13 August, 2009

Help Me Understand...

Unless you have been living under a rock, or in a cave over the last 6 months or so, you are no doubt aware of the story of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his legal problems.

Well, he was in the news again today after he signed a 2 year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.  A contract worth a reported $6.6m.

Now he won't be able to play right away, he will miss the first 2 pre-season games, and as many as 6 regular season games (the final determination to be made by the Commissioner by week 6).

What bothers me is why so many people had such an adverse reaction to him signing with anyone, let alone with their team. Sports talk shows were filled with callers saying he should never be allowed to play again.

Not to discount the depravity of running a dog fighting ring, but it was just that, a DOG fighting ring. No people were hurt. He served his time in Federal Prison and house arrest, and missed 2 years of his career at what has to be the near prime of his career. Why the venom?

Take on the other hand, Cleveland Browns receiver Dante Stallworth. He killed a person, and he got 30 days in jail (of which, he served 24 days). He will serve a full year suspension from the league.

Why is there little to no outrage that he never play again? Is it because he killed a person with his Bentley when he blew a .12? What if he had shot him? Would he draw more ire from the public?

Even Plaxico Burress is getting more of the pariah treatment than Stallworth, and he shot himself with a licensed hand gun. The only problem is it was licensed in Florida, not in NY, where it happened to be when it was discharged. You know, in Manhattan, where only 9 of the Bill of Rights actually applies to citizens (but that is a different topic for a different day).

This is the land of overreaction and forgiveness. At first, the public overreacts, then they forgive. It happened for Don Imus.

Next on the overreaction chopping block is Louisville Basketball coach Rick Pitino...