Because I’m in the business, I often observe these things through a media looking glass. I observe, and try and think, “What take will the press have?” Truth is, an all-too-common third-estate approach is, “I don’t wanna write what everyone else will be writing, so I better do … this. Or this. Or this. Or this.” (Oh, wait. Not that last one).
In regards to Vick, however, I think the reaction should be pretty universal: Here is a man who did a horrific, disgusting, disturbing thing. Not only did he kill dogsâ€”he mutilated and tortured them. It is a heinous, heinous act, and I hope, for the remainder of his life, Vick wakes up in a cold sweat thinking about it.
That said, the man did nearly two years in jail. Nearly. Two. Years. This isn’t O.J. Simpson, walking free after murdering two people. This isn’t Steve Howe, returning for his seventh or eighth shot at drug-free redemption. No, this is a man who paid an enormous price for his misdeeds; who didn’t get off easy or receive preferential treatment or serve his time in a pampered jail with a spa, a physical therapist and free fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies every morning.
I’ve heard some say that Vick should never be allowed to play in the NFL againâ€”which is ludicrous. In essence, it’s stating that he can, oh, wash dishes or work as a mechanic or do any number of so-called “lowly” blue-collar jobs, but that he not be permitted a return to an elite way of life. Who, I ask, should be allowed to make that call? And why are some jobs OK, some off limits?
Maybe I’m a sucker. But the Michael Vick I watched today was a humbled, broken man.
Give him some peace.