Michael Vick Should Not Play in the NFL

russ autinCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2009

Having read too many stories about the Michael Vick saga, I hate to write one more, but most others have been so bad that I feel it's my duty to pen a more informative one.

The sympathetic articles in support of Vick can almost always be classified into two categories:  There's the denial argument and the, "he's paid his dues" one. 

First, the long stream of denial.  They usually start off like this:

Vick is a poor, innocent victim who trusted his friends, and they let him down.

Here's a list of just a few of the people they think are responsible for Vick's downfall:  The police (bad search warrant), the Government (for bringing the charges) ,the media (for reporting the story), ESPN (for milking the story), and the humane society (for spreading anti-Vick propaganda). 

The list goes on and on, blaming everyone except Vick.

As for the "he's paid his dues" stories, they usually go on and on about how he actually went to prison and how he's seen the light.

Next they'll tell you others have done worst and gone unpunished, therefore it would be wrong to punish Michael. If you follow this logic to it's end, you'll find it has no beginning. They will defend the next scumbag claiming, "you didn't punish Vick, you shouldn't punish him."

That brings us to my favorite: it's just dogs.

Now, before we move on, I think the killing and torturing of man's best friend, on this scale, is enough to merit a lifetime ban. So all you animal lovers please don't think I'm trivializing this aspect of the sad story, but some readers don't think that's enough.

This story is for those people who say "I"m a dog lover, but..."

It reminds me of people who claim it's OK to be racist because some of their best friends are black.  Open up your eyes, hypocrites!

All of this aside, the real reason Michael Vick should be banned for life is the illegal gambling aspect of the charges.  He was guilty of transporting large sums of money across state lines, all for the purpose of dog fighting.

Who are the people he was delivering this money to?

The answer is everyone from your organized criminals to your basic street thug—anyone who can profit from betting on these gruesome fights.

A person with those types of associations should never be allowed to affect the outcome of any sporting event. It's crazy to think otherwise.

Does anyone out there think all of Vick's illegal activities came out during trial? Probably not, which means some very bad people have some very bad dirt on Michael.

The next time—if there is one—he throws a pick, fumbles a snap, or just overthrows a receiver, was the fix in?

This is something we have to consider, like it or not.

With the now infamous gambling referee of the NBA, Tim Donaghy, fresh in our sports psyche, does the National Football League really want to push it's luck?

Is Michael Vick worth the risk?