When I came home from a hard day's work on Thursday, I turned on the boobtube only to find out that the Bengals made an offer to Mike Vick. I nearly passed out as I thought, based on Mike Browns statement a month or so ago, that the Bengals held no interest in signing Vick. With FoxSports reporting that the Bengals made an offer to Vick, it shows what kind of team Mike Brown truly wants. Plus it calls into question anything he says concerning his desire to change the character perception of the team. He flat out lied to us, the team's fans, the people that pay his salary by support the team he owns. Can we actually believe anything that is said when it comes to Brown wanting to build a team without the stigmatism of not only being perennial loser, but having good people not committing crimes? I for one think that his perchance for kindness and sympathy has now gone beyond the level that is acceptable.
I am a firm believer in second chances. When I was writing for Bengalzone, I wrote an article supporting those Bengals who fell into trouble when the rest of the crowd wanted them thrown off the team. But there is a limit, and with Vick, what he did crossed the line of allowing for a second chance. Jackie McMullen put it correctly on Around the Horn. She stated that it "takes a certain person to hold a dog underwater. It takes a certain person to hold two electrodes from a battery to a dog". Mick Vick is that certain person; cold, callus and uncaring to the life of innocent animals. Is someone who showed no feelings towards those dogs you want playing for the Bengals? No. Heck, I don't think he should even be playing in the NFL.
Vick was initially suspended for life when he was convicted of felony dog fighting charges, but the suspension was conditionally lifted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after his release, allowing for a team to sign him. That suspension should have not been rescinded until after this season, at the least. But because of his name, and I believe his star power, Roger Goodell succumbed to that allowing Vick to re-enter the league. And this is after Vick blatantly lied to him about his involvement in the crimes. Vick even lied to Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons about these crimes. And then he lied to the judge who asked him about marijuana usage between his conviction and sentencing. When an individual consistently lies to protect his own self-interests, it shows a certain level of ignorance when accepting responsibility for their actions. So how can Rodger Goodell, who is supposed to have the league's best interest in mind, allow a federally convicted felon who lied to him and others about those crimes, back into the league?
Mike Vick claims that what he did was a "mistake". No, what he did was premeditated. A mistake is something that is a onetime incident. The crimes that Vick committed were not a mistake, but something that he planned and repeated consistently. He was involved in every aspect of the dog fighting ring from provided the funding, the place where the fights were held, some of the dogs and then took part in the killing of dogs that did not perform. This was all premeditated and should not be rewarded with entry into the elite league of the NFL and a multi-million dollar contract associated with it.
I don't like the fact that Mike Brown lied to us about the team's lack of interest in signing Mike Vick. Instead of making a definitive "no interest", a more neutral approach might have been that best tactic. I believe his thinking he can rehabilitate those with questionable character may have played a role in his reversal; but I think he should have stood by his statement and not make an offer due to the potential negative attention from doing so. The fact that the connection is there shows just how much Mike Brown truly cares about the perception of his team and the fans that support it. If Brown wants to change the perception of the team as a bunch of gangsters and thugs, the consideration of signing someone of questionable character, especially one who has been convicted of federal crimes and served prison time, should not enter into the equation.
I realize this subject has been kicked around for the past few days and there are those who are tired of hearing about. The thought that I may be beating a dead horse has entered into my mind on a number of occasions while writing this. But my feelings concerning this subject can no longer be held back and must be voiced. I held a lot of respect for Mike Vick and thought he was someone that should looked up to. But after being found guilty of dog fighting and the actions associated with this horrible crime, the level of respect for him that I carried no longer exists and I do not wish Vick success (nor harm, as some may think I am suggesting) in his pursuit of another NFL career that he does not deserve.