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Friday, November 28, 2008

Vick Dog

Nigh almost a year ago in this revered space, counsel was dispensed to the esteemed Judge Henry E. Hudson concerning the much-anticipated sentencing due one Michael Vick. The esteemed fumbled.

No less than unanimous accord was given by all three of you who read the opinion, accompanied by such platitudes as, "Wow! You must have slept on top of the mountain to come up with that, J. Dave!"

Unfortunately for many, the Honorable Judge Hudson was not one of you three. Too bad. Hudson missed a golden chance to take such a high-profile case as Vick's and make a real difference by taking the criminal and using him to educate others prone to engage in such despicable social activities. Instead of just throwing Vick in the pokey and tossing the key to thunderous ovation from the likes of the PETA puckerheads, direct the formerly bigger-than-life star to visit schools, hold seminars, visit detention centers and the like - at his expense - it stated here, and tell everyone with ears how he got involved in his contemptible form of entertainment and what he would do differently now that he got caught and was subsequently hosed in ignominy. Hudson blew it.

Now it's Roger Goodell's turn. With Vick's guilty plea on state charges to dogfighting Tuesday in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Vick is set to enjoy a most-befuddling irony: He may become paroled early as a result of his admission.

It's about the only break he's gotten. Maybe.

Because Vick could shuck his state-issued jumpsuit by Mother's Day, the NFL czar known for his no-Pac Man stance on chicanery will weigh in with a decision that could make Vick's Memorial Day anything but memorable. Here's hoping Goodell takes this chance to make a difference - not just an example.

One blather mouth on sports radio this week called for another year's suspension, justifying his stance by saying that Vick has only been punished by the law, not the league. The peacock further elaborated that since it was such a high-profile case, Vick, in essence, needed to be punished more, so as to satisfy the intense scrutiny of the hordes, a.k.a. the disciples of New Age idiotology so dyslexic they spell 'GOD' "D-O-G." In other words, his comments only served to underscore what was the assertion here in my first dissertation on this matter: Vick's sentencing was more about furthering an agenda than it was in righting a wrong.

Whether Goodell suspends Vick another year, or for only the first play of the 2009 season is not the point. Either Vick is repentant by now, or he's not. And regardless of how long of a suspension - if any - Goodell metes, Vick will get his chance to play again. But if Vick can be mandated into working to help educate and thus, possibly eradicate such a loathsome deed as his, rather than forced to only endure more punishment, then there's a much better chance of wiping out the barbaric leisure that dog fighting most certainly is.

That's the point.

The question is whether Goodell will rely on his own wisdom, whether he will succumb to the pressure of those with the agenda, or whether he will stamp a legacy on his tenure as NFL Commissioner by employing an understanding that will make a real difference.

May Goodell have the wisdom of Solomon on this matter, and show mercy on Vick in so doing, should Goodell determine that the former star has some semblance of a contrite heart. Because if he does, Vick's been punished enough. After all, he's still got a life sentence to serve.