Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sportsology: What about Vick's vick-tims?

By Rick Morris

Our good pal Russ Cohen at Sportsology, with whom we mutually syndicate material, is a big-time animal lover and protector -- such that I'll probably feel like a big-time heel if I mention that I'm going to the dog track in Wheeling in a few weeks! As such, you know that he's got some thoughts on Lisa Salters' asinine comments about Michael Vick on ESPN's E:60 program.

Russ's Rants - Vick Will Get a Second Chance, Most of His Vick-tims Won't
By Russ Cohen

I recently taped the ESPN E:60 episode that dealt with some of the dogs that survived the Michael Vick ordeal. The piece was good, but before it began, there was a roundtable discussion that was very disturbing.

When the journalists were giving their opinions about the VICK-tims (as they called them), there were two opinions that stood out. Jeremy Schaap came out with a strong stance. “It’s savage inhumane treatment of animals. We have to draw a line in society,” he said this with extreme passion. Soon after that, Lisa Salters spoke (whose name didn’t appear under her while she was talking: note to the producers, they should identify the personalities), and that’s when the show stopped immediately. “We can’t really get invested in you being upset about Michael Vick mistreating dogs when there are people being mistreated,” she answered Schaap in a very condescending way. “So you can harm a human being and not get jail time?”

I thought Schaap’s head was going to explode and he talked about how the Bad Newz Kennels killed and mistreated the animals and Salters just didn’t get it. She didn’t do anything to dig herself out of this statement, and to me, one thing has nothing to do with another. They were talking about Vick and his case, not the millions of other cases against humans that may have had the outcome she was talking about. She didn’t back her statement up with any facts and sadly, I think there are a lot of people out there who may feel this way.

I give NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a lot of credit for talking to animal rights groups all along, and soon he will make an informed decision on whether or not the NFL will reinstate the former Falcons quarterback when he is released from jail. To me, it will be a PR nightmare for the team that wants him and I didn’t think he was a great quarterback when he was playing, so he will be less effective now that he has been away from the game for so long.

We once interviewed Redskins great Joe Theismann and talked about Vick. Theismann loved him and I said he wasn’t going to be that great. This was back in 2003 and I got some stares from Joe but I still stand by my statement. Vick, who last played in 2006, has thrown 71 career TD’s and 52 INT’s. He has 21 touchdowns, but 55 fumbles and he lost 27 of them; nobody ever talks about that. So why would a team want him now at the age of 28? In 2006 his completion percentage was a low 52.6 and even though he rushed for over 1,000 yards, could he do that in a “wildcat” offense? I personally don’t think so.

I feel it’s important to remember that Vick has paid his time but there are a lot of dogs that were either killed by his hand or humanely euthanized because they had too many mental scars to ever be rehabilitated. They won’t ever get a second chance. Thanks to the judge who ordered Vick to pay for the dogs' lifetime care, a few of them got a second chance. When the show interviewed one of the dog owners, she had nothing but contempt for the former kennel owner and I share that opinion.Here is a link to some horrific dog fighting pictures thanks to one of our writers, Rob Bertrand.

No comments: