Let me start off by saying how this is something I really didn't want to talk about. Why? There are a number of issues in play here. There are legal issues. There are moral issues. And then there's the issue of Roger Goodell. After all, the latest rumblings regarding Michael Vick are that Goodell isn't in a hurry to reinstate Vick at all in 2009. And until Vick is reinstated, this topic is pretty much moot.
But then former NFL head coach Dennis Green had to open his mouth and make the following statement during an interview on Sirius NFL Radio:
"I have a hard time believing that Michael Vick is not going to wind up with Bill Parcells simply because he has that creativeness that says that no matter what it takes, he’s going to find a way to get Michael Vick. Now, whether it means convincing the Commissioner or whatever it takes, Michael Vick is probably going to wind up at Miami because of the fact that Bill Parcells is Bill Parcells."
Keep in mind the source of this information when reading it, of course. I highly doubt Dennis Green has any inside info here. And if he did, do you really think Bill Parcells would let the man just blurt out his secrets on national radio?
However, let's get right into it. If Michael Vick was to be reinstated by Roger Goodell once he completes his home confinement in late July, would I want the Dolphins to make a push to sign him? My answer is "no." In fact, it's an "emphatic no."
I'm not saying Vick isn't a talented player. I'm not that dumb. Of course, I will say that he was immensely overrated as a player even before all of the dogfighting. Vick was never as good as the media wanted you to believe. But media hype aside, Vick was a good player.
That brings me to point one. Michael Vick was a good player. But he hasn't played a single down - or even participated in a single practice - in two years. And Vick wasn't the best passer of the football to begin with (a lifetime completion percentage of 53.8%). The fact is we have no idea what kind of player Vick will be nowadays. Couple that with the media circus that would ensue following his signing, I just don't see enough positives to bringing him aboard.
Now let's get to the meat of the issue here. But first, I'll preface this by asking you not bring up NFL players who have killed a person while driving drunk. What Leonard Little and Donte Stallworth did was simply terrible and, if it was up to me, they wouldn't be playing in the NFL. Keep in mind that I wouldn't ban them from the league. After all, as long as they serve their time as determined by the country's legal system (as broken as it might be), they deserve the opportunity to be employed. But I just wouldn't be the one employing them.
I also want to point out that I am, by no means, claiming to be a perfect citizen. I've broken laws before - as we all have. I'm also not a person who thinks of himself as a "moral snob" - which is a person who looks down on those who have done wrong in their lives. I'm not like that one bit.
With that said, everybody needs to think for a second about what Michael Vick did. It's not the dogfighting per se that bothers me. That's bad, but I wouldn't feel as strongly "anti-Vick" as I do now if that was all he did. But what he did to the dogs for which he had no use for is truly disturbing - things like electrocuting them, drowning them, hanging them, and slamming their bodies to the ground multiple times until they died.
It takes a very sick, twisted, and disgusting human being to do what Michael Vick did. It's one thing to get behind the wheel of a car when you're drunk and, in your attempt to get home, you strike and kill a dog. That's a case of being irresponsible. But Vick knew what he was doing. It was premeditated. It was planned. He knew exactly what he was doing and he didn't see anything wrong with it. He didn't hesitate and think, "Hmm - this just seems wrong. I'm going to not participate in this." No - he participated in the killing of at least eight dogs. And that shows that Michael Vick is a despicable person.
Think I'm being harsh? Fine - try going outside, catching a squirrel, and throwing it straight down into the ground repeatedly until it's dead. You can't do it, can you? And that's just a small squirrel - not a 50+ pound dog. Just imagine the kind of disturbing mind you have to have to do what Michael Vick did.
Yes - I'm a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan. I want them to win and I'd give almost anything for them to do so. But I simply have to draw the line somewhere. I wouldn't want a person like Leonard Little or Donte Stallworth on my team. And I also wouldn't want a person like Michael Vick on my team. I wouldn't be able to root for them.
Sports are supposed to be an escape from everyday life. It's supposed to be a way to forget about the troubles in this world. How could you possibly enjoy watching your favorite team play football if you have to constantly be reminded of how ugly "real life" can be?
If the Dolphins ever did sign Michael Vick, I'd still be a Dolphins fan and I'd still root for them each and every game. But I'd also be rooting for Vick to break his leg every time he touched the football. I wouldn't want to see anything life or career threatening. Just something that prevents me from having to watch that man wear the colors of my team.