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Thread: Kravitz: Vick mess overshadows action in the Dome

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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Kravitz: Vick mess overshadows action in the Dome

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...88/1247/SPORTS
    August 21, 2007


    Bob Kravitz
    Vick mess overshadows action in the Dome


    How do you pay attention to the backup quarterback battle -- that's Jim Sorgi vs. Josh Betts, if you forgot -- when one of the NFL's marquee players is headed to a federal penitentiary?


    How do you give a second thought to the Indianapolis Colts' backup running back derby -- Kenton Keith vs. Clifton Dawson vs. DeDe Dorsey -- when a guy who was among the NFL's brightest lights, one of the faces of America's most popular league, has revealed himself to be an uncommon criminal?

    What's the big deal about Tony Ugoh's home debut at left offensive tackle or the Colts' continued special-teams follies when Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is joining Mike Tyson as the greatest waste of talent in the recent history of professional sports?

    When Colts coach Tony Dungy was asked after Monday's game how he might counsel Vick, he said he doesn't have a full handle on the facts and wouldn't be inclined to offer his thoughts directly to the disgraced quarterback.

    He was, however, concerned about the reputation of the NFL.

    ". . . It's what it says about the league and that's my concern,'' Dungy said after the Colts' 27-24 loss to the Chicago Bears. "We've got a lot of great things going on in our league. We've got guys in our locker room doing tremendous things and I'm sure the Falcons have them, too. I know one of them, Warrick Dunn, is doing some great things, but unfortunately, that part of it won't be heard.

    "And that's the thing that all our players have to understand, that anything that takes away from what the group is doing is tough. I don't know all the facts . . . but I know it's overshadowing a lot of the great work that 99 percent of our guys are doing.''

    For those who were still awake late in the broadcast, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya asked Peyton Manning about the Vick situation. It was a question she had to ask, a journalistically required question. How does she avoid the gorilla in the room, especially when she's got the league's No. 1 star by her side?

    Manning clearly was miffed and gave a short, dismissive answer. That's his prerogative, of course, but don't criticize Tafoya for doing her job.

    At this point in the Vick saga, the hard part is finding something smart to say about something so senseless and cruel. And please, let's not play the race card here or make the case that he surrounded himself with bad people. I don't care if he roomed with Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin in college, the things Vick is acknowledging he did to those dogs speak to a streak of cruelty that cannot be dismissed as a learned trait.

    The two big questions now are these:

    What will the NFL do to Vick, who already is looking at significant jail time?

    Will he play professional football again?

    Theoretically, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could make Vick's suspension concurrent with his time in prison. Theoretically, I said. The problem there, though, is he's already set a precedent with Adam "Pacman'' Jones, having sent the Titans cornerback to the bench for a year without him having been convicted of anything. Even if Goodell thinks that Vick's jail time would be appropriate, how does he square that with his previous penalties?
    He doesn't.

    This isn't just about dogfighting, a barbaric enterprise that is more popular in this country than anybody would like to acknowledge. This involves gambling, too. And the NFL is undoubtedly more sensitive about the gambling issue in the wake of the NBA's Tim Donaghy mess.

    It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Vick will get one year for dogfighting and another year for gambling on top of the jail sentence.

    Which brings us to the second question regarding Vick's football future:

    Despite all of this, my belief is Vick will come back. Because in America, great athletes always come back. Tyson came back to the boxing ring, after the rape, after using Evander Holyfield's ear as an hors d'oeuvre, after everything. As judgmental as we can be, that's how forgiving we can be, too, especially when it comes to those graced with surpassing physical ability.

    If Vick can still play when his prison and NFL sentences are finished, somebody will bring him to camp.

    How about Leonard Little, who in 1998 pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after he drunkenly drove and killed a young woman named Susan Gutweiler? Six years later, Little, still in the league, was arrested for drunk driving and speeding. He was acquitted of the DWI but convicted of misdemeanor speeding.

    Oh, yeah, in 2006, the St. Louis Rams signed him to a three-year extension.

    As toxic as Vick is now, if he's properly repentant -- we're talking Humane Society service, charitable giving and lots of Oprah appearances -- in a couple of years, his reputation will be partially restored. Somebody will take a chance on him. Count on it.

    The Colts returned home for the first time since the great Super Bowl party on that frosty February evening.

    And really, it hardly seemed to matter.


    Bob Kravitz is a columnist for The Indianapolis Star. Call him at (317) 444-6643 or e-mail bob.kravitz@indystar.com.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Vick mess overshadows action in the Dome

    The thing I've never understood about Vick even since he signed his mega-contract is that he isn't a top ten player at his position. Who was the idiot who decided to market this guy as a big time player anyway? He'd be an average to good running back or wide receiver, but he is an mediocre QB (at bestO I can name 10 guys easily who are better than him. He should have never been marketed as a guy who could be the face of the league in the first place he didn't have the talent. Athletic ability? Sure, but talented QB? Hell no. I actually heard someone on ESPN say he revolutionized the QB position forever. Really? Where is the evidence for that?

    I disagree with Kravitz that Vick will be given a second chance also. Vick will be PETA's poster boy for animal cruelty for the next decade and no matter what he does I doubt he'll be able to change that. Vick IMO has already been villainized more than Tyson was. Plus what Kravitz forgets is that Tyson takes part in an individual sport where his actions only affect him and those that are dumb enough to agree to work with/for him. Vick's presence will affect an entire franchise in a negative way I doubt anyone is willing to take that risk.
    Last edited by Trader Joe; 08-21-2007 at 02:44 PM.

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Vick mess overshadows action in the Dome

    To dovetail onto Indy's post...
    I think if Vick was a better QB without all the question marks, then he'd get a second chance. As it stands now, this gives teams an added excuse not to even take the chance and polarize their fanbase.

    Jim Mora called him a coach-killer. He was only partially accurate apparently... He's a dog killer too...

    -Bball
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Vick mess overshadows action in the Dome

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    I disagree with Kravitz that Vick will be given a second chance also. Vick will be PETA's poster boy for animal cruelty for the next decade and no matter what he does I doubt he'll be able to change that. Vick IMO has already been villainized more than Tyson was. Plus what Kravitz forgets is that Tyson takes part in an individual sport where his actions only affect him and those that are dumb enough to agree to work with/for him. Vick's presence will affect an entire franchise in a negative way I doubt anyone is willing to take that risk.
    I agree. There have been discussions about whether Vick should be banned from the NFL for life. I don't think he should because to the law, if he's sentenced to, say, 3 years for the dogfighting and gambling, it's no worse - or better - than if he was sentenced to 3 years for tax evasion.

    However, in a sport which is dependent on its fan base, no NFL team will touch him. If you want to guarantee huge PETA pickets outside the stadium for every game his team plays in, all a GM has to do is sign Vick. It would be the ultimate PR nightmare - no team will do that, unless there's a team in Spain that plays as the opening act for bullfighting.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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