Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Michael Vick--An American Success Story

How does the headline for today's blog make you feel?  Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that "There are no second acts in American lives."  But for Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick--that is obviously not true.  Especially when you consider that for the second time in his 31-years of life, he has signed a $100-million dollar contract with an NFL team.

And that is why you seriously have to consider Vick as an American success story.  We laud people like Dave Ramsey--who squandered his first million dollars and had to file for bankruptcy before building a new fortune on showing people the right way to make money--as examples of learning from one's early mistakes and becoming something even better on the other side.  So why not applaud Michael Vick for learning his lesson while spending his 18-months in Federal prison and returning to stardom in his chosen profession?

As you might expect, after the announcement of the Vick contract on Monday the social media sphere was all abuzz--mostly with people disgusted or offended that Vick was going to be getting that much money.  (By the way, 40-million of that contract is guaranteed)  But let's take a step back and think about this in a cool, emotionless way.  Vick is a convicted felon and is giving up a number of constitutional rights--probably for the rest of his life.  He served out his sentence.  There was no "Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan-I'm-too-scared-to-serve-time-early-release-deals".  And he is meeting the terms of his probation by not owning any other animals and talking to kids about the idiocy of dogfighting.  So why should we deny him the opportunity to make a living--and a good living at that?  Apparently, there is a high demand for someone of his talents.

What I find interesting, is how people are totally incapable of forgiving someone who commits a crime against an animal.  Somehow, in our list of social mores, Animal Abuse has moved exponentially higher on the list of "heinous crimes" than anything else--including killing a person.  I laugh every time I see people protesting at the courthouse during the appearance of a dog or cat abuser claiming to be "giving a voice to the animal."  One time I'm going to tell them "There's a hearing for a guy who killed his girlfriend in a drunk driving crash on the next floor--why don't you give her 'a voice' as well?"

Now I should point out, I'm offended by the Michael Vick contract as well.  But only because I don't think a guy who completes fewer than half his passes, takes off running if his first receiver isn't open and has a losing record in the playoffs deserves to be one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in league.  If that's the case, then all of the God Squad Tim Tebow fans should be out protesting as well.

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