Friday, July 27, 2007

Primetime stupidity

Sometimes people just need to stop talking. Many NFLers have made comments about Michael Vick's situation. Emmitt Smith made some absurd comments last week about it and now here comes Deion Sanders.

Now I have to tell you, I love Deion. He's one of the greatest PR stunts ever invented. I will never forget when he was drafted and someone asked him what kind of contract he was looking for. In a quote that ran on the front of USA Today he said, "I want a contract that rhymes with my name. Neion, Deion, Million." Classic with the chains and the geri-curl do back in the day.

But now, I don't even know what to say about his column in his hometown News Press of Fort Myers. Read on and you will see why.

Deion’s take on Vick hits ESPN

Originally published on July 27, 2007

Fort Myers native Deion Sanders made plenty of national headlines during his NFL career. On Thursday, the former All-Pro found himself in the national spotlight again, thanks to his recent column in The News-Press about Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who is facing federal charges of running an illegal dogfighting ring.

Sanders’ column, which ran in last Sunday’s The News-Press, was debated on ESPN’s radio and television networks. ESPN radio host John Kincaid said Sanders’ computer should have reached out and grabbed his hands, preventing him from writing his opinion about the Vick case.

Here's his column

I would've never thought Mike Vick, one of the NFL's most exciting players — the man who makes the network execs smile every time he plays — would ever be indicted for crimes against man's best friend.The potential impact could be devastating.

He could lose millions worth of endorsements. Nike has already suspended the release of his new shoe. He could lose millions he was supposed to get from the Atlanta Falcons, if the club decides to cut him. That's unlikely, but it could happen if he's convicted or makes a plea arrangement.

Or his reputation might wind up so stained that he's never forgiven in the court of public opinion. That would be too bad for the 27-year-old superstar.This is all the result of perspective.

What a dog means to Vick might be a lot different than what he means to you or I. Hold on, don't start shaking your head just yet. Listen to me.

Some people kiss their dogs on the mouth. Some people let their dogs eat from their plate. Some people dress their dogs in suits more expensive than mine, if you can believe that.

And some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street. You're probably not going to believe this, but I bet Vick loves the dogs that were the biggest and the baddest. Maybe, he identified with them in some way.

You can still choose to condemn him, but I'm trying to take you inside his mind so you can understand where he might be coming from.

I'm sure all of the animal activists and Humane Society folks have a dart board with Vick's picture in the center of it. And if he plays this season, PETA is going to picket every stadium where he plays.Still, I must ask the question: Where is all of this going?

By now you've read all of the accusations about the cruelty involving the dogs — and I'm not just talking about their duels to the death. All of that is enough to make me cringe because I have three highly-trained protection German shepherds, just in case someone wants to rob my family.

Believe me, you don't want to deal with them. With one German command, our dog Yascho turns into Cujo. And for the record, I live around the corner from the police station, so it won't take them long to show up and save you from the dogs.

Now back to Vick.

Why are we indicting him? Was he the ringleader? Is he the big fish? Or is there someone else? The fights allegedly occurred at a property that he purchased for a family member. They apparently found carcasses on the property, but I must ask you again, is he the ringleader?

This situation reminds me of a scene in the movie "New Jack City," when drug dealer Nino Brown is on the witness stand and eloquently says, "This thing is bigger than me."Are we using Vick to get to the ringleader? Are we using him to bring an end to dogfighting in the United States?

The only thing I can gather from this situation is that we're using Vick.Was he wrong? Absolutely. Was he stupid? Can't argue with that. Was he immature? No doubt. But is he the ringleader? I just can't see it.

I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death. It's like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn't tap out when he knows he can't win.It reminds me of when I wore a lot of jewelry back in the day because I always wanted to have the biggest chain or the biggest, baddest car. It gives you status.

Can I pause for a moment to ask you a question?

Who shot Darrant Williams? Remember the Denver Bronco cornerback? I'm just more concerned about bringing to justice someone who killed a human. Or finding out who broke into Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker's home, tied him up and robbed him at gunpoint.

We're attacking this dogfighting ring the same way a teenager attacks his MySpace page after school (by the way parents, make sure you monitor your kids). We should have the same passion for man that we have for man's best friend.

The reason this is turning into a three-ring circus is that baseball is boring, basketball is months away, football is around the corner and we in the media don't have a thing interesting to write about.

How will this end up? I have no idea. All I know is Falcons fans better pray because Vick's backup is Joey Harrington. Enough said.

God bless and God willing I'll hollah at you next week.

Deion Sanders, a North Fort Myers High School graduate, played in the NFL and Major League Baseball. He works as an analyst for the NFL Network and is part-owner of the Austin Wranglers of the Arena Football League.

Where should I even begin? Ya know what - I am going to let you begin... thoughts, comments and concerns??? Jump in and I will follow along ... but I am sure most of you know what I think.

1 comment:

Gil Wolchock said...

1. I didn't realize Deion could write a full sentence since he went to FSU.

2. Obviously the comparisons he draws are far from apple to apple.

3. The John Kincaid quote was the first thing I've heard from him in 5 years that I actually agree with.