Monday, November 22, 2010

Mike Vick

There are those out there who have very short memories. The good times are great, the best ever, and the bad times will not come.  There are those of us who have been around long enough to see many things come full circle, and we are not surprised when the good times crash and burn before our eyes. We do not despair of the bad times anymore than we get giggly over the good times. The circus has come to town, true enough, but it has been here before, and all of those who spend their time and money on the bright lights and rigged games will wake up after the tents are folded and wondered where their time and money went.
A few years ago Mike Vick was the highest paid player in the NFL. He had a multi-milllion dollar signing bonus when he joined the Atlanta Falcons and he was red hot. Vick looked very good against teams that were not so hot, but as the seasons came and went, Vick cooled when he played tougher teams. His stats looked great some games but then they looked very poor in other games. Overall, it was beginning to look a lot like Vick was a one trick pony; he could run well, but as soon as that was stopped, Vick was less than impressive. He fumbled the ball a lot. He played poorly once his team fell behind. His work ethic was questioned and there was the persistent rumor that Vick smoked a lot of pot.
Then there came the allegation that he was involved in dog fighting. Vick’s lawyer stood in front of a crowd of reporters and declared that Vick was looking forward to proving his innocence, and Vick himself declared he had never set foot in the house in question. Lies upon lies upon lies and finally Vick was housed in a kennel of his own devices. Mike Vick went from being the toast of the town to just being toast.  The details of what he did to dogs made most of us sick. The idea that he might ever play again in the NFL seemed very remote, but as I have said, there are those with very short memories.
One thing I can tell you about someone like Mike Vick is he will always be who he is. When someone like that reaches the very depths of inhumanity and criminality and drug use, there isn’t any return to the land of the living. Mike Vick is not seeking redemption, no, the man is seeking validation. In winning football games he will become famous again. He will be loved again.  In his mind, all that he once was will be resurrected, with himself as a Christ like figure, going from the grave to heaven again. We, the mutt lovers, will be proved wrong. We, those of us who are still boycotting the NFL, are not important. We, who rescue dogs instead of killing them, are no longer heard.
But you see I have a very long memory. I have watched football longer than Mike Vick has been alive. I understand the game. Mike Vick is a problem for defenses to solve, and they will, as they have in the past. Someone very large, who is moving very fast, is going to collide with Mike Vick one day. There is going to be a very loud snap as a bone breaks, and Mike Vick is going to be history. I give him no more than this season, maybe one more, before someone in a uniform ends his reign of error. It may be on the field, but it may be off the field as well.
First and foremost, Mike Vick is a moron in the order of magnitude. He believes the sycophants who crowd around the rich and famous, and he believes that if you are rich enough or famous enough, you can do what you want. That’s true to a degree, but you also have to be invisible, and Vick is a very visible target, both on the field and off. He will let his renewed stardom go to his head, and he will do something incredible stupid. If this happens before or after he gains a permanent limp, I cannot say. One will very quickly follow the other, I suspect.

In less time that it takes for the NFL to change a season, Mike Vick will be forgotten. He will be part of the past. He will go the way of other fallen stars but in this case he will be behind bars. There will be some mention of him at some point in reference to someone who had it all and lost it twice, but that will be all that is ever said of Mike Vick, in the end.

I have a favor to ask of you, you dog people, you advocates, you rescuers, you most excellent people out there, who if I may, would call you my pack, my family, my kindred spirits, those of us whose houses will always smell a wee bit doggy, whose purchase of tennis balls have nothing to do with a game played with a racket, and whose family wears real fur, all the time. It is going to happen, and it may be gruesome. Please, I beg of you, do not cheer. If Vick goes down in a game, do not reach down to his level and applaud. Remember to keep your humanity. Do not surrender it to him, even to spite him. Do not become what you hate, in rejoicing to watch someone in pain.  Do not find joy in the ruin of a man’s body for his soul was lost long ago. Do not be grateful when they carry him away in chains for once he led others away in chains. Do not offer thanks for his suffering even though he has caused much suffering.

Our task is longer than a season, more important than one man, and it is we who have long memories. Let those memories be of wagging tails, of doggy smiles, and of saved lives. Do not waste your time on those who hate, for it must be we who are those who love.

Take Care,
Mike Firesmith