This is about dog fighting, OK? It's about cruetly to animals -- and a young, foolish NFL quarterback with a lot of money making stupid, cruel choices. He's in big trouble, his career in ruins, sponsors pulling away. The Atlanta Falcons are going to go after his multi-million-dollar signing bonus, last I heard. All this over dog-fighting and killing dogs . . . . If Vick had been accused of hitting a girlfriend or spouse, or if he had been caught up in a night club with the wrong people -- guys carrying knives, say, who actually ended up killing someone -- do you think the NFL would push the consequences to this extent? Do you think the Football Nation would care that much? Sorry, but I doubt it. It's Fantasy Football time, and I'm sure we'll all learn to live without Michael Vick in the lineup.
Ten years ago, authors of the book Pros and Cons looked at a sample of NFL players -- roughly one-third of all players in the league -- and found that 21 percent had been arrested or indicted for crimes including assault, rape, sexual abuse, drugs, even homicide. "Athletes wear the mantle of privilege in this society," the radio host Lisa Simeone wrote in the Sun a few years ago. "Their fans are far more interested in their records of wins and losses than in their records of arrest."
Except when it's about dogs.