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Will Michael Vick take the Atlanta Falcons down with him?

 On Tuesday Michael Vick was indicted along with three others in a dogfighting ring federal case. So what's the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons to do?

Will Michael Vick take the Atlanta Falcons down with him?  A lot of rumors surround the indictment of Michael Vick for his alleged participation in the dogfighting ring operating under the name "Bad Newz Kennels". We have followed this story since it broke more than a month ago, and you can read the facts and details by following the links at the bottom of the page.

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 But most of you already know what's going on with Vick and the alleged pitbull fighting ring. As far as Michael Vick is concerned, and event the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL, the image of the quarterback has already been stained. Even if he was found not guilty for participation, the fact that the investigators dug out over 50 graves of dogs involved in the illegal fights in his own property, is enough to make people wonder. Unless you run a pet cemetery, there is no good explanation of turning your backyard into a dog-camp-of-death.

 You can try and flip the facts into a racial issue, celebrity issue, sports-figure issue, but at the end 50+ dead dogs on your property will still be 50+ dead dogs on your property. So Michael Vick is pretty much done. The damage on his image is done, and neither the media, nor the authorities will let us forget about it for at least a season. But don't blame anyone, but Vick - a responsible home owner does not have fifty pits buried in his backyard.

 Where does this leave the NFL? Commissioner Roger Goodell came out with the following statement today, regarding the indictment of Michael Vick: "Michael Vick's guilt has not yet been proven, and we believe that all concerned should allow the legal process to determine the facts."

 Which makes sense, you can't suspend NFL players every time they have a brush with the law. Not because they are better than the regular 9-to-5 folks, but because it will leave the NFL teams with 2-3 people. Take for example the Miami Dolphins - a few days ago Chris Chambers became the third player to be arrested this off-season. Or just pick through the criminal section - I am sure you will find a representative of your local NFL team arrested for something - strip club shooting, a brawl, DUI, whatever. Even the old school players are "doing it" - Bill Maas was just recently handcuffed on drug and gun charges.

 Unfortunately, NFL has turned into a hip-hop record label - the more a rapper gets shot (or shoots someone, as in the recent Remy Ma case), the more albums will be sold. The more times Pacman Jones gets arrested, the more jerseys he'll sell. Well, we might be a little prejudice, as the NFL is one of the leading opponents of sports betting and gambling, but it makes no sense complaining that Mr. Average Joe is betting $50 on the Falcons, while the quarterback's property was "designed" by Stephen King. Yet Mr. Average Joe is guilty of tampering with the integrity of the sport, but there is no guilt for the latter.

 I personally own 3 jerseys of Michael Vick (currently in the closed, pending investigation). And I am a big Atlanta Falcons fan. But this would not stop me from asking Michael Vick to take some responsibility, as I am also a grown man. And Vick should man-up and do what every innocent rich person would - sell his Virginia property and donate all the money to the Humane Society or to another charitable organization focusing on preventing illegal dog fights. Trust me, giving away a million or two in order to clear your name is nothing compared to the years of being labeled as a "dogfight promoter". And if he is found guilty, well, I wouldn't bet on the Atlanta Falcons for a while.

Andy Boyd

Published on 07/18/2007

Related news:

 Michael Vick indicted on dog-fighting charges
 "Bad Newz Kennels" ran dog fights on Michael Vick property





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