Suspension Smension, Vick Lucky Just to be Back

stephen rileyCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2009

If you would’ve asked me two weeks ago, I would’ve said, “of course not.”

If you would’ve asked me two months ago, I would’ve said, “for what, what’s the point?”

If you would’ve asked me two years ago, I would’ve said, “no way, what else do they want from him?”

But if you would’ve asked me two minutes ago, I would’ve said, “yeah, probably. I don’t see why not.”

So I'm driving to work Tuesday morning listening to one of those morning talk shows. Although I like to substitute a little pep music into my system instead of French Roast before I step foot into the office, I do enjoy a rousing conversation every now and then.

So the biggest topic of the morning is the reinstatement,or partial reinstatement, or whatever it is of Michael Vick.

The biggest question of the morning was: should he, or shouldn’t he, serve a six-game suspension to start the season?

If you would’ve asked me a short while ago, I probably would’ve given you one of the first three aforementioned answers.

Many voices have spoken out on this issue,from the always enjoyable Terrell Owens to the guys and gals at your local barbershop and salon, and the majority of people seem to agree that Vick has “served his time.”

So, as I’m turning the corner on the main street of my job, a female caller chimes in to give her response...and it’s a pretty good one.

Her rebuttal: if Vick was employed with any company in corporate America, we wouldn’t be talking about a suspension...and it wouldn’t even be a discussion if Vick should get reinstated, it would be a clear-cut, loud and emphatic NO!

Good point. So good it got me to thinking.

If I got locked up for a federal charge for two years, could I just waltz out of a jail cell and expect to be slapping fives and cracking jokes with my old coworkers around the water cooler a couple months later?

The answer: YEAH RIGHT!

Only in the entertainment world can a multimillionaire professional go away for a big house bid, get out, and start making millions again months later.

For the average taxpayer, one federal stint upstate and we’d probably be regulated to picking up trash or sprinkling salt over french fries (not that there’s anything wrong with that) once we got out.

For the average songwriter, actor, or professional athlete, one federal stint upstate and America would be counting the days down, waiting upon the release of their favorite icon.

Although I still believe to this day he never committed the act, Mike Tyson was tried and convicted on a rape charge, and sentenced to six years—only serving three of his bid.

He was released in March of 1995 and went on to fight in August later that year, setting a record in pay-per-view sales along the way. After a three-year hiatus, we couldn’t wait to see Tyson climb back into the ring and pummel some bold innocent soul.

Let some keyboard pushing high-profile accountant get locked away for a three-year rape charge and let’s see how fast it takes for them to step foot back into some top notch corporate firm.

Then there’s the “but he already served his time” excuse.

To that, I pose this scenario to anyone not too far removed from the clinched fist and waist belt treatment we used to receive as children whenever we acted up.

Let’s say you’re an adolescent going to school everyday. You’re in class, talking back and forth to your friend while the teacher is trying to give their lesson. The teacher overhears you talking, and asks you to be quiet. You respond by calling the teacher a name (whichever you prefer), loud enough for him/her to hear it.

The teacher hands you after-school detention, and then proceeds to call your parents.

After you serve your afternoon discipline, you head home towards your usual no-play, no-nonsense parents. You open the door to your house, and see your raging mad guardian standing in the foyer with a clinch fist and ripped waist belt.

Upon the sight, you respond with a “haven’t I already served enough punishment?” before they abruptly raise their arm, and you then proceed to blank out.

See what I’m getting at?

No matter what punishment an institution hands you for your crime, there’s always the further punishment you’re going to have to face from society, or some other entity— whether it be your job, or your mom.

Vick being conditionally reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t a plot to teach Vick a further lesson. It’s more of a plot to keep the millions of people who don’t think Vick should even be reinstated from climbing further up the commissioner’s back.

I consider Vick lucky. Although there’s some other cases pending in the league that I think should definitely be handled by Goodell, the fact of the matter is that Vick has already been tried and found guilty of his crime, thus forcing Goodell’s hand in the matter of a suspension.

I’m nowhere near a Vick hater. I thought he was dynamite while displaying his super hero abilities at Virginia Tech, and I applauded him for his one-man-show efforts in Atlanta.

Even with a college degree, and years of watching CNN, I had no idea you could go to prison for dog fighting, up until it caught up with Vick.

I was just as stunned and disappointed as the rest of you seeing Vick walking in and out of a courtroom everyday, fighting against a case that maybe millions of others should be on trial for right now.

But when it comes to Vick serving a possible six-game suspension to kick start the 2009 season, I just can’t see that as a serious problem.

Having any job in America isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. No matter if you’re chucking a spiral 80 yards downfield, or chucking debris into the back of a trash truck, just receiving a tax-eaten pay check is a joy nowadays.

Vick’s lucky to be in the position to reclaim his role as a professional athlete. He’s also extremely fortunate to be in the position to start providing for his family again as the primary caretaker.

Should Vick be reinstated back into the National Football League? In my opinion, yes.

Should Vick serve a six-game suspension on top of the prison sentence he just completed? Well...try asking Vick what he thinks, and I’m sure he’ll tell you he’s fortunate to even be able to serve a temporary suspension with a chance to play professional football again.


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