As you may or may not be aware, I am a football fan. I like college ball better than NFL, I prefer the Cocks and the Patriots followed by the Ducks and the Steelers, and then any team which has a teeny little guy my height or shorter. Ball State used to have this utterly lilliputian young fellow who was so wee tiny that he would stand up all straight right in the middle and all of his teammates would huddle around and over him. It was adorable! Oh, and while I'm at it, Arena Football isn't even really football and Blake Mitchell can suck it.
So that's why I stopped to read a football article this morning; it was about how Michael Vick is in my adopted home state of South Carolina today, helping out at a Football Camp. My immediate reaction was not "OMG OH NOES HE'S A BAD GUY!" but more along the lines of "hey, that's pretty great for that football camp".
It got me thinking.
Now, I know: Everybody seems to have assholes on the topic of Michael Vick. I have one friend who will rant in an outside voice about him while inside. I have another friend who threw down with her hubs when she found him watching an Eagles game while her beloved dogs were in the room. What I'm saying here is that I recognize folks be all large with the thoughts and the feelings on this topic.
As for my thoughts and feelings on the topic, I think that dude messed up and he messed up big. He was cruel and violent and bad. He done wrong in numerous ways, totally screwed the pooch, as it were (okay, I'm sorry for that one). He broke the law and then got caught. I am with you in the "his crimes were awful!" smoke lodge. I thought it appropriate that he was arrested, was glad when he plead guilty and went to prison to serve his time, and I made non-plussed face when he was released.
Once he was free, though, he had officially paid his debt to society. But not his moneydollars debts or his responsibility debts (which usually also require moneydollars) all of which I'm guessing were incurred while earning an NFL player's salary. To my mind, that kind of requires an NFL player's salary to pay them back. I'm not good with the maths, as you know, but it kind of makes sense, right?
Anyway the idea that a quarterback-by-trade would fill the quarterback-for-hire opening at the Eagles General Football Guy Store which obviously offered a salary of lots of the moneydollars... this never really bothered me. Now, I've heard people. People who say things, like people do. They say that he has no right to be blessed with that kind of job, making that kind of money. They say things about how That Vick, he's violent. Dog torturer; murderer. His job could go to a more deserving person. He's a bad guy. True. Agreed.
This is not like a teacher who has served time for child abuse going right back to being a teacher. This is a football player. He was not convicted of attacking cheerleaders or some other football-specific-crime-I-can't-really-conjure-up. Dude's gotta work, just like everyone else, criminal or not. There are some very good people out there in the world who have done some really bad stupids in their day. Sometimes "victim-less" crimes, sometimes "white collar" crimes. Sometimes non-violent and sometimes violent crimes. Often, these are Bad People. But they are not always bad people. Even when they are, these people who are bad people, they still have families. Usually. Sometimes families of origin and/or sometimes families they've created.
Which is where we circle back around to Vick:
Here's the thing, this thing, it is not just about him. This is also about the women and children who depend on him. He supports his two children and their mother who currently live with him, pays child support for his son from a previous relationship, pays tuition for all of these kids, takes care of his own mama. According to the next link, his car payment allowance is less than twice what mine is, and I drive a modest and affordable used car. Then, additionally, he has bound obligations to agents, lawyers, the government, and so on. Essentially 2/3 of every dollar he makes while playing for the Eagles goes to meeting these court-ordered payments, and the more money he makes the more he has to pay:
|Income||Percentage to Creditors|
|$750,001-$2.5 million||25 percent|
|$2,501,000-$10 million||30 percent|
|Above $10 million||40 percent|
So, yeah. I would totally prefer to see him succeed. I would rather he take care of the people who depend on him, meet his tax burdens, and satisfy those legal obligations. It just seems like a better deal all around than refusing him a job because he has a criminal history, or refusing to watch the Eagles play or to root for them to win, because he's a bastard. Sure, maybe he is a bastard. I can guess so, given the crime he committed, but I don't know for sure. Point being, the content of his character is irrelevant to me.
Here's what I ask of you, Michael Vick: I generally prefer that you stay out of trouble, because I would rather you not hurt anybody or anything else. I won't ever ask you to babysit or have a sleepover so we can play beauty salon and stay up all night talking about boys. Try not to get sacked, and try to not get hurt every time you scramble out of the pocket. Play ball and be good at it.
That's all I have to say about that, but Football, if you can hear me: I miss you. Come back soon.