Frantz: Stop excusing Vick’s behavior

‘I look forward to clearing my good name, and I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgment until all of the facts are shown.” — Michael Vick, in a statement read by attorney Billy Martin, July 27, 2007.

Well, the facts have now been shown, Michael. And the facts show that you are a sadistic, blood-lusting sub-human being who belongs not on a football field, but in a prison yard. For a long, long time.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Vick indefinitely, and a federal judge will soon send him to prison. Sadly, neither of them has any parallel authority over the endless line of Vick apologists who continue to champion his cause. For weeks we’ve heard countless excuses and attempts to minimize the damning federal indictment against Vick and of his own guilty plea. And for weeks I have been waiting for someone to stop “sugarcoating” the story, as Vick’s father put it last week, and to answer complaints of the Vick supporters in the most direct manner possible.

I will wait no longer.

“You can’t ban him for life! Other guys get to play after beating their wives and driving drunk, which puts people in danger — and Michael only hurt dogs!”

This is one of the most often repeated shrieks of idiocy from the Vick support group, and it merits a response they don’t want to hear: Vick’s crimes are worse.

While striking any woman is terrible, it is usually a single crime committed in a moment of anger. Likewise, an isolated moment of poor judgment when starting a car after drinking can result in a DUI. But Vick’s crimes weren’t committed during a momentary lapse of control or reason. They were committed during six consecutive years of torturing and killing animals — all for his own sadistic pleasure.

“But at least he’s taking full responsibility for his actions!”

That’s a lie. Onthe day he announced that Vick would take a plea, Vick’s lawyer blamed Vick’s co-defendants for all his woes: “There were some judgment issues in terms of people he was associating with,” Martin said last Monday.

Yes, Vick and his lawyers want us to think there was already some dogfighting ring being run, and that Vick just happened along and said, “Hey what’s going on? Can I get in on that?” They want to blame the other guys for pulling Vick into it. The truth of the matter is that without Vick, Bad Newz Kennelz never would have existed. The ring started in 2001 — with Vick’s money — shortly after he signed his first pro contract. The only questionable judgment was that of the other guys who chose to hang around with a blood-thirsty quarterback.

“He deserves leniency! It’s his first offense!”

No, this is only the first time he was caught. He has been committing the same offenses repeatedly for more than six years. The fact of the matter is that if there hadn’t been a drug raid on that property, which led to the discovery of the dogfighting equipment, he’d still be torturing and killing dogs to this day.

“But Michael didn’t gamble! The plea agreement said so!”

No, the plea agreement said Vick didn’t keep any of the winnings when his dogs won. But who do you think paid the tab whenever Bad Newz dogs lost? Ookie did. That means Ookie gambled.

The apologists can sit around and come up with new ways to justify Vick’s savagery as long as they wish, but the summary of facts in Vick’s plea agreement proves one thing: The real animals at Bad Newz Kennelz were the ones that walked on two legs.

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@examiner.com.

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