Saturday, August 18, 2007

Michael Vick is Finished

As the gruesome, barbaric tale of Michael Vick’s involvement in dog fighting unfolds, I have already read of expectations that he will plea bargain, pay a price, and return in a year or two to quarterback the Atlanta Falcons.

Who would cheer for such a monster if he returned to the NFL? What sort of heartless beasts of fans support professional football players, no matter what atrocities they commit?

As I read of the horrors dog fighting enthusiasts inflict on dogs, I look at Buddy and give him a tummy rub. Buddy is so gentle, so trusting, that the idea of someone using Buddy for their own monstrous entertainment makes my heart ache.

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Since Michael Vick’s crimes became public, I’ve read reports of dog fighting trainers who get stolen pets and use them to train their dogs to fight and kill. I look at Buddy and imagine a nightmare, that his jaws are taped and he’s thrown into a pit with a fierce fighting dog. Buddy would wag his tail, the same as when he meets other dogs, because he dearly loves to play with them. Buddy would be totally defenseless as the other dog ignored his trusting friendliness with a vicious charge and savage bites.

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Alice and I, Buddy showing where the infected thorn was removed, and Buddy's little sister Duchess.

Maybe it’s not Buddy being sacrificed to train vicious killers. It could be a child’s beloved pet, his dear friend and companion, being torn apart pitilessly under the approving eyes of Michael Vick and his dog fighting and gambling friends.

Michael Vick will go to prison, then he will come out, and his fans will say he paid his debt to society and that now it’s time to let him play football and to earn his millions again.

Perhaps they’re right that by serving time in prison Michael Vick will have paid his debt to society for the crimes he committed.

Maybe the NFL commissioner will overlook that Michael Vick gambled, associated with criminals and gamblers, lied to the commissioner about his gambling and criminally cruel acts, and declare him rehabilitated.

But they’re wrong that he will ever again be quarterbacking an NFL team.

What he did is more than a violation of a law.

He violated standards of decency such that he can never pay a high enough price to wash the stains of his cruelty and sadism from our hearts and minds.

Hearts and minds.

The highest courts of all.

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