Opportunities Will Be Hard to Find
There's an old adage: "You can't unring a bell." Michael Vick, the former electrifying QB of the Atlanta Falcons turned societal pariah, will have to live with that adage every day for the rest of his life.
His crimes were deplorable, not just for their graphic nature, but for their downright meanness. How could anyone be involved in such cruelty, never mind a person of Vick's stature? His past will precede him, not follow him. That does not bode well for a millionaire who is now officially broke.
But America is the land of second chances. Vick will eventually be cleared by commissioner Roger Goodell to play in his league again. All that is needed is a contrite confession and a convincing argument that he will walk the straight and narrow.
Where Vick will land a job is the question. Which owner dares to put his team's logo on the side of Vick's head? My guess is, not many. They will steer clear of this controversy. Vick is talented, but he's not that talented.
Who needs PETA protests at their games? Who in this economy can afford to have sponsors turn their back on them? Again, the answer is not many.
Many fans continually forget is that the NFL is business, just like General Electric, Sony, Wal-Mart, et al. If those corporations were to hire Vick, they would suddenly find themselves under siege. The NFL is no different.
Would you give your money to Bernard Madoff if he were released? Of course not. You'd give it to someone else. That is the type of stigma Michael Vick faces as he seeks employment.
I believe some team will take a chance on him, but not in 2009. Perhaps in 2010, when some time has elapsed after his release from prison. Right now, he's untouchable. The liberals and animal lovers want to see him twist in the wind awhile before he allowed to play football again.
I'm not happy with him, either. What he did was more than a mistake, it was a conscious choice. He knew what he was doing. His stint in federal prison combined with the decimation of his wealth will serve as satisfactory punishment. But that may not be enough for some people.
Did he learned his lesson, that's what the public wants to know. Only then should he regain his eligibility.
There's no way he'll play in Denver or Buffalo (actually Ontario), where pitbulls are banned. He could end up with Carolina or Tampa Bay, or another smaller market team as a backup. He will try to fly beneath the radar as much as he can. But unfortunately, in America in 2009, we don't give people the chance to do that.
Between the excessive print, television, and electronic media, individuals have less and less privacy. YouTube, blogs, and that moronic TMZ crew just won't let people be.
So, I wish Michael Vick well. I hope he is rehabilitated and remains penitent. I also hope America, the land of second chances, gives him a fair chance at that second chance, too.