Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thoughts From the Train: Michael Vick and the Mountain of Cash

Okay, I'm posting this from my phone, so we get to skip all the fancy things like formatting and spell check.  So if this post looks like crap, well, now you know why.


If you haven't heard, Michael Vick signed a new contract with the Eagles.  6-years, $100M, $40M gauranteed.  If you want the full scoop, SI's got a story on it (as well as every other sports related site on the web, I'm sure).

But, I'm not here to bring you news you can obviously get elsewhere, with better detail and insight.  I want to talk about some of the more ... ethical? social? moral? whatever aspects these would be considered.  I want your input on a couple of questions, so let's see what kind of a debate (or flame war) we can get started on the subject.

First, obviously, there's the whole dog fighting thing.  If you've been living under a rock for the past decade or so, Vick went to prison for a couple years for involvement with a dogfighting ring.  I forget exactly what his involvement was, but it wasn't calling the cops and/or Sarah MacLachlan, so he's a prime asshole in this case.  Dogs were electrocuted, beaten, killed, and otherwise treated like crap when they lost.  You don't have to be a member of PETA to want him to spend time getting raped by some big serial killer every night while prison guards ask him how he's liking his milkbone tonight.

But, for better or worse, he's out now.  He served the time society deems sufficient for his crime, and whether or not that's sufficient is entirely beside the point I'm curious about.  He claims to be rehabilitated, and if he is, then more power to him.  Again, not the point here.  What I'm curious about is whether or not you think the NFL -- or any of the teams, Eagles included -- should've let him back in?

From the NFL's perspective, what did they have to gain?  Publicity, sure -- you can't tell me that their ticket and ad revenue plummeted when he signed.  But is it worth it?  He did some pretty nasty stuff; should the time he served in the penal system suffice, or should he have been banned from the league? 

Look at baseball for precedence:  Pete Rose gambled on games, and he's banned for life.  He can't even get into Cooperstown now.  Vick was involved in the brutal treatment of animals -- and the deaths of some as well -- and served jail time, but he's back in the game, making more money in a year than most people will make in their careers.  It's two different sports, with two different cultures, but shouldn't there be some commonality there?

That the Eagles signed him is an entirely different matter.  He's allowed in the league, and regardless of his actions off the field, he was always a pretty good QB.  Yeah, they had McNabb and Kolb at the time, but neither of them really held a candle to Vick back when he was with the Falcons.  Should they have stuck with the general public train of thought and kept Vick away from their team on principal, or should they have done what they did, and added a potentially great weapon to their arsenal?  (Again, for more money than any three people may see in their combined life times.)

I know it sounds like I'm leaning (or toppling) toward the idea that Vick should have been completely blackballed from society, but actually I'm not.  I'm of the opinion that he served his time, so let him get on with life as far as the rules allow.  If there's nothing that prevents ex-cons from playing in the NFL, then too bad.  I don't necessarily agree that he should've been released that soon, but he was, and that's something to take up with your legislature.

Now, ethical questions aside, here's the next question: regardless of personal bias because of the dogfighting stuff, do you think Vick is good enough to warrant a contract that large?  I mean, yeah, he's good, but that's gonna put a decent dent in their salary cap.  Is it worth it to pay him money they could be using to fill other holes on the team?

I have no clue.  I honestly don't care much for the Eagles one way or another, but I still find it an interesting question.  $100M over 6 years is a lot of cash; I don't care who you are, that's not something to laugh at.  You're talking about $15M-$16M per year.  Big bucks, even for the NFL.  So I'm seeking your feedback here - is he worth it to the Eagles to shell out the revenue of a good-sized business?

Okay, my thumbs are getting tired and I've only got about five minutes to squeeze a nap in.  Go ahead and post your thoughts in the comments; I'm looking forward to hearing from you.


Random Link: Over My Head by Joe Kozlowski

Just mindlessly clicking the "Next Blog" link on the Blogger nav bar, and I came across this entry.  That particular post doesn't have a heck of a lot on it, but it's got a link to another page on Blurb.com that's got some more info and a bit of background.

Basically, it's a book of pictures of clouds.  I know, that doesn't seem all that special, but some of the pics I saw on a quick skim through the site were pretty neat looking.

Oh, for what it's worth, I have no relationship with Mr. Kozlowski -- like the title says, this is just a random link.  (I can't find a decent picture of the book itself to include here, so just pretend, okay?)

Monday, August 29, 2011

We Meet Again, for the First Time

I know, I know.  I'm such a household presence that an introduction really isn't necessary.  But hey, there's got to be a couple of people out there who don't know who I am, so we got to get them up to speed, right?

If you buy this so far, then this is for sale too. Contact for pricing.