Michael Vick is undeserving of our admiration

As a sports fan whose sports enthusiasm is essentially limited to football, collegiate and pro, I frequently find myself at contretemps with those who live and breathe sports, all sports, 24/7/365. Much of their excessive enthusiasm I find easy to overlook. Where I part company is in their tendency to forgive just about any social aberration or crime by those athletes whose superior physical skills serve to put them into some sort of protected class.

The immediate inspiration for my thoughts is the Houston/Philadelphia game I am now watching on Thursday night. God help me but I can't help but root against Michael Vick on every play. Vick is an outstanding athlete no question, but he's also a cold, cruel human thug, who has horribly and routinely abused animals. Yeah, I know, he served his time and in the tunnel vision of the sports world should be forgiven and allowed to resume his career. Naaahh!!!

Sorry, but I can't watch this guy play without hearing the heart-rending screams of dogs he strung up with rope and cable to die a slow agonizing death, futilely twisting and turning, fighting to free themselves from the agony that closed around their throats, cutting off their air, their lives, all because Michael Vick wasn't totally satisfied that they had done their best in the deadly dog-fighting rings where he placed them.

And yes, for the tenderer souls among you AT readers, dogs do scream in their death throes, as do most mammalian creatures including man. I'm no sissy and I'm no weak-willed pussy afraid of confronting the hard aspects of life. I have been in ground combat in the jungles and rice paddies and seen humans turned into hamburger in front of my eyes. It is horrifying and it stays with you forever, but you have the enduring and unsatisfying consolation that it is done out of necessity not out of whim.

Those who fight dogs are men who are beyond my understanding. What twists and turns in their brains to find this bloody viciousness a sport is incomprehensible to me. Worse is their treatment of the unfortunate animals that fall under their evil ownership. Dogs are starved into savagery with the weaker among them succumbing to the stronger while the stronger survive only to endure greater horrors. Even those dogs which rise to the top and become champions will someday find themselves passed by and out of favor, left to a cruel death when they no longer win, and, as in Michael Vick's case, hanged, to twist and turn, screaming in their death throes, all because Vick and his co-defendants determined they were no longer winners, worthy of being players in his fighting stable.

God forgive me, but I can't help but watch Michael Vick playing without hoping that I see him carried to the sidelines screaming in agony with an injury and pain that a just God will make everlasting. Sorry sportscasters, there are some crimes against basic human decency which are unforgivable, hurting innocent animals being foremost among them in my mind..

Think about it: when Vick's football skills begin to fail and he can no longer win those games that count, should the Philadelphia fans drag him out of the competitive pit and hang him by his neck over a parking lot lamp post, watching him twist and turn until his agonized screams die away into the same nothingness as his losing dogs?

Spare me his talent; Michael Vick is the Charles Manson of the football/dog world.

As a sports fan whose sports enthusiasm is essentially limited to football, collegiate and pro, I frequently find myself at contretemps with those who live and breathe sports, all sports, 24/7/365. Much of their excessive enthusiasm I find easy to overlook. Where I part company is in their tendency to forgive just about any social aberration or crime by those athletes whose superior physical skills serve to put them into some sort of protected class.

The immediate inspiration for my thoughts is the Houston/Philadelphia game I am now watching on Thursday night. God help me but I can't help but root against Michael Vick on every play. Vick is an outstanding athlete no question, but he's also a cold, cruel human thug, who has horribly and routinely abused animals. Yeah, I know, he served his time and in the tunnel vision of the sports world should be forgiven and allowed to resume his career. Naaahh!!!

Sorry, but I can't watch this guy play without hearing the heart-rending screams of dogs he strung up with rope and cable to die a slow agonizing death, futilely twisting and turning, fighting to free themselves from the agony that closed around their throats, cutting off their air, their lives, all because Michael Vick wasn't totally satisfied that they had done their best in the deadly dog-fighting rings where he placed them.

And yes, for the tenderer souls among you AT readers, dogs do scream in their death throes, as do most mammalian creatures including man. I'm no sissy and I'm no weak-willed pussy afraid of confronting the hard aspects of life. I have been in ground combat in the jungles and rice paddies and seen humans turned into hamburger in front of my eyes. It is horrifying and it stays with you forever, but you have the enduring and unsatisfying consolation that it is done out of necessity not out of whim.

Those who fight dogs are men who are beyond my understanding. What twists and turns in their brains to find this bloody viciousness a sport is incomprehensible to me. Worse is their treatment of the unfortunate animals that fall under their evil ownership. Dogs are starved into savagery with the weaker among them succumbing to the stronger while the stronger survive only to endure greater horrors. Even those dogs which rise to the top and become champions will someday find themselves passed by and out of favor, left to a cruel death when they no longer win, and, as in Michael Vick's case, hanged, to twist and turn, screaming in their death throes, all because Vick and his co-defendants determined they were no longer winners, worthy of being players in his fighting stable.

God forgive me, but I can't help but watch Michael Vick playing without hoping that I see him carried to the sidelines screaming in agony with an injury and pain that a just God will make everlasting. Sorry sportscasters, there are some crimes against basic human decency which are unforgivable, hurting innocent animals being foremost among them in my mind..

Think about it: when Vick's football skills begin to fail and he can no longer win those games that count, should the Philadelphia fans drag him out of the competitive pit and hang him by his neck over a parking lot lamp post, watching him twist and turn until his agonized screams die away into the same nothingness as his losing dogs?

Spare me his talent; Michael Vick is the Charles Manson of the football/dog world.

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