Totally Radical Sportz!

Bob Ryan Also Sucks..

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 08/18/2009

Ryan's Song

Bob Ryan is like a wider Dan Shaughnessy. A once-great sportswriter, well past his prime and flailing out at the consarned kids and the changing world around him. A relic of the past.

Today Bob Ryan investigates the already-yesterday’s-news Michael Vick saga..

This Vick Business A Bit Tricky

Hiring convicted felons: Always a sticky wicket.

He has taken a severe financial beating.

Those giant checks pack a punch!

Check Hoes

He forever will be associated with a heinous act.

C’mon, those dogs committed suicide. They were living in Virginia, for crissakes!

The Boonvicks

Out of a 23-month sentence, he spent 18 months in prison.

78%. Still higher than his completion percentage..

No, not a country club prison, but a real prison,

(with black people & everything!)

where the truly bad guys live and no day is your own – ever.

Sad Vick

Vick: “Not even my birfday?”

What more can anyone want from Michael Vick?

An apology cake.

CAKE!

Oh, that’s right, contrition.

Contrition? If that’s anything like rickets, I don’t want it.

We want to make sure Vick is sorry, really sorry, really, really, really, really, really sorry for what he did.

But not really, really, really, really, really, really sorry. That would be ridiculous.

He says he is. He was very impressive during his news conference Friday in Philadelphia. He said all the right things to James Brown in a “60 Minutes’’ interview Sunday night.

Like, “Jump back!” and “Kiss Yaself!”

Still . . .

Stills?

Stills fo' rills..

“How do you measure remorse?’’ asks Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie,

Same way you measure a rape stand.

whose team was the one that took a chance on Vick after he was convicted of conspiracy and running a dogfighting operation.

“Conspiracy.” Stupid tagged-on charges.

“Finder’s fee? I found it!”

The answer, of course, is you cannot.

Or can you?..

As Lurie says, you can look in Vick’s eyes and listen to his words, but there is neither a written test nor a remorse thermometer.

There are anal thermometers. We could try one of those..

The only thing we’ll have to go on are his actions.

Interceptions and ill-advised scrambles? I can live with that..

Much will be asked of Michael Vick.

Not pet advice.

It will not be enough for him to restore himself as a football player. Lurie says he will judge Vick more for what he does off the field to raise awareness about animal abuse than he will for the quality of his play.

So he can shit the bed for two seasons as long as he says, “Don’t kill animals.”

That’s very high-minded, but it strikes me as more than a bit pompous.

Ooh, look at me! I’m Jeffrey Lurie! I gallavant about like I’m the cock of the walk, sprinkling rose petals on the peasants below from atop my stagecoach!

I realize that Mr. Lurie speaks from the perspective of a man who is such a dog lover that he has adopted an abused one.

Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a dog lover. Abuse victims are easier to train. Just ask my wife!

Hiyooooooooooo!!!

He is properly repulsed by the very concept of dogfighting.

Cockfighting on the other hand..

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

It was not easy for him to put aside that strong negative feeling, to listen to the likes of Roger Goodell,

Friggin’ redheads..

Andy Reid,

Friggin’ fat people..

Reid’s son Britt,

Friggin’ junkies..

Tony Dungy,

Friggin’ bla–er, retirees..

and, of course, Vick himself before he agreed to take on the infamous felon.

But let’s take a deep breath here.

Not too deep, Bob. You know what happened last time..

'Splodin' Ryan

Lurie is muddying the waters. He may claim to be more interested in how Vick does off the field than he does on it, but I seriously doubt his coach agrees. Andy Reid is more interested in Michael Vick the football player.

To be perfectly honest, I think Andy Reid’s more interested in his lunch order than anything else..

Let’s not forget that if Vick were a career nickel back who had admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting ring he would not be in the employ of the Eagles, or anyone else.

And if he was a punter he would’ve been MURDERED!

His NFL career would be finished, not because he would be deemed morally bankrupt, but because he would not be worth the potential hassles attached to his employment when there are a hundred other baggage-free out-of-work nickel backs.

I must update that nickel back job listings page on craigslist twelve times a day..

(Speaking of unemployed nickel backs..)

The 'Back

His talent is what has given Michael Vick this much-discussed “second chance.’’ There wouldn’t be all this talk about rehabilitation, contrition, remorse, and all the rest if Vick were an ordinary football talent.

Now that’s the kind of expert sports analysis you can ONLY find at The Boston Globe. On newsstands for another month or two! Get ’em while they last!

The issue here is dogfighting, but no matter what the nature of the crime, the ordinary guy in Vick’s current circumstance would, upon his release from prison, be immediately forgotten. He would be expendable, and that would be that.

Worst Movie Ever?..

One would think Vick understands how fortunate he is to be saved by his raw talent, so this realization has to factor into his contrition scenario to some degree. I would like to think he is fully determined not to screw things up.

Or he could just be a complete idiot..

In order to get where he is today, Vick had to undergo a complete change in thinking.

Vick’s Brain (2006): “Commit crimes.”

Vick’s Brain (2009): “Don’t commit crimes.”

He did not simply “make a mistake’’ in funding a dogfighting operation.

Oops, dropped my rottweiler! Man, look’t him tear into that other one! Might as well wager on it..

That would imply he weighed alternatives, that there was some doubt about a course of action. No, what he did spoke to a specific world view.

That world view? Dogs must fight! Semper Fight!

Most people you and I know could not remotely conceive of there being any enjoyment from watching dogs attempt to maim or kill each other.

But Vick and his cohorts saw nothing remotely wrong with it. This was their idea of superb entertainment.

Indubitably, sir! Superb, indeed! Good show! Chip-chip-cheerio!

If you recall, when the news broke that Vick was involved in dogfighting, many NFL players expressed their support for him.

“Fuck yeah, that shit’s dope!”

They couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about. We heard, “Hey, it’s only dogs,’’ more than once.

Because, you know, that’s a sensible response..

(Seriously, there are people who have killed humans – honest to God humans – in this fuckin’ league..)

Vick insisted Friday that, contrary to what some people think, cultural differences were not an excuse for what he did. But what else could it be? He was raised in an environment that sanctioned such activity.

Hoo boy. We’re gettin’ into “dark” territory here, Bob.

Blacks do crack! And dogfights!

The battle lines thus were drawn.

The Race War had begun..

I'm rollin' wit' Dunst..

On the one side were those who felt Vick’s actions labeled him as some kind of scum’s scum.

As long as he doesn’t party at Club Scum, I’m cool with him..

Hobgoblins!

On the other side were people who thought the whole thing was overblown, with many pointing out that animal cruelty, however reprehensible, did not equate to human abuse, be it murder or assaults such as wife-beating.

Ooh, what about wife-fighting!

New sport!

That’s a separate issue. An alcohol- and marijuana-laced Donte’ Stallworth struck and killed a man with his car.

Who laced him with those illicit drugs? The search continues..

No matter how much you may love animals – I love dogs and am married to a woman who loves dogs – the fate of a hundred pit bulls does not equate to the life of one human. Beating a woman is likewise beyond reprehensible.

But what if that woman was a dogfighter? Didn’t think of that, didja Bob?

These are not agree-to-disagree matters, and yet many people can forgive these criminal acts with relative ease.

Relative Ease.

But Vick’s crime struck a deep chord with the American public. Intellectually, we understand that people rank higher on the scale than animals (uh-oh, here come the PETA people).

You’re right. I can smell the vegan burger farts wafting through the air.

But most of us are, thank God, unfamiliar with murder and other violent crime. It’s an abstract.

Keep It Movin'

But we are a dog-loving nation,

A dog-fucking nation, even.

and the knowledge of what was happening to the dogs in Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels

“Kennels” didn’t have a ‘Z’? Damn, and I was about to say, “Word!”

sickened and enraged people, especially naive and sheltered people who had no idea dogfighting existed in our society.

We call these people dupes.

People took a look at their own dog, made the connection, and they got angry.

But then they took that anger out on their dog, so it was weird.

Vick says he now understands the nature of his crime, and whether he truly does or not, his new employer has mandated that as a condition of employment he spend a lot of time raising awareness about animal abuse.

Vick: “So, like, teach ’em how to properly abuse they animals?”

I have no doubt Vick will do everything Mr. Lurie asks.

Lurie:Everything?”  (raises eyebrow/pants)

But if he is to be an Eagle long term it will be because he has done everything Andy Reid asks. The NFL remains a business. First things first.

From now on, do all your dogfighting in international waters, ya idjit!

Pirate Net

Bob Ryan is a Globe columnist and host of Globe 10.0 on Boston.com. He can be reached at ryan@globe.com.

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