Friday, August 24, 2007

Vick in hell

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The NFL has suspended Michael Vick indefinitely following "his plea agreement in federal court admitting to conspiracy in a dogfighting ring and agreeing that the enterprise included killing pit bulls and gambling" -- he denied that he gambled on the fights, but he "agreed to plead guilty to the first count of the original two-count indictment against him -- that he was part of a conspiracy to operate a dogfighting ring across state lines".

Federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 12 to 18 months, but, no matter the sentence -- and "U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson is not bound by any recommendation or by the sentencing guidelines -- Vick will be getting off easy.

Good for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for going with an indefinite suspension, good for federal prosecutors for pursuing this case. Let's hope the Atlanta Falcons cut all ties with Vick, just as many of his sponsors have. And let's hope Virginia state prosecutors bring a case against him, too. And let's hope something good comes of this, namely, awareness of the existence of dogfighting and efforts to stop it, everywhere.

Should Vick play again in the NFL? I am tempted to say no, but it would be a pleasure to have him booed everywhere he went. And it would be a similar pleasure for him to drop back to pass and be crushed by a linebacker or safety on a mission. Crushed, driven into the ground, left to writhe in agony, justice done.

Otherwise, he can rot in hell.

**********

For more on the Vick saga, see the excellent coverage at ProFootballTalk.com -- here (pre-indictment) and here (post-indictment).

Here's their response to today's plea agreement: "Case closed. He admits to gambling, and he admits to killing dogs."

ESPN had been reporting that Vick wasn't going to admit either to gambling or to killing dogs, but, as it turned out, he admitted to everything.

The punishment won't fit the crime(s), but hopefully it will be severe.

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