The downward spiral of Michael Vick: A Bearkat’s perspective

Breaking news: Michael Vick has accepted a plea bargain, meaning he will plead guilty to federal dog fighting charges in hopes of getting a reduced prison sentence. He may have just admitted his guilt, but he has been guilty for some time in the court of public opinion.

In case you aren’t familiar with Vick’s court case or just don’t care, allow me to drop some knowledge on you. On July 17, 2007, the federal grand jury indicted Vick and three other men on charges of dog- fighting for activity that took place over a span of six years. The indictment itself was a whopping 18 pages long and included Vick’s name 48 times. Federal authorities had previously raided Vick’s estate in Surry County, Virginia. They discovered that Vick and his accomplices, Tony Taylor, Quanis Phillips, and Purnell Peace, were running a dog-fighting venture called Bad Newz Kennels on the property. Federal authorities seized 66 dogs, 55 of which were pit bulls, and found evidence of a dog-fighting ring. Some of the dogs showed signs of being injured and malnourished. Evidence of dog carcasses were also found. Of the most gruesome allegations that Vick and his cohorts were accused of, was that they executed dogs that were losing by methods such as electrocution, slamming them against the ground, drowning, and hanging them.

Vick’s fate may have been sealed as all three of his co-defendants took plea deals, one of whom agreed to cooperate with the prosecution and testify at his co-defendants’ trials. Vick will be in court to file paperwork on August 27 as to what charges he is pleading guilty to.

Various reports have Vick spending anywhere between 12 and 36 months in jail. A ruling from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Michael Vick’s NFL future is expected soon, maybe within the next week. If it is proved that Vick bet on the dog-fights, there is a very distinct chance that he will never play in the NFL again.

This is not the first time Vick has been in trouble with the law.

In March 2005, a civil lawsuit was filed against Vick by Sonya Elliot claiming that he knowingly gave her genital herpes and failed to inform her of the condition. The case ended up being settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

On Nov. 26, 2006, after the Atlanta Falcons had just lost at home to the New Orleans Saints; Vick apparently agitated by the home fans booing him, made an obscene gesture by holding up two middle fingers. Vick issued a public apology to all his young fans who saw the gesture and he was fined $10,000.

On Jan. 17, 2007, Vick surrendered a water bottle at Miami International Airport. The bottle had a hidden compartment that had what police believed was marijuana residue in it. After further tests revealed that there were no illegal substances in the bottle and Vick passed a drug test, he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Michael Vick is his own worst enemy. Here is a guy who is one of the faces of the NFL. He is a multi-millionaire. He is one of the most exciting and explosive players in the league. He has the ability to torch a defense with not only his arm, but his legs as well. Why would he go out and commit such atrocities as what he has been accused of? Is the NFL not exciting enough for you, Mike? Does the thought of having to scramble to get away from very agile, angry, 300-pound men not excite you anymore? Is the fame and celebrity of being a star quarterback on the world’s biggest stage mean nothing to you?

Michael Vick has become nothing more than a stereotypical professional athlete, who thinks that he is above the law. He has surrounded himself with incompetent idiots who could not even for a second stop and say “gee Mike, maybe what we are doing to these dogs is not such a good thing.”

If Vick wants a good role model, all he would have had to do is look behind him in the backfield to teammate Warrick Dunn. Dunn’s mother was a single parent and a police officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1993, she was murdered in a robbery while working a second job as a security officer to support her family. Dunn had to take on added responsibility after her death and help raise his younger siblings. Dunn started “Home for the Holidays,” a program to help low-income families in Baton Rouge, Atlanta, and Tampa afford new homes. He may only be 5’9″, but he is a man to look up to.

Animal abuse is the “scarlet letter” of modern times. It is something that almost no one tolerates. Once someone has been accused of it, they are branded for life and their name is forever ruined. The Michael Vick dog chew toy is now selling for the low, low price of only $10.99 at Quite frankly, I don’t think it’s worth that much!

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