The bell tolls for thee, Michael Vick

So this is how it ends??? If I was a fan of the Falcons like I am the Packers, I would be devestated. As far as QB's go Vick was far from perfect but he was the guy who made the Falcons even relevant. But wow, just a few months ago people were saying that once again the Falcons looked pretty good for the upcoming season. Their wide recievers were finally supposed to be developing (even though Finneran is out for the year again), Jerious Norwood was supposedly looking improved . . . and then bam! Just like that the whole complexion of this team has changed. Are they pass first or run first? When they need a big play who does it go to? What are their strengths now as a team (do they have any)? A good SportsGuyism would be to say that this is like when you were in high school and your boy had a girlfriend who had a smoking hot best friend and you finally rigged it (without being too obvious) to where you guys were all going out on a double date so you could make your move but then the best friend backs out at the last minute so your boy's girl brings her 14-year old sister instead.

I can't believe that 5 years from now Vick will be pretty much irrelevant to the NFL. Given the way his career was headed he was going to be regarded as another Randall Cunningham at the worst and who knows after he got a little older he might have actually turned into a complete QB. Now he's going to be like . . . I can't think of any other player whose career had so much potential but burned out so quickly (except maybe Sterling Sharpe but totally different circumstances). He'll probably end up being better known for his demise. A talented athlete who never grasped the intracacies of playing QB in the NFL (ESPN and other sports sites are already starting to talk about his career in this light). No more will we hear sportscasters narrating his highlight footage in awe as he easily eludes would be tacklers and slings the ball at an impossible angle for a 60-yard completion. What's even more sad is the toll it will take on his reputation. Here was a young black man in Atlanta, GA drafted no.1 (first black QB ever taken no. 1 overall) and in posession of millions of dollars yet you never heard a peep in the news about him getting arrested and a club, stip club, etc., or being pulled over with drugs early in the morning, or any kind of domestic violence situation. He was involved in a large number of charitable activities that were generally unreported in the media (positive news about black athletes = boring) unless it was something he didn't show up for. Now he will just be another ex-con looking for a job. Speaking strictly as a fan, just doesn't seem right.

And I'm not saying he didn't bring all of this on himself or that his alleged treatment of the dogs wasn't horrible (I'm a dog owner), but can everyone at least concede that this is regrettable? Why is he being attacked as if he's behind the 9/11 bombings or has been secretly funding Al Quaeda, or like he somehow deserves to have his life in shambles, his means of supporting himself and his family taken away, and to be publicly ostracized for making a mistake and getting involved in an activity that was illegal but not really looked down upon publicly by anyone prior to this?

I'm not the kind of fan who likes to hold Moral Court and try to hold someone who is basically just like me to some type of higher standard because they have a more athletic frame and can run faster in full pads with a linebacker chasing them. So I will mourn the death of Michael Vick: the football player and hope that in time Michael Vick: the person will find redemption.

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