April 23, 2009

Goodell's a psychologist?: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Michael Vick will have to show "genuine remorse" for his offense before he decides allowing the quarterback to return to active status.

posted by jjzucal to football at 01:49 AM - 30 comments

Yeah, this baffled me a little bit too. I suppose this is to say that if Vick says he's really, really sorry that all will be forgiven?

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:58 AM on April 23

three words: puppy. dog. eyes.

ooooh wait... bad choice.

posted by setlasmon at 08:41 AM on April 23

I don't think this comment is a big deal. Goodell is worried about how the league will look if Vick comes back without doing a lot of "I learned my lesson" media interviews to get some public support.

posted by rcade at 09:18 AM on April 23

three words: puppy. dog. eyes.

ooooh wait... bad choice.

Yeah, it's: Pitbull. puppy. dog. eyes.

posted by BornIcon at 09:31 AM on April 23

Agreed rcade, it's not a big deal. M.V. knows that he has to do just that - mend fences - in order to play again. Although it does seem that he is expecting a reinstatement, perhaps even counting on it. In light of Vick's recent rejected bankruptcy plan, which seems to include an NFL return in order to pay debts, I think Goodell is just suggesting that Vick do what he needs to do, but to do them in order.

posted by BoKnows at 10:24 AM on April 23

Actually, I think Vick NEEDS to make a very public apology if he expects to be back in the NFL. I don't think the public has forgotten the tremendous outrage over what happened on his property and his involvement in it. And more than likely, any team that would have Vick would not want an athlete who did time to just come out of the pokey and act like nothing happened. Vick's bankruptcy plan struck me as a bit of presumptive arrogance. It's not just going to be business as usual and all is forgiven when he get's out.

He doesn't necessarily need to come out with a tearful press conference while he holds up a puppy and a kitty and kisses them, but he does need to show that he is a changed man.

posted by THX-1138 at 10:59 AM on April 23

I'm more interested to see if anyone is willing to bite (no pun intended) on Vick even if he is reinstated by the league. He's been off the field for a while now, and never really lived up to expectations beforehand. And that doesn't even touch any character issues.

posted by bender at 11:51 AM on April 23

If reinstated, I feel pretty confident that someone will pick him up, or at the very least, there will be some manner of "workout day" in which interested teams will have an "unofficial" representative/scout watching. It seems that if Goodell is satisfied with Vick's display of remorse, then the character issue would be deemed a non-issue, at least by the NFL.

My interest lies in the fan's response, the possible (probable) PETA involvement and the willingness of a team to accept the possible detriments.

...and never really lived up to expectations beforehand

He has some great stats. Hall of Fame expectations or not, if he is capable of putting up similar numbers, there are teams frothing at the mouth for someone like that.

posted by BoKnows at 12:47 PM on April 23

I think that Vick has more than paid his debt to society and shouldn't be subjected to double jeapardy from Goodell, the fans, the NFL, and especially PETA. PETA has its own animal killers.

Dog fighting arrests in most states are few, convictions fewer, and stiff sentences and fines like the one given Vick are rare indeed. Some of the SPOFI members and Goodell's memory are either short or selective, Vick has already expressed his remorse and apologized publicly:

Michael Vick's statement following his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., to a dogfighting conspiracy charge August 28, 2007:

"For most of my life, I've been a football player, not a public speaker, so, you know, I really don't know, you know, how to say what I really want to say.

"You know, I understand it's -- it's important or not important, you know, as far as what you say but how you say things. So, you know, I take this opportunity just to speak from the heart.

"First, I want to apologize, you know, for all the things that -- that I've done and that I have allowed to happen. I want to personally apologize to commissioner Goodell, Arthur Blank, coach Bobby Petrino, my Atlanta Falcons teammates, you know, for our -- for our previous discussions that we had. And I was not honest and forthright in our discussions, and, you know, I was ashamed and totally disappointed in myself to say the least.

"I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts and, you know, what I did was, what I did was very immature so that means I need to grow up.

"I totally ask for forgiveness and understanding as I move forward to bettering Michael Vick the person, not the football player.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. For one second will I sit right here -- not for one second will I sit right here and point the finger and try to blame anybody else for my actions or what I've done.

"I'm totally responsible, and those things just didn't have to happen. I feel like we all make mistakes. It's just I made a mistake in using bad judgment and making bad decisions. And you know, those things, you know, just can't happen.

"Dogfighting is a terrible thing, and I did reject it.

"I'm upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that's the right thing to do as of right now.

"Like I said, for this -- for this entire situation I never pointed the finger at anybody else, I accepted responsibility for my actions of what I did and now I have to pay the consequences for it. But in a sense, I think it will help, you know, me as a person. I got a lot to think about in the next year or so.

"I offer my deepest apologies to everybody out in there in the world who was affected by this whole situation. And if I'm more disappointed with myself than anything it's because of all the young people, young kids that I've let down, who look at Michael Vick as a role model. And to have to go through this and put myself in this situation, you know, I hope that every young kid out there in the world watching this interview right now who's been following the case will use me as an example to using better judgment and making better decisions.

"Once again, I offer my deepest apologies to everyone. And I will redeem myself. I have to.

"So I got a lot of down time, a lot of time to think about my actions and what I've done and how to make Michael Vick a better person.

"Thank you.''

posted by irunfromclones at 03:23 PM on April 23

He has some great stats. Hall of Fame expectations or not, if he is capable of putting up similar numbers, there are teams frothing at the mouth for someone like that.

I disagree. No argument that he was great in college, but in his best season as a pro (2002), he didn't even average 200 passing yards per game. He has some skills, and some of his rushing totals are nice, but they're by no means elite. Now, he's turning 29 this offseason, hasn't played in 2 years, and was only marginally a good NFL qb to begin with.

If reinstated, I feel pretty confident that someone will pick him up, or at the very least, there will be some manner of "workout day" in which interested teams will have an "unofficial" representative/scout watching. It seems that if Goodell is satisfied with Vick's display of remorse, then the character issue would be deemed a non-issue, at least by the NFL.

My interest lies in the fan's response, the possible (probable) PETA involvement and the willingness of a team to accept the possible detriments.

Certainly teams will give him a look--he earned that on the merit of his college performance. However, particularly considering Roger Goodell's recent emphasis on off-field conduct, when you're talking about an ex-con, I would think that workout day he holds would have to be pretty impressive. Throw in public opinion, and if I were inclined to bet, I would put it on him not playing again, or at least not in 2009.

posted by bender at 03:36 PM on April 23

I just want to see him appear with his tail between his legs.

posted by Howard_T at 04:16 PM on April 23

With all due respect, irfc, it's pretty easy to be remorseful when headed to prison. I, personally, am more interested in seeing what Vick is like after his stint behind bars. With freedom staring him in the face and not incarceration. I don't dispute that his legal debt has been paid, but that isn't the issue here. I think realistically the NFL and the public who might be party to helping him earn millions of dollars will probably demand a new and improved Michael Vick before welcoming him back with open arms.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:52 PM on April 23

No argument that he was great in college, but in his best season as a pro (2002), he didn't even average 200 passing yards per game. He has some skills, and some of his rushing totals are nice, but they're by no means elite.

He doesn't have to be elite. He just has to be a better option than some teams have right now. He is better than any QB on several teams that I can think of off the top of my head, such as Tampa Bay, Denver, and Detroit. He is definitely better than most teams have at back-up.

I don't really understand why people expect so much genuflecting. The guy has pretty much lost everything. He has suffered punishment for his wrongdoing, far more than is normal for his crime. Geez, just let him try to get his life on track already.

posted by bperk at 04:56 PM on April 23

He has some skills, and some of his rushing totals are nice, but they're by no means elite. Now, he's turning 29 this offseason, hasn't played in 2 years, and was only marginally a good NFL qb to begin with.

Though things may certainly be different now, you forget one very key aspect: He put butts in the seats. Lots of them. The Georgia Dome was constantly sold for the MV show, waiting for that one improbably running play a game. He may not have been the greatest QB ever, but he sure as hell was one of the most entertaining.

posted by jmd82 at 05:38 PM on April 23

irunfromclones, I don't doubt that MV has said the right things, it seems that he had prior to incarceration. Let's see if he can now walk the walk.

The guy has pretty much lost everything.

He threw away everything.

Geez, just let him try to get his life on track already.

Totally agree, but I also agree with the idea that he needs to prove his intent with a little action rather than vocabulary. I know if it were my NFL team, I would want some manner of security before I cut another big check.


I disagree. No argument that he was great in college, but in his best season as a pro (2002), ....


I did say great, but my point was as bperk said above. His stats are way better than what some teams are currently dealing with. I should have said - he has the ability to put up better stats than at least one third of current NFL QB's

posted by BoKnows at 05:41 PM on April 23

I don't really understand why people expect so much genuflecting. The guy has pretty much lost everything. He has suffered punishment for his wrongdoing, far more than is normal for his crime. Geez, just let him try to get his life on track already.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that Vick was the victim after reading that. Vick didn't "lose" everything, he pissed it away by being stupid. He didn't "suffer" punshiment, he was legally tried and convicted and imprisoned. As for what is "normal" for his crime, I 'aint no lawyer, but just what is the standard for his form of animal torture? And to round things out, it was he who untracked his life to begin with.

I'm not out to vilify Michael Vick. I don't actually care about him one way or the other.

But let's be honest. The world in which he wishes to return will probably require more than your standard "did his time-all is forgiven" thing.

posted by THX-1138 at 05:51 PM on April 23

Actually, I think Vick NEEDS to make a very public apology

To hell with his apologies. I'm sick of all the empty words these stupid criminal athletes spew, especially when all they do is read off what their agent wrote for them to say. The only thing that would be refreshing to see from some of these jerk-offs is for them to actually prove by their actions they can live by society's laws.

posted by dyams at 05:55 PM on April 23

Though things may certainly be different now, you forget one very key aspect: He put butts in the seats. Lots of them.

Yo! That was before he was a convicted felon. The fans' view of Vick is very different now.

I don't really understand why people expect so much genuflecting. The guy has pretty much lost everything. He has suffered punishment for his wrongdoing, far more than is normal for his crime. Geez, just let him try to get his life on track already.

I don't intend to stand between him and getting his life back on track, but that doesn't have to mean being an NFL quarterback. He had talent, fame and fortune, and then he proved himself to have very poor judgement and do some stuff that a lot of people have a big problem with. Just because he has served his time in prison, the league or the teams don't owe him the chance to come back. Teams are aware of the baggage that comes with Michael Vick, and I'd be surprised to see him on an NFL roster in 2009. Now, as THX said, if he can show after coming out of prison that he has changed himself, maybe he could get there in later years.

posted by bender at 09:15 AM on April 24

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that Vick was the victim after reading that. Vick didn't "lose" everything, he pissed it away by being stupid. He didn't "suffer" punshiment, he was legally tried and convicted and imprisoned

This is nitpicking. Since when does "lose" imply a complete lack of personal responsibility. If you lose something, it doesn't mean that it wasn't your fault. What does "suffered" mean? In my world, it means to undergo. Putting my words in double quotes to imply I mean something different than what I said serves no purpose. If you have a good reason why Vick must continue to apologize to complete strangers who probably won't like him anyway, then please share it. No one is disputing that he was wrong. No one is professing his innocence.

As for what is "normal" for his crime, I 'aint no lawyer, but just what is the standard for his form of animal torture?

I have no idea. I know he did more time than the co-defendants running the thing. I realized from this whole Vick thing that I have a completely different line for barbarism than society has. I make no distinction between dogfighting, cockfighting, hunting for sport, shooting animals from helicopters, slaughterhouses, abandoning pets, and even MMA. It is all terrible and awful to me, but some are fine and some are not.

But let's be honest. The world in which he wishes to return will probably require more than your standard "did his time-all is forgiven" thing.

Exactly so. It is already very difficult to get your life back on track with a felony conviction. I see no reason to add to that by expecting some groveling for the masses. He has to grovel to Goodell, GMs, coaches, etc. The people who hope he gets it together and has learned from his experience don't really want the apology. There probably isn't an apology in the world good enough for those demanding one. The seemingly heartfelt apology posted above was dismissed easily enough.

posted by bperk at 09:40 AM on April 24

I don't intend to stand between him and getting his life back on track, but that doesn't have to mean being an NFL quarterback. He had talent, fame and fortune, and then he proved himself to have very poor judgement and do some stuff that a lot of people have a big problem with. Just because he has served his time in prison, the league or the teams don't owe him the chance to come back

But, why not football? If he can still play, why would a construction job be more appropriate for someone who has exercised poor judgment in the past? I'm not at all saying that he is owed anything. I just don't fully understand why giving him an opportunity to play football as soon as he gets out of jail is a bad idea. How is he supposed to show he has changed? Are people really concerned that he is going to be involved in dogfighting again?

posted by bperk at 09:47 AM on April 24

But, why not football? If he can still play, why would a construction job be more appropriate for someone who has exercised poor judgment in the past?

Because playing in the NFL makes you a celebrity, and the league, teams, owners, coaches, and players have to answer to fans and the court of public opinion. Michael Vick has dragged his own name through the mud. Going to prison was a step in the restoration process, but it is not the end. Beyond that, a lot of people look to players to be role models to themselves or kids (I don't want to debate whether or not this should be the case, but to at least some extent, it is.).

Conversely, if you work a construction job, you only have to answer to your boss and your coworkers. If you construct whatever you are building properly, that is all the public knows. If your colleagues are fine with working with you, no one else needs to know.

posted by bender at 10:57 AM on April 24

Putting my words in double quotes to imply I mean something different than what I said serves no purpose.

Actually, I put your words in quotes because I was quoting you. And then I gave my explanation for why I felt you were wrong.

I realized from this whole Vick thing that I have a completely different line for barbarism than society has.

Perhaps this is where the discussion should start. Vick didn't hunt these animals in a legally sanctioned hunt. He wasn't preparing meat in a legal slaughterhouse. And comparing what Vick did, to the MMA is perhaps one of the most ludicrous things I have read on this site.

Vick and his co-horts brutally tortured animals that did not perform well in their illegal dog fights. If Vick was punished in a more extreme way then his accomplices, then it serves as a a warning to other high profile celebrities who think they are above the law. And let's be honest. Just how severe was his punishment? He spent a year in prison. Not a life sentence. He is getting out, and in a timely enough fashion that if he plays his cards just right, he can get back in to the NFL and more than likely make more money than the rest of us will see in our lives. So to me it would seem to be a no-brainer: Just be a friggin' better person and show the public you are remorseful and have changed. Is that any harder than the time he had to "suffer" in prison?

posted by THX-1138 at 11:29 AM on April 24

If Vick was punished in a more extreme way then his accomplices,

I thought it was because it was his property, and he funded most of it? Not because he's famous.

posted by inigo2 at 11:42 AM on April 24

I thought it was because it was his property, and he funded most of it? Not because he's famous.

And it had nothing to do with him being a face and to be made an example of.

posted by jmd82 at 12:32 PM on April 24

Perhaps this is where the discussion should start. Vick didn't hunt these animals in a legally sanctioned hunt. He wasn't preparing meat in a legal slaughterhouse. And comparing what Vick did, to the MMA is perhaps one of the most ludicrous things I have read on this site.

My point was about barbarism, not legality. Everyone can make the distinctions that work for them. From my perspective, where we draw the line of illegal/legal barbaric behavior or animal abuse is arbitrary and nonsensical. I don't see Vick any differently than someone who shoots animals out of helicopters. Is shooting an animal out of a helicopter more acceptable if it is legally sanctioned? Would Vick be a-okay if he did this in a country without laws prohibiting it? Not to me. The law is not my moral compass. So, I am not judging Vick any more harshly than all the other animal abusers that are engaged in legally-sanctioned behavior.

MMA is wrong and disgusting. The fact that it is legal has nothing to do with whether I find it morally repugnant, and my opinions of those engaged in it.

posted by bperk at 12:58 PM on April 24

The fact that it is legal has nothing to do with whether I find it morally repugnant, and my opinions of those engaged in it.

What you find distasteful and repugnant is irrelevent in a discussion of whether someone has broken the law and what punishment is to be doled out. If you want to talk about barbarism, then you are off to whole different discussion. Something akin to trying to legislate morality.

What I find "arbitrary and nonsensical" about your point is the comparison to someone repeatedly slamming an animal into the ground til it dies or using water and electricity to electrocute a dog to death (both against the law and morally repugnant to every person I know of) with someone who uses a rifle to quickly kill an animal (still legal in this country). And let me make something clear here: I am not a hunter or a gun advocate. I don't even own a gun. But I am not a vegan and I know that if I am to continue eating ( I am an avowed omnivore) then my food will be provided by those who do the dirty work.

And you should really stop bringing up the MMA. It has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion than to add to the vitriol and hyperbole.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:13 PM on April 24

Actually, I put your words in quotes because I was quoting you.

Quoting single words without attribution looks more like implied doubt than a quote. Reminds me of John McCain's use of air quotes at the third debate, which was "brilliant".

posted by rcade at 02:29 PM on April 24

Quoting single words without attribution looks more like implied doubt than a quote.

Well I guess you've got me there. But when you look at the context in which they were used, I believe the application was correct.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:38 PM on April 24

What you find distasteful and repugnant is irrelevent in a discussion of whether someone has broken the law and what punishment is to be doled out.

First, I didn't realize that was what this discussion was about. I thought that was long since decided. I thought we were discussing to what extent Vick was worthy of being given the opportunity to play in the NFL or what he needs to do to be worthy. And, it is certainly relevant to me what the actual crime was.

Second, you were the one questioning what is a normal punishment for animal torture. As far as I am concerned, punishment is very inconsistent in this regard because I don't find a rifle any different than a electrocution. I get that you see a difference between using a rifle to kill an animal and using electricity or beating one. What I don't quite understand is why you don't see why someone would else find them both completely wrong, irrespective of legality. I doubt you would be comfortable making such distinctions if we were talking about humans.

And you should really stop bringing up the MMA. It has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion than to add to the vitriol and hyperbole.

The vitriol and hyperbole are what make discussions so much fun.

posted by bperk at 02:48 PM on April 24

THX-1138***Now using officially sanctioned "slanty-italics" instead of quotes. (oops, damn!)***

First, I didn't realize that was what this discussion was about.

That is why you fail. (a joke)

Second, you were the one questioning what is a normal punishment for animal torture.

I wasn't so much questioning it as I was trying to point out that Vick's crime wasn't something that was easily labeled and therefore was hard to determine it's severity. At least for me.

I doubt you would be comfortable making such distinctions if we were talking about humans.

But we aren't talking about humans. And I have a definite distinction between humans and animals. I fully understand why someone would feel that both hunting and animal torture are completely wrong. I just personally don't think hunting is wrong.

The vitriol and hyperbole are what make discussions so much fun.

Word.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:12 PM on April 24

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