Friday, August 24, 2007

Vick Pleads Out...Sort Of

Well why am I not surprised. Michael Vick's plea deal only admits to some of what he's been charged with. Yes, he admitted guilt around organizing and funding a dogfighting enterprise, Bad Newz Kennelz. But the big news is that he DID NOT admit to being involved in either killing the dogs or betting on them. According the the article in ESPN, he will admit to being present for killing the dogs, but not participating in the activities.

There is no doubt in my mind that Vick's plea was done, not to reflect the truth, but to preserve his ability to play in the NFL in the future. No NFL owner was going to want to make a dog-killer the face of their franchise and Vick knew that Roger Goodell would come down with an extensive suspension (whether it was concurrent or not is besides the point) for the gambling charges.

Now I don't believe that Goodell and the NFL will believe that Vick was not involved in the killing or gambling. At least not publicly. But the NFL is not going to just accept the "summary of facts" from the plea deal. I believe they will continue their own investigation and continue to look into these charges further. I believe that the NFL will take the plea agreements of the other 3 defendants, as well as other information resulting from the VA prosecutors investigation, into consideration in which Vick was implicated in both gambling and the torture and killing of the dogs. While the torture and killing of the dogs is utterly reprehensible, gambling is the third rail in the NFL.

The end result is that Goodell will come down with a of those big ones used to ring the bell at carnivals. Not only will he come down because of the facts, but because Vick once again is not showing contrition about what he did and is purposefully going out of his way to evade responsibility for his actions. As Goodell has laid out with all of the other suspensions he's come down with in his short tenure, honesty and contrition are mandatory. If you pass on either, you're done. Vick passed on both counts. I believe this will be the only pass Vick completes for at least 3 years.

Vick just better hope that he can use his speed to stay out of the arms of much of the prison population. As a good looking guy and a dog-killer, he's going to pine for the days when he only had defensive ends and linebackers chasing him.

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