Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Michael Vick Enters The Court Of Public Opinion

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

Michael Vick decided to make a public statement yesterday, opting not to do it through his attorney but rather, to “speak from the heart”. Was Vick’s decision to speak based on:

a) faulty logic on his part - thinking that an apologetic and remorseful statement to the public would help him begin to repair or rebuild his image in the eyes of the NFL and its fans – or maybe a final plea for leniency to the judge who will be sentencing him?

b) bad legal advice?

c) caving to media and fan pressure to speak on his plea agreement?

d) a combination of all of the above?

Whatever the case, Michael Vick made the wrong decision – something that has marked his entire career in the NFL. What Vick did yesterday was open himself up to more criticism and character assassination (if that is possible these days). Vick’s statement was ill-advised and ill-timed – he has gone from a federal court in Virginia with laws and statutes that guide decisions to the court of public opinion, where there are no rules – and where perception and sensationalism becomes reality.

Instead of offering a standard “no comment” or a brief statement to say that he acknowledged his “wrongdoings” and wanted to move forward – Vick chose to amplify the attention already on him to apologize to the public and talk about how he wanted to redeem himself. In saying that he now “rejected” dogfighting and had turned his life over to God – Vick has opened himself to even more attention and criticism.

Before yesterday, Vick was being characterized as “sadistic”, “cruel”, and “inhumane” – today (and for the foreseeable future) he will have to listen as the court of public opinion judge on charges of insincerity, lying, and being a total fraud.

It is not for us to judge the sincerity of Vick’s statement – in his words, he was “speaking from the heart” and we can’t possibly purport to know what he is thinking and how he is feeling. He may very well believe and feel every word he uttered – he may have adopted the George Costanza principle that says, “if you believe it, its not a lie”. Who knows for sure?

What we can say is that it was a case of incredibly bad timing – Vick’s statement likely would have been better received had he issued it prior to being sentenced, instead of a few minutes after he had entered his plea. While Vick may say that he had plenty of time in the months leading up to his plea to contemplate this life change – he or, at the very least, his attorneys should have known better; the issue is still to fresh in the minds of a rabid media/public (pardon the pun) who from the media and public who want to inflict the pain those dogs felt on Vick himself. They had to have known that the statement would polarize people in to two camps – those wanting for forgive (a la Keith Olbermann) and those wanting to take another shot at him for a perceived lack of remorse or sincerity in Vick’s statement. How he or anyone connected to him could possibly think that he could go from “sadistic, cruel, inhumane” dogfighter to a sympathetic figure that wants to straighten out his life is beyond us.

We all like to poke fun at athletes who used standard and tired old clichés – Mike Vick should have pulled one of them and “let his action (“on the field – or “off” in this case) to the talking for him.

We aren’t feeling sorry for Ron Mexico – but we can’t help but think he was born under a bad star – cursed forever with bad decisions. Just our 2 cents (US) or 2.1 cents Cdn.

With the Toronto Blue Jays all but out of the Wild Card chase, the Men’s National Basketball team trying to rebound from being Dirty Sanchez’d by the USA, and the CFL not really cutting it in terms of getting us ready for the NFL – the Canadian media is trying to get people excited, hyping the “Summit Series” between the Canadian and Russian national junior teams.

We just don’t get it – the folks at TSN and Rogers Sportsnet are doing their best to hype this Clash of the Titans, but we just can’t seem to get amped over it. The media keeps making references to the 1972 Series – but it was a different time, a different era, and different level with professional players.

The original series came at a time when we didn’t know much about those “God-less Russians” – they were an unknown quantity, the anti-thesis of what we were in almost every facet of life. In today’s global world we know all of their players; they play in our junior leagues, we see them at the world hockey championships, we read scouting reports on them , we’ll follow them when they are drafted by our NHL teams – we know them like they are our own.

As much as it is hyped, this is not an “us vs them” or “east vs west” scenario – its just another money making venture by Hockey Canada; who keep trying to tell us something we already know – “Major Junior Hockey is good and exciting”. We’ll find out next month what the television ratings were for the eight game series – but take them with a grain of salt; the ardent hockey fans up here aren’t buying into the hype…maybe at Christmas before the World Junior Hockey Championships. That’s not to say we don’t support them and won’t be proud of them – we just won’t view it as the be all and end all that the 1972 series was.

Detroit Tigers P Justin Verlander humiliated the Yankees as they head home to play the Red Sox tonight. Verlander shut the Yankees out over seven innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out six in the Tigers 16-0 pounding of Mike Mussina and the Bombers.

Los Angeles Angels P John Lackey pitched his second consecutive complete game shutout in a 6-0 win over the Mariners. Lackey, suspected of having strep throat, gave up seven hits and struck out five.

San Diego Padres P Jake Peavy gave up one run on three hits and three walks while striking out eleven in a 3-1 win over Arizona. We only mention this because we picked Peavy to win last night.

We started the week off well – finally – going 2-0; its been a while since we’ve had a good Monday night; you might want to avoid our Monday Night NFL picks next month. Today’s suggestions:

Red Sox West over Washington – call us crazy for picking Big Blue to win three in a row these days, but we are going to go with Chad Billingsley who seems to pitch well almost every time out. Lay $100 on the Dodgers - $165.

Detroit over Kansas City – the Tigers have to keep things going if they are going to make a run – can’t see them letting up on Kansas City tonight. Lay $100 on the Tigers - $105.

Texas over Chicago – YUCK! This game really sucks, but you have to take former Red Sox P Kason Gabbard over Gavin Floyd and a terrible White Sox team. Gotta take the value where you can get it – Texas is a decent home team and the White Sox are just terrible. Lay $100 on the Rangers - $155.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one Peeps!

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We’re Out!


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