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Spinning the Falcon


I’m 50 years old now so perhaps my hearing and my reading comprehension have dwindled to the point where I no longer process information properly.
Did I just read that Whoopi Goldberg said on her first day on The View that we have to be understanding of Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick’s involvement in a dog fighting ring because in the South dog fighting is ‘indicative of that part of the country.’?
And did I hear Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens refer to dog fighting as “a cultural thing” in the South?
Both Goldberg and Owens followed their comments with the usual disclaimer that they were, of course, “not condoning Vick’s actions. . . yadda, yadda, yadda.”
Hmmm. . . what other now-illegal Southern cultural tradition can we think of that was justified in a similar manner? Anyone? Anyone?
Not that I’m suggesting that dog fighting is in any way as heinous as that other now-illegal Southern cultural tradition. But, honestly, why is this man who himself pleaded guilty to federal dog fighting conspiracy charges, still being defended?
Or have others taken it upon themselves to preserve Vick’s post-prison term career in the face of the NFL’s continued spin-induced suspension of the quarterback until all legalities are settled? Are they worried that Vick won’t be able to make it on the millions he’s already gleaned as a professional player? His income probably won’t be touched since he claims that, while he bankrolled the gambling and operations expenses of Bad Newz Kennels, he himself did not place side bets. Which, I guess, means he did it for the sheer thrill of the . . . um. . . torture sport.
Owens continued by comparing dog fighting to the legal practice of hunting, which would almost be believable if Vick was only betting on the bouts, not running the whole operation. It’s one thing to shoot a deer. It’s another to deliberately torture hundreds of them prior to hanging them by the neck so they die – gradually.
And why, in God’s name, is anyone asking Terrell Owens to comment on someone else’s character?
And, since hunting appears to be the high-fiving argument favored by Vick champions, I have to admit I was once very much against deer hunting until I realized it was a stance very easy to take when you never go to bed hungry. But there are still families in this very country – in fact, right here in Virginia and probably in your state also if you care to look – who stay off food stamps by deer hunting, either engaging in it themselves or through the Hunters for the Hungry programs.
And why are all his defenders talking about Vick as though he was some backwoods disadvantaged idiot too sheltered from modern society to understand that electrocuting dogs is a bad thing? He spent 10 minutes two years at Virginia Tech, which I am assured by Dirtman is a valid and accredited institution even if it isn’t Rutgers, before the NFL tapped him for the draft. He’s been a quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons since 2001. During those nine years some concept of legal vs. illegal had to sink in. His experiences with his little brother Marcus alone ought to have given him some experience in that.
But, we are assured, Vick is truly sorry for his actions now that he got caught and has, in fact, found Jesus; because apparently Jesus is not a part of the cultural tradition of the South.
Brent Musburger asked the NFL to give Vick a second chance since he apologized to Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and intends to get a degree from the institution while in prison, meaning Tech will have to begin to offer correspondence degrees. I don’t think the University of Phoenix has a football team.
I would personally like to know where my sons can apply for the Michael Vick grading criteria.
Vick is slated for sentencing in December and I’m wondering how many more creative excuses can be churned out to mitigate the cruelty that would still be going on if outside investigators hadn’t descended on Surry, Va.
Meanwhile, Whoopi, backpedaling like you did the day after your statement doesn’t get you into The View Hall of Fame. Already Rosie has knocked you out of the headlines by releasing her know-it-all book calling for Barbara Walters’ retirement: Why is anyone interested in Rosie’s opinion? What are her credentials?
But that argument is for another day.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 12:35 PM | Permalink

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