After a number of startling media reports, it has become clear to Me-the-Jury that the Atlanta Falcons
star was not an innocent, easily-duped accessory. I knew that he came from a troubled family, and I obviously believed that some of his cousins, step-uncles, and half-foster-step-siblings-twice-removed were responsible for mutilating countless pitbulls.
As for the second-most-famous Michael in the world of sports?
It seemed nearly impossible to associate one of my favorite athletes with the unspeakably cruel actions committed in that Smithfield, Virginia home. But this is one of those stories where more news is bad news—at least for those of us who have supported Vick since his Hokie days.
So what is there left to say? How about this:
Congratulations, Michael. For the first time in your career, you've actually met our unreasonable expectations.
For the last few years, I'd been expecting a day like this one. Though I tried to tell myself otherwise, I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind or the bottom of my heart, that I was going to read that press release the one that would make me realize exactly how na've I'd been.
This weekend, my RSS feed popped out the news story that broke the camel's back. It quoted an anonymous dog trainer who claims that Michael Vick not only attended these disgusting pit bull duels—he helped finance them through obscene wagers as well.
And I believe that shady, anonymous snitch.
I think I, like every football fan, owe it to myself to believe that Vick was sitting there in the crowd, cheering passionately for one living creature to rip apart another.
We're obligated to think of Michael Vick as a felon who belongs in jail.
Why am I being so harsh?
Most of my friends gave up on Vick quite some time ago. Until last week, I dismissed these buddies as hypocrites.
My college friends smoked bong loads—so who were they to judge Michael Vick's airport escapade?
I also know people who engage in unsafe sex, just as Mr. Ron Mexico was alleged to have done—so why did they get to pillory a man much wealthier and more accomplished than they were?
Finally, I knew a lot of football fans who drew parallels between Vick's off-field antics and his disappointing performance when he donned #7.
I dismissed that as unfair drivel.
I thought all of my friends were either jealous, racist, puritanical, or just plain bored.
It turns out that their judgment was better than my own.
Michael Vick has not been convicted of the crime, and he may walk away with a "not guilty" verdict. But the man has finally achieved the critical mass necessary for me to absolutely give up on him.
On their own, none of the nutty people associated with Vick have much credibility. The woman who claims to suffer from herpes, the opportunistic airport security team, the professional dog fighter, even his little brother Marcus...they're all losers.
But there are enough of them now.
Only so many profiteers and media hogs can crawl out of the woodwork to discredit a success story like Michael Vick's. After a while, you've got to believe that maybe, just maybe, all the losers are telling the truth.
Perhaps there was a thick layer of wool over my eyes, but until last week, I gave Michael Vick the benefit of the doubt. I spat out philosophical jargon, quoted the Constitution, and played the I'm-smart-for-not-being-critical game.
Now, I'm content to think that Michael Vick is an evil piece of crap who deserves to be expelled from the league and put behind bars in some remote part of Virginia.
I hope he gets at least a decade.