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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Dog killer makes good

It's good on principle to give people a second chance, especially if they've demonstrated genuine remorse and a willingness to learn and grow. Still, there's something off-putting about President Obama's championing of Michael Vick:

The president wanted to talk about two things, but the first was Michael," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie told SI's Peter King about his recent phone conversation with the commander in chief about alternative energy use at the team's stadium.

"He said, 'So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. He was ... passionate about it. He said it's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall."

Well, of course there isn't a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. They created an uneven field when they broke the rules, and people who deal with them have legitimate concerns about whether thety might break them again. Your run-of-the-mill rulebreaking ex con doesn't have the benefit of rehabilitating himself in the public spotlight while making millions of dollars. When Vick even says he'd like to buy a dog, it sets off a national debate -- relapsing into a repeat of his crime would be close to impossible.

 Hot Air expresses perfect-pitch cyncism at the second chance given to a man who "happens to be an MVP-caliber quarterback capable of generating untold millions in revenue for his franchise" and wonders if there really were no celebrity "with a more sympathetic offense for Obama to make an example of. How many athletes and entertainers have cleaned up after victimless crimes involving drugs?"

My sister, though preferring cats, is an animal lover in general, and the issue is pretty simple for her: "He's a dog killer." She'll never see him in any other way, no matter how sincere he seems in regretting his actions. The dog killer is also a hell of a quarterback, which is the only reason anybody cares about this one way or the other.


Bob G.
Tue, 12/28/2010 - 12:14pm

In our modern day, materialistic-driven society, there is one thing I've learned:
Football is a lot more entertaining than dog-killing.
(tell that to the pet owners)
Your sister "gets it".

Amazing how JOHNNY UNITAS, GEORGE BLANDA, or BART STARR (to name a few) never delved in such things.

Oh, but that was a time when people had a lot better VALUE SYSTEM in their lives (and football was played by men making a helluva lot LESS money who had a real LOVE of the game)

I'm just sayin'...


tim zank
Tue, 12/28/2010 - 2:31pm

That phone call and the subsequent free publicity was for Obama, not for Vick or recent parolees. The campaigner-in-chief is leaves no media opportunity unused.

Andrew J.
Tue, 12/28/2010 - 7:37pm

And during the era of Unitas, Blanda and Starr, Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were suspended for a year from football for gambling on football and associating with undesirable - meaning criminal - elements. Is that the value system you so tout?

Bob G.
Wed, 12/29/2010 - 10:24am

It's a damn sight BETTER value system than what passes for one in D.C. THESE days, that's for sure.

And I don't recall ANY president calling up Karras or Hornung saying what great people they were after they stopped gambling.

tim zank
Wed, 12/29/2010 - 11:08am

Hmmmm...lot of similarities there. Betting on football games and beating your dogs to death with your bare hands, hanging them from trees by their necks and when they didn't die then holding them under water and drowning them until they did die. Training them to fight to the death.


Yeah Michael, the circumstances are virtually identical. /sarc

Andrew J.
Wed, 12/29/2010 - 11:30am

These guys gambled on FOOTBALL games while they were FOOTBALL players. Baseball banned Pete Rose for life for that. Shoeless Joe Jackson is banned to this day from Hall of Fame consideration.
The point is every generation believes the one before them was a paragon of virtue and all is going to hell with society they live in today. That's not the case. There were crooks and scoundrels and bad people with bad values and morals when our fathers were the generation in charge.

tim zank
Wed, 12/29/2010 - 12:13pm

AJ, I tend to see a difference between gambling for financial gain and systematically snuffing the life out of dogs with your own bare hands for pleasure.

It's one thing to be greedy, it's quite another to enjoy choking the life out of your pets.

Andrew J.
Wed, 12/29/2010 - 4:47pm

OK. How about another football icon from the era being talked about, the 60s and 70s. Does O.J. Simpson ring a bell? Seems he's a product of the same generation Bob was extolling as having values and scruples, not like the people and athletes, like Vick, of today.
Again, you can find scumbags in any generation; the previous generation has no special claim as to the moral high road.

Bob G.
Thu, 12/30/2010 - 10:37am

Didn't OJ do the nasty LONG after he LEFT football i.e. not an active player?
At one point, he DID have scruples and values.
Then he got into spousal abuse, but NOT while he was playing on the field.

I thought we were staying with what goes down DURING one's life as an professional ball player?
What they do AFTER they retire has NO bearing on what they profess or do while in uniform...

Andrew J.
Thu, 12/30/2010 - 11:03am

Spousal abuse? How about murder?
Again, those are the values of people of your generation, whether they killed while in uniform or after they retired.

Bob G.
Thu, 12/30/2010 - 4:35pm

Jeesus H. Tap-Dancing Keehrist...I guess we DO have to "splain " everything to some people.
(now I know how YOU feel, Tim...LOL)

OJ BEGAN his rise to MURDERER as an ABUSER of WOMEN.
(got it?)

And MY generation's values are FAR better than ANY subsequent generation...period.

Our only fault is not following the lead of the previous generation...but at least we're working on that.
Put that in your K2 pipe and smoke it.

And have a happy and EDUCATIONAL New Year.