Michael Vick, the embattled former Atlanta Falcons quarterback currently jailed in Leavenworth has been the topic of several stories recently. He’s been gone a while but definitely not forgotten. A McDonald’s restaurant in LA missed him so much that they used old Happy Meal boxes that carried Vick’s name and image. Well, pretty soon Vick may be chillaxin at the local Mickie Dees cause he could be a free man as soon as July 20, 2009. That’s right folks! Mark your calenders, circle your datebooks and update your Blackberry calendars cause once Vick is out the fun part will officially begin (plus he may need a ride from prison).
The big question though is WWCRGD? ~ (What Will Commissioner Roger Goodell Do?) Goodell has been known to forgive quite a few players for legal indiscretions. Most getting by with a mere suspension from the league…
Roughly six weeks after Vick plead guilty to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge, a Cincinnati defensive back was riding in a car stopped by police and admitted having marijuana in his Super Bowl backpack. Putting aside the question of how anybody on the Bengals would even know what a Super Bowl backpack looks like, Goodell suspended the player for the 2007 opener.
The month after that, a Minnesota defensive tackle arrested twice over the summer — for marijuana possession in Texas and fighting with police in Florida — got a two-game suspension. Two chronic offenders of the league’s substance-abuse policy were given season-long suspensions. Bengals receiver Chris Henry was suspended indefinitely in June — after his fifth arrest in the last three years — only to have the suspension cut to four games in July. A Broncos receiver similarly had his three-game suspension — following three arrests over the summer — trimmed to the 2008 opener.
Just last week, Adam “Pacman” Jones went back on indefinite suspension only six weeks after he was pardoned on a previous 17-month suspension. Goodell reserved a final decision on the length of the suspension until after the Cowboys’ game in Washington on Nov. 16, by which time an evaluation will be on his desk describing Pacman’s compliance with rules and treatment plans set out by the NFL and the team.
Will Vick receive the same treatment after completing his sentence or is he doomed to forever be locked out of the league? Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said that he wants to see Vick back in the NFL someday — just not in Atlanta.
Blanks has been in touch with Vick via mail and said Vick told him he’s washing pots and pans for 12 cents an hour and staying in shape by playing quarterback for both sides in prison yard football games. The owner also said he would be willing to plead Vick’s case to Goodell if asked to do so.
“If I thought that Michael had redeemed himself and if Roger asked me what I felt, based on my knowledge and my own sensitivity about Michael, I certainly would be supportive of him, because I think he would have paid his debt to society,” Blank said.
I, personally think that Vick deserves a second chance. As does any other member of our society. It will be quite interesting to see how this all plays out. July 20, 2009 is right around the corner!