While the Giants and their fans may be the happiest campers in all of football-land today, Michael Vick is feeling pretty good, too. Well, at least as good as you can feel when your mail is being addressed to a federal penal facility in Leavenworth, Kan.
Federal judge David Doty handed Vick an early Valentine's Day present when he ruled that the disgraced former Madden video game cover guy does not have to return $20 million to the Atlanta Falcons. While the decision breaks a 10-month losing streak of bad news that Vick brought on himself, it extends Atlanta owner Arthur Blank's dismal run that's been punctuated only by the blockbuster news that he hired new head coach Mike Smith (whose Wikipedia entry would look like a listing in the phone book if it didn't mention the star players he coached here in Baltimore). And, yeah, I know that Chuck Noll was the Mike Smith of 1969. More to the point is whether Mike Smith can be the Chuck Noll of 1974.
But getting back to Vick --- Doty, who is the Oracle at Delphi when it comes to interpreting the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, agreed with the players' union's argument that Vick's roster bonus should be treated like a performance bonus rather than a signing bonus allocation. Sounds like a debate over how many nose guards can dance on the head of a quarterback, but apparently it means 20 really big ones to Vick.