Saturday, August 25, 2007

National Felony League

It appears that the National Felony League, the NFL, has indefinitely suspended Michael Vick.

In disciplining Vick, commissioner Roger Goodell said Vick's admitted conduct was "not only illegal but also cruel and reprehensible" and regardless whether he personally placed bets, "your actions in funding the betting and your association with illegal gambling both violate the terms of your NFL player contract and expose you to corrupting influences in derogation of one of the most fundamental responsibilities of an NFL player."

Activities that were "not only illegal but also cruel and reprehensible" and blah blah blah blah blah.

It appears that the "most fundamental responsibilities of an NFL player" are to make money, make more money, makes lots and lots of money, makes tons and lots and scads of money for the NFL owners and screw the corrupting influence crap which is really a scream. He was not exposing himself to corrupting influences, HE WAS THE CORRUPTING INFLUENCE!

The NFL could have made a powerful statement by permanently suspending Vick but they balked as usual and Vick sooner rather than later will return to making millions of dollars for his TBA owner off morally challenged Americans.

Convicted felons are not permitted to vote in most states of the Union, but they can appear in front of millions of people, influence the nation's youth, make commercial endorsements that show being a convicted felon has an up side by viciously slaughtering animals for the pleasure of gamblers playing professional football.

Vick has also plead to the killing of dogs that did not perform well in "testing sessions".

"Peace, Phillips, and Vick agreed to the killing of approximately 6-8 dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road and all of those dogs were killed by various methods, including hanging and drowning. Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick."

I wonder how Vick would have reacted if Arthur Blank had him strung up by his balls after screwing up a few passing plays at training camp?

And Vick's lawyers are spinning away like mad.

"While Mr. Vick is not personally charged with or responsible for committing all of the acts alleged in the indictment, as with any conspiracy charge, he is taking full responsibility for his actions and the actions of the others involved," the defense team said in a written statement after the plea agreement was filed.

"Mr. Vick apologizes for his poor judgment in associating himself with those involved in dog fighting and realizes he should never have been involved in this conduct," the statement said.

Poor judgement, eh? The 22 page Summary of Facts issued by the federal prosecutor has this to say:

"Most of the Bad Newz Kennels operation and gambling monies were provided by Vick..."

But then goes on to state:

"...Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. [...] did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses that were won by 'Bad Newz Kennels.'"

Then an experienced Richmond, VA, lawyer, Brian Grossman, states:
I think that the gambling issues will not be nearly as important at sentencing for Mr. Vick as the issue of cruelty to animals," Grossman said. "I highly suspect the language in the summary of facts regarding gambling was negotiated by Mr. Vick's attorney's to address the NFL's issues about gambling."
George Dohrmann of Sports Illustrated has a good perspective on Vick's gambling/not gambling deense:

He put the money up. He lost money if his dogs lost. However, Vick says he didn't win money if his dog won. Can one be a gambler if one never takes any winnings? Defenders of Vick could argue he was simply putting up money for his friends to gamble, that he was (if this is even possible) only half a gambler.

Whether or not he placed side bets could be viewed as irrelevant because betting on the dogs alone constitutes gambling. But I have no doubt Vick's lawyers fought to get that line in the statement. It allows Vick to say he didn't bet, to deny gambling, even if he did place bets of a different sort. It's a seed of doubt for Vick supporters looking to sow a defense.

The only thing missing is Vick appearing on national TV, pointing his finger at the camera and saying, "I did not have sex with that pit bull."

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