For the past nine hundred years or so this story has been developing, I've avoided the idea of talking about it here. Why? Well, this is a Bills blog, after all; yet somehow, it's impossible not to talk about this Dog and Phony QB show any longer. Not when reports indicate that Falcons QB Michael Vick seems close to being indicted.
In case you've missed the story, first of all - welcome back to Planet Earth. During a routine drug raid at a property owned by Vick in Virginia, police came across 66 dogs, bloodstained carpets and one heck of a controversy. Vick does not live at the premises (his cousin does), but the story has exploded to the point that Michael Vick now seems the ideal spokesperson of the Dogfighting world.
Now, according to the reports linked above, federal prosecutors believe they are closing in on enough evidence to indict Vick on felony dogfighting charges. Anonymous witnesses have given accounts of Vick's alleged involvement with dogfighting, and apparently this combined with every other detail of the story is enough to indict Vick. The problem, at this point, appears to be this: is the evidence enough to prosecute Vick and send him off to the clink?
From an NFL perspective, there's an even bigger question: is an indictment enough to punish Vick severely? The article mentions that Commissioner Roger Goodell's suspensions of Pac-Man Jones and Chris Henry were based mostly on the fact that they were repeat offenders of the NFL's personal conduct policy. Well, Ron Mexico and his phony water bottle, happy middle fingers and seemingly constant negative attention certainly fit that bill.
As TheSportsGuru at Mile High Report aptly put it, Michael Vick is a disgrace to the NFL. As perhaps its biggest star (that's arguable, but you can make a case for Vick), this type of behavior - true or not - is disgusting. Anybody who says Vick shouldn't be punished isn't exactly looking at the situation as a whole. Sure, he hasn't been in as much legal trouble as Pac-Man or Henry, but how anyone can honestly say that he isn't in the doghouse (seriously, no pun intended, but it fits) right along with Pac-Man and Henry is beyond me. This potential dogfighting issue would, in my mind, leapfrog him past Pac-Man in terms of how dumb he looks to the fans of the NFL.
I'm still not sure if Vick will ever be convicted of this crime; I have a few doubts as to whether this thing actually ever goes to court. But in my mind, if he does in fact get indicted, he deserves a suspension at least equal to Henry's. Vick has an image to clean up and some amends to make with the fans in Atlanta. An eight-week vacation should be enough time to accomplish those tasks. It's not like Atlanta will miss him much anyways; Vick is, in my humble opinion, easily the most overrated quarterback perhaps in NFL history. That Matt Schaub trade looks terrible now, doesn't it?
I'm sure that Dave the Falconer over at The Falcoholic will keep tabs on this story as it ripens. Not that he'll be happy about it. Anyone have any thoughts on the Vick fiasco before the story is laid to rest (at least here at Buffalo Rumblings)?