctional systems with a high street gang battle happening within it, tho still rare. An inmate being raped could become the fault of the correctional officer on duty. So a raped inmate’s family could sue the guard civilly for it. Most inmates are there to do there time and move on. It's like most in society, hate a rapist.

The TV “show prison break” is more like a state prison/jail pod/unit full of murders & lifers. Your mouth talking too much will more likely contribute to most problems than anything else in the system.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:41 PM on August 21, 2007


They should make sports teams from the league of criminal and other outcast athletes, broadcasting it on FOX Sports ESPN HD in Dolby 8.4 Megaphonic Ultrasurround.

We'll round up Kobe, Vick, OJ, Tyson, Bonds, Giambi, Floyd Landis and the rest to form an all-star cast of Scumbag League players.

It'll make billions for our investors, and it'll all be legal. We'll get plenty of antitrust law exceptions made for us since we're all about America and Apple Pie. Fuck the law, dude.

Coming next Sunday: Watch the body parts splatter your tube in hi-def as the New York Rapists are pitted against the Tennessee Stranglers. The L.A. Gamblers will be on the sidelines to place 5:3 odds on the Chicago Dope Squad storming the field in a junky rush during time-outs, pilfering the dead, maimed and wounded!

Sadly, the Philadelphia Murderers did not make it to the Monday Night Championship Kickass Deathbowl this season. Fucking Philly sports teams suck.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:46 PM on August 21, 2007


"The case against Kobe looked fairly strong...

... right up until the moment the prosecutors dropped the charges when they realized they had such a shaky, possibly mentally ill, witness on their hands."

It depends on what you mean by shaky. Scared? No doubt. Unreliable? I don't think so.

It's more like they dropped the charges when the accuser became increasingly reluctant to testify. As she became aware of what she was in for, she got cold feet. Having some of the worst episodes in your past exposed to a national audience for the express purpose of calling you a liar is an awful ordeal to face. I remember the defense being interested in an alleged suicide attempt.

I have not come across any reason to suspect the accuser lied about the alleged assault. The defense simply consisted of scaring her away from testifying. In other words I should rephrase my own earlier statement,

"The case against Kobe looks fairly strong."
posted by BigSky at 3:00 AM on August 22, 2007


It depends on what you mean by shaky. Scared? No doubt. Unreliable? I don't think so.

It's more like they dropped the charges when the accuser became increasingly reluctant to testify. ... The defense simply consisted of scaring her away from testifying.


Wow. Somewhere there's a forest looking for its trees.

PLEASE go back and re-read the contemporary news reports. She lied to the prosecutors about the timeline of events; cell phone records backed up the defense's claims. She lied to prosecutors about having sex with other people immediately before or after the incident; she showed up at the hospital with the DNA of two other men on her underwear.

When the defense won a motion to introduce evidence of her sexual relations with other men in the 72 hours before and after the incident, she refused to cooperate with prosecutors, who ended the criminal case right there and then, even though they could've proceeded without her cooperation.

Bryant's follow-on statement admitted sex happened, but said he believed it was consensual, and recognized that she did not. The accuser still has an open civil suit, where the evidence standards are significantly lower.

I'm not saying I want Kobe to date my daughter. But let's get our facts straight.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:36 PM on August 22, 2007


OK. I think you are right here and I was wrong. I had either missed or forgotten the story about the accuser's cell phone records being inconsistent with her testimony. That is strong evidence. I think you overstate the claim concerning the DNA of two other men on her underwear. A couple of news stories agreed in their depiction of it as a contentious and unresolved issue. I do remember it being brought up as trial neared and at the time I thought it and the investigation into her mental health issues were a ploy to scare her from taking the stand. Each of these certainly weakens her credibility but they don't extinguish it. Even if it was proved that she had had sex with two other men close to the time of the alleged assault, it doesn't cast as much doubt on her accusation as did the proof of her lying about what she did afterwards.
posted by BigSky at 8:50 PM on August 22, 2007


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