Vick Behind Bars: By Dave Zirin

* should be online Wednesday. We’ll keep you posted.


TSF buddy Dave Zirin hits us off with another piece that’s Louder Than a Bomb.

Chilling. That’s the only way to describe Michael Vick’s 23 month sentence for admitting he bankrolled the “Bad Newz Kennels”dogfighting operation and helped kill the dogs that couldn’t perform. Prosecutors had recommended a 12-18 month sentence, but Federal Judge Henry E. Hudson, a dog lover with framed pictures of his pooch in his office, jacked the sentence up to 23 months, feeling – according to a statement – that Vick was not truly contrite. Maybe it was Vick’s fame, maybe it was because Vick wasn’t the “first to flip” on his co-defendants, maybe Judge Hudson really loves dogs: but either way the sentence was without any gesture of pity or reconciliation: only contempt for Vick’s stated desire to right his wrongs and achieve a measure of “redemption.”

Vick’s career has become one of the great implosions in the history of athletics. One would have to travel back to Shoeless Joe Jackson’s lifetime ban from baseball after the 1919 World Series to see such a brilliant sports career self destruct in such spectacular fashion.

Vick was the first NFL quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, the first to beat Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers on the road in the playoffs at historic Lambeau field, the first “running” quarterback to be picked number 1 in the NFL draft.

I remember seeing him smile with pride when he and Donovan McNabb became the first African American quarterbacks to start against each other in a conference championship game. He spoke glowingly about “How far we have come.” How far indeed.

Now that Michael Vick stands convicted, ready to spend two years of his life in a federal prison, you will forgive me if I don’t order the “piss on Vick” or “neuter Vick” t-shirts, google keeps telling me to buy, every time I send an email with the world “Vick” in the subject line.

You’ll forgive me if I don’t echo the words of ESPN’s the Sports Gal who wrote, “So let’s make an example out of our dog-hating friend Mr. Vick. Let’s put him in televised cage fights with other dog fighters. Leading up to each fight, we’ll starve Michael the same way he starved his dogs. Each fight will keep going until Michael or his opponent gives up or dies. The loser will be executed by electrocution, gunfire or hanging…If cage fighting is too harsh, then Vick should eat dog food and drink out of the toilet for the entire time he’s in jail.”

The truth is neither so simple nor snide, and pandering to the worst instincts of vengeance – even under cover of irony – don’t make it so.

The truth is that Michael Vick did something indefensible. He broke the law and is going to prison.

The truth is also that dog fighting takes place all over the country. I spoke to a group of young people in Oakland – all ethnic backgrounds but united in poverty – who were just shocked someone would go to jail for this. As they told me everyone they know “fights pits,” and no one gives it a second thought. To them, Vick is a target, a scapegoat and that’s where the story ends. A “teachable moment” may have been lost in the rush to punish: an opening to actually alter how young people view this most brutal of so-called sports.

The truth is that there is something perverse about animal rights fanatics baying for jail time outside the courthouse when there is so much good old fashioned human suffering that needs attention. I was in New Orleans shortly after Vick’s plea, and a young woman asked me, “Do you think if people knew how many pets died in Katrina, more people would care what we are going through?”

The truth is often athletes stay attached to people from their youth that don’t hold their best interests, because all the new people they meet in the Sports World – a rogues gallery of lawyers, agents, and assorted parasites – don’t seem to hold their best interests either.

The truth is also that Michael Vick is not evil incarnate. He doesn’t live for genocide. I spoke to his former poetry professor from Virginia Tech, devastated that he could meet such a fate, trying to square the facts admitted in court with the young man donating money to families who lost loved ones in the campus massacre last spring. “None of these people know Michael,” she kept saying.

I have no idea whether there is a future for Michael Vick in the NFL, and today I really don’t care. But I do know that Michael Vick will be in prison with no small help from a hysterical media, grandstanding politicians, and headline chasing prosecutors. Perhaps Michael Vick believes he needs to seek redemption, but there are others who could
stand to join him.

Dave Zirin is the author of the new book “Welcome to the Terrordome:” with an intro by Chuck D (Haymarket). Click here to receive his column Edge Of Sports.


88 Responses to “Vick Behind Bars: By Dave Zirin”

  1. Really what is the point of this article. I thought you would really go after the animal rights idiots like you go after conservatives but you fell back from that position.

    Get a backbone and go after the pathetic animal organizations and the actual laws that put animal life above humans. Write a column about how rape and molestation will get you less time than dog fighting, but keep the crap like this article to yourself.

  2. Wow,

    Dave Zirin does it again. Excellent. That’s how I would say it if I could actually write.

  3. DaveMac,

    You some how missed the point. He touched on the media, Peta prosecutors and judge.

  4. Virtual standing ovation for Dave Zirin….well said.

  5. The judge was not at fault, the judges reasoning was explained perfectly. Vick didn’t take responsibility for killing the dog until he failed a lie detector test, he was let out earlier on condition that he wouldn’t use illegal drugs, he tested positive for marijuana, he said he would help the feds in their case and they said he was being resistant. This caused his fed rate to move from 13, which is 12 -18 months up two points to 15, which had a higher punishment metric. So there you go. The judge isn’t at fault, the politicians and the PETA people are. He didn’t attack them with as much enthusiasm as he goes after conservatives, christians, or white people in general.

  6. David Mac is funny. But not in the ha ha way. However, he does create arguments.

  7. DaveMac,

    Judges typically render the sentence offered by the prosecutor. This judge did not. If this were a human murder trial I would agree with you but it wasn’t.

  8. Zirin put the blame on everyone. Mike for his part and the hypocrites for theirs.

  9. Doesn’t an argument involve an exchange of ideas?

  10. Never mind DavidMac.

    Dave Zirin another great article.

  11. Exactly Michelle.

  12. Why thank you Origin!

  13. Question. If the judge is such a dog lover, isn’t that a conflict of interest?

  14. You are incorrect, these judge had federal sentencing guidelines based on the level of the convicted. Vick made mistakes after the fact that bumped Vick up to a higher federal level which had a higher sentencing guidelines. Taking him out of the 12-18 month range to the 18-24 month range, and the judge gave him the max of that range.

  15. DaveMac,

    How am I incorrect? Why was he given the max? I’d like to know this judges record.That would tell us more.

  16. This judge was just as fair as Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Tom P. Brady was in 1954…why all judges are fair! How dare anybody question this one……sacrcasm/off.

  17. mullah cimoc Says:

    mullah cimoc say ameriki society so sick now. man get more time in prison for torture chicken than torture him muslim.

    this the corrupt. ameriki man him so suffer. now in usa him daughter to take the LBT (low back tattoo) and be slut have the sex with every man even him gang member. him son the gay homosexual — also him wife now go lesbian, hate the cook and hate the man.

    benjamin frankling so ashame if see aemriki people now, just too fat, take sex pill and loving the torture (but only if torture the people, if torture the chicken him ameriki make the fake crying crocodile tear). also love 7-11 cheese nacho.

  18. The judge is known for giving people the max sentencing or beyond. Vick got no preferential treatment from him, apparently he screws everyone over.

  19. DaveMac,

    Thanks, for that info.

  20. It is as it is. DZ good insight. Davidmac take an exlax.

  21. It’s sad but more and more the public opinion of an individual is playing a part in court procedures. Vick faced up to 20 years in jail…20 YEARS!!!!! That’s absolutley ridiculous. Child rapists don’t get 20 years, but you mean to tell me this man can get that long for killing dogs…..

    That quote from the Katrina victim asking about the pets is one of the most powerful things I’ve read in a long time. It’s so simple of a question, but an answer that SO many people would not want to have to stand up and give.

    The sports world today is in a complex position…at least I think it is. This is the one place where race shouldn’t be such a strong factor, but as this year goes by, the opposite has shown true. I pray that some of our athlethes take a stand against some things that are going on and make a more powerful prescense (sp?) off the field. Guys like LeBron, DWade and LT could have such an impact. Sadly it would cost them $$$ though. No one likes a controversial individual, let alone a controversial black man.

    Even though I feel bad saying this, I want to see one prominent white athlete get in trouble soon. Not a Scott Olsen or minor person, but a name like a Nash, Favre, Jeter (YEAH I SAID IT!!), or Clemmons. I want to see the reaction the world/media has. I just have to see it….

  22. Thanks Cevidence. I want to take on your point about white athletes and scandal. In many ways though, we have seen white athletes hit scandal and we’ve seen the results. There was Brett Favre’s addiction to painkillers. There is Tom Brady and Matt Leinart’s single fathering babies (not to mention in his day, Larry Bird.) There are the steroid allegations that swirl around Clemens. There was the tragic death of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock with drugs and weed in the car. In each case, the silence was deafening. It’s not there wasn’t media coverage on these matters. It’s that it’s never viewed through a racial lens, as if it’s a “crisis of the white athlete.” They are dealt with as individuals. African American athletes are dealt with collectively – which is a kind way to say racist.

  23. DaveZirin,

    Excellent points and your article on Mike Vick was right on.
    Thanks for stopping by TSF!

  24. So true DaveZirin so true.

    Through the medias eye Vick or any other black athlete represents 36 million folks.

    Yet through that same media eye White athletes just represent 1 person…………Themselves.

  25. “but Federal Judge Henry E. Hudson, a dog lover with framed pictures of his pooch in his office, jacked the sentence up to 23 months, feeling – according to a statement – that Vick was not truly contrite”

    Hmmm…..well….a dark skinned black man with a goatee who was a NFL Quarterback and never humble about his skills………. just doesn’t give off that “contrite” feeling. Somebody tell T.O., Chad, and the like that they need to stop knowing they’re good and start acting like “I’m just glad to be here!” There’s something about a brotha with confidence that rubs too many the wrong way.

  26. I would not have apologized to the American media or sports public, isn’t me giving up 120 million and the prime of my NFL career enough for these people? I would have told the public FUCKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUU !!!!!!! the media and the racist horse you people rode in on.

    Amerikkkans wouldn’t know the concept of contriction if it bit them in the ass. This was truly a “HIGH TECH LYNCHING” by the white male sporting public, it’s media enablers , PETA and ESPN who occupies a special place in hell for their racially slanted coverage and the Humane Society who blamed Hip- Hop for dogfighting when anybody with common sense could have seen this was a bold- face lie. I love dogs very much, but this is overkill and why didn’t they punish the rest of those involved in dogfighting.

  27. Vick got off easy, stop ignoring the fact that the man operated an interstate gambling operation.

  28. DZ your words definitely resonate with TSF. We’ve been SCREAMING something similar our entire existence. When is this going to change and why the hell is it the case?

    Thanks for coming through.

  29. Eric,

    I hear you. When is enough, enough?

  30. Excellent point Eric. What the hell is enough for these people?

  31. Miranda,

    Your down in Atlanta. Let us know when Outkast puts out that single.

  32. Davidmac, please just stop…Michael Vick was not the Don of some “Cosa Nostra” operation. With no prior criminal record, its insane that he is in prison at all over this. A fine and probation is more than enough.

  33. Oh its coming, believe that. Oh and that picture at the top of this page? Yeah…you won’t be seeing those people up in the stands anymore…’ll see teal seats……about 30,000 season tickets for the Falcons just became available for 2008……y’all better beat the rush!

  34. Guys Mike will be ok. He will be a better man when he gets out. He will be in great shape and yes he will play again.

  35. Couldn’t agree more Eric. This was straight garbage. Now you got good ole boys talking about I hope he learns his lesson.

    Maybe he can clean up his image. What ever GOB. The dude ain’t never going to play in the NFL again. What the he11 do you care. And what image does he have if he is blackballed and will never be seen again.
    How can he make a living on repairing an image if making if playing football was your profession. But you are now blackballed. Not like he can become some business man.

    What like peta is gonna pay him 3 mill to be in commercials.

    They are about to wipe out his funds. Terminate his career and his funds.

    The dude career is over. Over some dogs. Then you know when he is released he will be followed and harrassed. Heck even child molesters are able to live their life in peace after doing their time.

  36. @miranda

    You can’t run away from the truth. He took the lesser charge and should be grateful they took the real charge off the books.

  37. “Oh its coming, believe that. Oh and that picture at the top of this page? Yeah…you won’t be seeing those people up in the stands anymore…’ll see teal seats……about 30,000 season tickets for the Falcons just became available for 2008……y’all better beat the rush!”

    Oh sista Miranda I am glad. Let them Good ole boys have to watch the falcons if they want to see a winner.

    The question is what happens if the falcons have a top 1st round draft pick and the only 1st round QB available is Andre Woodson?????

  38. DaveMac,

    You can’t believe half the things you say.

  39. @origin

    What do you think is gonig to happen, they will get Andre Woodson. You all are trying to make it a race issue when it is a criminal issue.

  40. Yeah its a race issue the way many folks in ATL and all over were happy he was gone. And it wasn’t because of the dogs either.

    Anytime many folks on the Falcons website openly stated they didn’t like him because of his dark skin and braided hair. Often criticizing how he spoke.

    It was a race thing. So I guess you don’t think some of the stuff in philly with Mcnabb is a race thing.

    Last one do you know that many of the vikings fans openly stated that they didn’t want the vikings to draft the Jackson (the QB) because they had already had a black QB and they didn’t want another that only wanted to run and not pass.

  41. Origin,

    The hate is insane.

  42. The Falcons have had consecutive sold out seasons since 2002….the season that Mike became the starter. The majority of the season ticket holders are African-american. Since 2002, a lot of things changed around the Dome on Sundays. We tailgate…and we tailgate hard….and ever since then, there has been a quietly buidling backlash…….all of a sudden, on the Falcons message board and on the blogs in the AJC….those “Vick fans” became a problem. Those “Vick fans” where runing the gameday experience…..and how dare the Falcons play Luda and JD for the team’s introduction?? It was then that The 2 Live Stews became prominent in the city….the only brothers with a syndicated sports talk show….and the backlash just grew and grew and grew.

    The last two years especially…its been clear how much racism was being leveled at Mike Vick..its been an almost surreal experience. He has been called a thug since 2003, just because he decided he wouldn’t cut his hair until the Falcons went to the Super Bowl. Hell…..all of us ATLiens have been called thugs and monkeys and apes and everything else on sports radio, on the blogs, on the Falcons official message board. 680 the Fan…or more appropriately, 680 the KLAN here has a host that has come dangerously close to saying n*gger on the air in reference to MV…and I’m not talking about recently…this was last year. The AJC has promoted this atmosphere because it sells papers, gets them more hits on their website.
    So the reaction of these folks here, its completely expected.

  43. Thanks you so much sists Miranda. That is fing ridiculous. I new about some of the stuff but this is beyond words. Also I remember how the good ole boys were upset because the team played boncrusher during one game and some in the crowd sang the uncensored version. You had folks who were saying that the were gonna boycott the game because of these so called people.

    Please I have been to se the chicago cubs and bears. As well as go to games here in Dallas to see the cowboys. And I see folks in the stands cursing and even getting into fights.

    oh but I forgot they weren’t black folks so no harm no foul.

  44. Eric Daniels –

    I am with you. If the difference between telling the world to kiss my black ass and apologizing was 1 month or 1 year in the can – I’d have told them – in the most vile terms I could conjur. The whole process was patently absurd – especially when you still have folks running canned hunts and all manner of animal exploitation…

    I just wish my people would learn the rules.

    1) There are no rules – only tactics and propaganda.
    2) The law is for those subject to the law and not for those above the law.
    3) You have no friends – but the game can only be played by teams.
    4) Individuals ALWAYS lose the game.
    5) Play to win.
    6) The game is played to the death – and your children will be playing, whether you like it or not.

    This shit is NOT rocket science. Dog fighting is verboten because it does not accrue a maximum benefit to its practitioners and it makes you subject to the law. Simple.

  45. Origin,
    There is really no way unless you live here and have followed the Falcons, that you know the depths to which Mike Vick was/is hated. On the Falcons message board, his mother has been called names, his kids have been referred to as vermin…..I lie to you not…just last week I saw a comment that its better to have a half empty Dome with “true Falcons fans” than to have it full with “those people. Mike Vick has a strong fanbase in Atlanta, but he also has a strong base of people that simply hate him because he looked like College Park and East Point and was the face of the Falcons….and that hate started when he got drafted.

  46. Miranda,

    That’s terrible. You know yall trouble making negros need to stay in your place. This land wasn’t made for you and me!

  47. Even if some people hated Vick, that doesn’t change the fact that he broke the law and is simply being punished for it.

  48. Miranda:

    It seems to me that it’s arguable that all those haters on MV7 had absolutely NO POWER over his life until he opened the door based on two decisions: 1) to subject himself to the imposition of law (note I didn’t say breaking the law – because merely breaking the law does not make everyone subject to the rule of law); and 2) failing to impose the fear of god on everyone inside his circle.

    I have never maintained that MV7 could have reasonably anticipated this outcome. No human being in recorded history has ever lost $20 million and served a jail sentence for killing dogs. It’s never happened before and will never happen again – unless some Black US-born athlete/entertainer decides to run a dog ring. Given that it was impossible to anticipate the extent to which this drama would unfold, he has to learn something from this.

    At the age of 29 upon his release, I still don’t believe he should turn his back on some of his people in VA in favor of those in ATL or elsewhere – but he needs to raise the ante for disloyalty to the extreme: just short of placing himself subject to the law.

    In the second instance, he needs to avoid all activities that do not accrue significant benefits for himself and his inner circle. He has his entire life ahead of him, but if the most painful lessons of this affair are not learned, it will be revisited upon again. Betrayal and scapegoating are difficult hurdles to overcome, but it’s been done before – and when it has not been overcome, the results have been tragic.

    I wish him well, but I also wish him sight. He is still a powerful person…he is still a powerful person…repeat and fade to black.

  49. T3…you know you said a mouthful with that 1) decision in that first paragraph…..

  50. Criminals go to jail for murder, embezzlement, robbery, grand larceny, intent to distribute

    Young black men with money go to jail for:

    Barry Bonds: perjury and obstruction of justice charges

    Pacman Jones: a felony charge of coercion and misdemeanor threat and battery charges

    Michael Vick: conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal-fighting venture (that’s a made up crime if I’ve ever seen one, I thought my man was guilty of dogfighting)!

    O.J. Simpson: faces 11 felony charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, conspiracy and coercion. Each also faces one gross misdemeanor, conspiracy to commit a crime.

    Only 11 for OJ why stop there, surely he was jaywalking? No? This is the dept of injustice, this is a joke of a legal system.

  51. Are you seriously training to defend all those people? Pacman’s actions led to someone being crippled, Vick got the lesser of the charges he could have got, then screwed up after the fact and got a couple of months tacked on it, OJ did every single one of those charges.

    Stop defending people who are obviously guilty.

    The only one I will say you are right about is Barry Bonds.

  52. I’m no Vick fan, and I do like pets. I don’t know how people can do stuff like dog fighting, I just can’t be that cold.

    But I also can’t be that cold to a person. Vick was punished, the point was made. He lost millions, for a while you saw a new entity piling on to take money from him. Signing bonuses, endorsements, all of it. Government made their point, and I’ll stick with the point being ‘we’ll take down a big name, none of you are safe’, while I know that the majority of you feel it is racially motivated. I won’t say it isn’t.

    Point was made, at some point in time the piling on becomes too much. I was all for his punishment in the beginning, but I think him losing all that money, being dragged through the mud, and going to jail was enough. No need to pile on more time to his sentence.

  53. @gmp

    I agree with your main point, its the pilling on that causes the knee jerk reaction.

  54. Nicole 10/20 Says:


    There has got to be a silver lining. I just saw a biography of Bob Marley and it somehow calmed me down for awhile. I don’t understand the southern culture I have visited many times, but I have never lived down south. Thanks for your post about the tail-gaiting. It sounds like it was a lot of fun. There was something about Mike Vick that I always liked. I wasn’t even into football that much when he came into the league, but I knew who he was. I miss watching him play. There was something about him that I liked.

  55. good post by Dave Zirin, but I would argue that the media and whites in general have pity for white athletes that cross into the wrong side of the law. I would argue that professional sports and the success of those in the “our” race don’t have as significant an impact on “us” as writers here would like to think.

    I’ve seen comments regarding Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, perhaps even a Kiefer Sutherland, and I see the venom spewed at the white race on the whole because somehow these celebrities don’t get the media attention that a Michael Vick case does, or a PacMan Jones case does… I see the venom, I’ve heard the venom, and if you ask most whites, entertainment and sports and the bad apples in the bunch do not do anything to kill “our” character or soil our name.

    Sure, racism still exists, we get it… I get it. Racism exists in the workplace, and while whites often see the success come rather easily, some blacks or other minorities feel like they’ve got to work twice as hard and preen twice as much just to get a scrap of a leftover.

    I don’t fully agree with your comments regarding the media’s portrayal of the white athletes who’ve been in trouble Dave Zirin. I agree that while it’s tragic that these activities happen, I will argue that until Josh Hancock’s father suffered a severe case of foot in mouth while ESPN was covering the “tragedy”. There wasn’t much to cover after Hancock’s father blamed the driver of the broken down vehicle, Hancock was dead and the funeral is over. He got his requisite 4 days of coverage by ESPN and then the subsequent Wednesday night baseball game where we saw #32 patches on his teammates sleeves. Teammates, he let down with his actions. It’s not a white athlete tragedy, it’s a stupid death. Darryl Kile was a tragedy, Joe Kennedy is a tragedy, Sean Taylor is a tragedy… you see where I’m going with this? Brett Favre wasn’t arrested for taking painkillers, it’s an addiction he admitted to.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, why continue to celebrate these guys as if they’re some sort of gods just because they strap on a football helmet and clock a fat check? If a non-PacMan Jones entourage crippled a guy in a Vegas strip club, NOONE outside of his family, coworkers, or local residents would’ve known about it. Absolutely NOONE. You know better than I do Dave Zirin that these facts are being reported for the sole purpose of filling a 60 minute entertainment show, on an entertainment station. Your Michael Vick story wouldn’t have made first clip on a CNN or a local television news because there are bigger and better tragedies in this world than a guy that didn’t know when to back away from potential wrong doing. He knew what he was doing, and if it’s true that he wasn’t upfront with the prosecutors and/or judge, he got off light.

    99% of the “reporters” or “media” that everyone is mad at are hired to give their opinions, just like you give yours. I think it’s a great country we live in that people are paid to give opinions on other people’s opinions don’t you? This country is full of people that like to start an argument with “But what about…” and then throw in a name like Tom Brady, or Matt Leinart or Larry Bird… or claim how ESPN is racist for devoting an entire week to “Jimmy V” even though money is being raised for cancer research. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps those same white athletes and their white fans don’t really care about how the guys handle their biz off the field? I’d throw a c note that a majority of whites would respond “no” if asked if it mattered to them how many kids Tom Brady has out of wedlock. book it…

  56. Interesting post Boney.

    But, in your post, you proved exactly what many black people have said for year. White people view themselves and people who look like them as individuals. They then view black people as some sort of monolithic group. And they behave accordingly.

    That’s one of the biggest problems black poeple have. It’s why we get discriminated against, it’s why the police stop us, shit, it’s at the root of most of our problems in this country. We don’t get to just live as individuals, and that shit wears on you.

  57. Did anyone hear Jaws talking that you can’t win a super bowl with a qb like Vick trashn last night? How about he’s never had any weapons and still made it to the NFC title game. Jaws makes me sick!

    Except for Crumpler.

  58. You have to excuse Jaws……..he has recurring nightmares of Randall Cunningham. Those nightmares stopped for awhile and then when MV7 came along…they all came back. He really needs to work that ish out.

    Seriously, is it just me or was last night’s game almost some sort of twisted tribute to Mike Vick?? Between the Falcons players wearing Free Mike Vick T-shirts under their jerseys, painting MV7 on their face, getting beat down by the team’s biggest rival, the MNF crew talking non-stop about Vick’s presence and effect on the team, a half-empty Dome…make that 3/4’s empty by the 4th quarter, a bunch of people in their Vick jerseys….it was like some sort of bizarro world honor banquet. I’m sure all of those players face fines today.

  59. Allen, I understand what you’re saying personally, believe me, I “get it” and those quotes don’t mean disrespect.

    If you re-read through the column here, the crux of my entire venom was at a part where Zirin says he was in Oakland around people that are involved in pit fights and don’t give it a second thought. It doesn’t matter that “everyone does it”, what matters is that it’s illegal. It’s the old “the person who retaliates on a suckerpunch gets caught” deal… Just because they haven’t been caught doesn’t mean others haven’t been.. He’s also slamming the “Sports Gals” opinion on putting Vick in a cage with dog fighters and starving him like he starved dogs, and while I get it, noone here seems to think that all of this slamming back and forth and pushing our voices to be heard are doing basically the same thing that a Bill Simmons or a Colin Cowherd do…

    sure, a michelle will get on here and comment about how DavidMac and I or whoever are all ignorant and throw up some argument in capital letters back to us that we have to respond to but… doesn’t Colin Cowherd do the same thing? sure, an Allen will get on here and go back and forth with me even though we’re talking about the same thing, but isn’t that what Mike and Mike do? It’s all about platform…

    I don’t necessarily agree 100% with this “whites view whites as individuals, whites view blacks as a group” pushed back at me when my statement is questioned. I honestly believe that if you slammed up a poll that asked the following simple question: “Do you honestly care about what athletes do in their free time?” and don’t even put a color on it, majority would answer no. Why? Because it’s entertainment, Britney Spears, entertainment! Paris Hilton entertainment to some! Who gives a crap about what these people do except for those that put up an opinion to garner ratings? Honestly… who cares? Aside from the writers that have to deal with these guys occasionally, none of us will ever meet Michael Vick. I met him, he seemed like a cool kid (I met him in high school), but I’m not going to slam him because what he does and what I do are 2 different things! He did something illegal, and just like if I got caught doing something illegal, I’d expect you to throw a book at me. But then again, I’m white…

    I don’t know who posted this, but my apologies for hijacking it a bit…

    Your boy (and I don’t mean that in any way other than a friendly way) dwil posted a piece comparing sports entertainment to slavery either last night or today. While I think it’s well written, I think it’s totally off base, and not because it’s about blacks either. It’s about a choice that we/they make as human beings about what we/they want to do to support themselves for the rest of their lives. I chose to pursue a career in construction management rather than heal my shoulder and play DIII baseball and struggle to make it. I chose to finish college and get a degree like most of us probably have, rather than pursue a career in athletics. A greater percentage of these athletes have chosen to make this lifestyle their life! They choose to be in the public spotlight and just like in politics, you screw up, you get opinions thrown at you. They chose to be on that plantation, and they knew going into it how they were going to get paid because they should’ve seen how others have been treated.

    I agree with a lot of people here that piss and moan about how it seems a group of people are more worried about dogs than our soldiers in Iraq. It’s absolutely pathetic, to be brutally honest. But if those same groups were not allowed to be founded and/or made, then I hate to say it, but I feel that a lot of the same people that don’t like PETA would fight for a PETA if the government didn’t allow it because everyone here is all about equal, which is great. That’s what makes this country great… it’s a shame it takes a black professional athlete being yelled at by a bunch of white soccer moms outside of a courthouse to realize what makes this country great.

  60. Boney I read D’s piece and I’m in total agreement.

  61. Boney,

    For 1 day I want you to find a make up artist and become black in appearance. Watch how you are treated and how your life is different.

    Then we can talk. As long as you view life through you white eyes, you will never see or understand what we are talking about.

  62. @michelle
    Cut the crap, he hasn’t said he knows what it is like to be black, so stop trying to take it there.

    You need to get over that racism and open your eyes.

    Personally, I think Boney is spot on a great deal of the time.

  63. DaveMac,

    I didn’t say that. What are you reading? He needs to know what it’s like to be black then maybe he would understand where we are coming from. Be quiet! You need to get off of Fantasy Island. Those conservative politicians you support don’t give a damn about you!

  64. Boney, another interesting post.

    You and I always differ in that I don’t understand you consistent choice to protest the comments and rhetoric used here on this website, while simulataneously saying that you don’t bother to do the same at ESPN or whereever because it’s just opinions.

    See, I don’t get that. I don’t get how one set of opinions deserves your attention and comment and the other doesn’t. If it’s all just “opinions” why not just ignore all of it? Why do you feel the need to comment on the opinions expressed here, and consistently take the role of devil’s advocate, when you don’t feel that same compulsion on deadspin or ESPN.

    That’s what bothers me in my discussions with you. You seem to try to suppress certain discussions, while letting others run wild. I can’t understand your motives behind that.

    It’s clear that you are intelligent, that you have some understanding of the realities of the world. Yet you seem intent on telling black people to get over things, to not let things bother them, to view things objectively and avoid the racial charged rhetoric. I can’t understand why you do that on this predominantly black site, yet don’t do it on the white sites you visit?

  65. David Mac. I”m sure nobody hear is surprised that you and Boney agree most of the time.

    YOu both seem to be intent on minimalizing the racials aspect of any incident. Now, there are people here who always bring race to the forefront of every discussion, but far more people to honestly consider the situation and then discuss race if it is warranted.

    But hey, what do I know. It’s just my opinion.

  66. Boney seems to have the same train of thought as me, so maybe he does have a “black man” perspective. 🙂

    I think its unfair to play the your not black card on him to end a discussion instead of coming at him on the issue.

  67. This was in Don Bank’s column on the SI site.

    I’m not sure all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can ever put the pieces back together for Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. Some things just can’t be fixed, and the more I watch No. 5, the more I think the best thing that could happen to him is a fresh start in a different color jersey in 2008.

    • If you’re an Eagles fan, how are you feeling these days knowing that Jeff Garcia will be leading the Bucs into the playoffs next month, while McNabb and Philly sit out the postseason?

    That comment firmly places the blame for the Eagles poor performance on who? And I wonder, does that seem fair to anyone? And this is not an isolated opinion. Peter King said basically the same thing yesterday.

  68. Michelle wasn’t playing any card. I wouldn’t ahve made the argument she made, but she wasn’t playing any card.

    She simply said that it’s ridiculous for somebody to say they “get it” when they discuss discrimination against black people, and then turn around and seek to prove that discrimination really isn’t that much of a problem for athletes. Well, not that much of a problem for Vick, Tank, Chris Henry and Pacman because the broke the rules.

    See that ignores the fact that everybody who breaks the rules isn’t treated the same, which is at the heart of complaints of most people here. When you ignore that, it’s a problem.

  69. I’m wondering, if Brett Favre’s running back has a rushing average of 102 yards in his past seven games, and went for 156 Sunday, does that mean it’s time to retire the whole “Favre is doing it without a running game” argument?

  70. Allen,
    “Yet you seem intent on telling black people to get over things, to not let things bother them, to view things objectively and avoid the racial charged rhetoric. I can’t understand why you do that on this predominantly black site, yet don’t do it on the white sites you visit?”

    The funny thing is, that is the personification of the American attitude….in asking that question to Boney, you perfectly summed up the United States of America….”I know what’s best for you”.

  71. All the while turning a blind eye to their own indiscretions…

  72. Allen, Miranda and Mizzo,


  73. Mizzo,
    All the freaking while………..

  74. ‘I honestly believe that if you slammed up a poll that asked the following simple question: “Do you honestly care about what athletes do in their free time?” and don’t even put a color on it, majority would answer no. Why? Because it’s entertainment, Britney Spears, entertainment! Paris Hilton entertainment to some! Who gives a crap about what these people do except for those that put up an opinion to garner ratings? Honestly… who cares?’

    Some people care a lot, that’s the problem. If they didn’t care, there wouldn’t be so many damn tabloids. People are nosy and enjoy revelling in others suffering, how else do you explain rubberneckers on the freeway? ‘Ohhh… an accident, is some one dead… slow down and let me watch this person in abject misery… let’s drive slow and stare at them….’

    So, you may not care what an athlete does on their spare time, I don’t care what they do on their spare time, but somebody obviously does. And the more they suffer, apparently the happier it makes some people. And the gist of TSF (generally) is that more blacks make it for bad news than whites, even though there is plenty of examples people screwing up on both sides. So, if you’re black, you could come to the conclusion that there is a certain segment of the population that likes to paint blacks as a collective bad, and enjoys watching black athletes fall.

    I felt more like boney in the past, that blacks are just being too sensitive. But I talked to my boy, who is black and generally avoids these kind of discussions (I’ve been trying to bait him for years), and he echoed the sentiments held by many here. So I figured I’d reevaluate and try to view from his angle. He’s been like my big brother for years (old mf’er), and has never steered me wrong. We’ve had many discussions over the years and he’s never played any ‘race cards’, so he gets the benefit of the doubt from me.

  75. Greg aka Farrod Says:


    Do u live here in Atlanta? Black Conservative Shelley Wynter (1380) is on talking about Vick, how he and other black athletes are not targeted, that we as black folks, knowing the rules, shouldn’t break them, many people of all races are going to jail for dogfighting, etc, etc, etc.

  76. @Greg

    This wynter lady sounds like she is right. I would be more angry at the absurd animal laws than at the Vick getting jailed.

  77. Greg,
    I’m listened to Shelley before…between the Stews commercial breaks….and that he says this isn’t surprising. I expect him to miss the point, he usually does on most matters. No one that I’ve heard speak out in support of Mike or other black athletes has ever advocated the notion that its okay to break the law, so I’m not sure where he’s getting that from….and what reference does he cite to support his “many people of all races are going to jail for dogfighting”?

  78. When is enough enough for these people, I say FUCK most of WHITE AmERIKKKA and the horse he or she rode in on their false morality chaps me like extra dial roll- on in summertime. This is a high- tech lynching no different than lynchings of the past, it’s just with 24 hour media services and the net and Goodwin and PETA playing the race card topside up. To the whiteboys Boney and DavidMac, I am a memeber of PETA and they played the race card and interjected rap music and black males with dogfighting.

    Its take a lot of money to even fund a dogfighting operation in an urban area and to tie that with young black males as many people have asserted is BS in the highest form. And people like Whitlock, Drew Sharpe and white reporters who really don’t know what they are talking about and trying to lay Hip- Hop at fault for Vick dogfighting without taking down the whole operation in those states to me strikes as Goodwin and Newkirk’s attempt to get the feds involved before the local D.A. gave Vick a misdermeanor. I wouldn’t give White America and their black aplogists the satisfaction of an apology, Richard Ramriez got off lighter than what Vick is doing like losing 142 million, your career and reputation.


  79. DMac I love that you say you and boney have the same train of thought that’s exactly what I’ve been telling you the whole time. I would argue though that it’s not Boney thinking black, because boney don’t agree with me, kevdog, michelle, and all the other black folk on here, with the exception of YOU.

    God bless and good night, make sure that house is nice and clean!

  80. Just two questions about Vick…. does this mean there will definitely be a “Longest Yard II?” And will the cons now get a Patriot-like spread against the guards?

    I’ll take the cons (-21 1/2) for a dime……

  81. Will I wouldn’t make jokes about Vick if I was you. partly because that last one wasn’t funny.

  82. The cons get Mike Vick and Mauric Clarrett. Unstoppable.

  83. Interesting rumor going around on the net about a federal drug treatment program that reduces sentences by up to a year..the program is real…the rumor is that Mike Vick is applying for it. Very interesting…guess we shall see.

  84. Miranda,

    Mike will be back with the Falcons in no time.

  85. Im a little late to the game but great work as always DZ, Playboy you Keep holding your ground.

  86. Grandnubian,
    Is it any surprise that Whitlock would write that? At this point, we both know he’d bash his mama if he thought it would appease his “base.”

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