The National Football League has a fascinating image and reputation conundrum on its hands. There's a very real possibility that ex-con, Michael Vick, the most villainous and vilified player in league history, will be named this season's most valuable player.
I thought it would be interesting to obtain a dog's POV (since Vick served 18 months in prison for betting on, and hosting dog fights at his palatial estate. Note: countless canines were tortured and killed by Vick and his posse).
So, I turned to Mick Cody, an 8-year-old pit bull mix. An outspoken advocate of canine rights, Mick was literally panting at the opportunity to discuss Vick (if not disembowel him).
Rep: Thanks for finding time in your busy schedule, Mick.
Mick: No prob. I just finished a six-hour nap and, aside from needing to go bye-bye fairly soon, I've got a few minutes. Hey, how about a Beggin' Strip?
Rep: Sure. Here. Hey, nice catch. Great eye-jaw coordination. You're the Michael Vick of dogs.
Rep: Sorry. So, what do you think about all the Vick buzz? He's an extraordinary athlete, no?
Mick: He's a murderer, pure and simple.
Rep: But, he paid his time in jail. Why not forgive and forget?
Mick: He was directly or indirectly responsible for the torture and deaths of hundreds of dogs. Considering the average pit lives for 12 human years, he should have been given a sentence of similar duration. And, he should NOT have been allowed to ever play football again! Woof!
Rep: Why not?
Mick: Because it sends the usual mixed signal you humans are so adept at. It's OK to decimate another species, spend a few months in prison and then return to a sport that pays you millions and millions of dollars annually. There’s something seriously wrong in that equation. You wouldn't ever let Dennis Kozlowski or Jeff Skilling run Fortune 500 businesses again, but you'll let a murderer play football again to sate Philly fans' insatiable need to win now. The Eagles should be ashamed of themselves. The team, not the birds. The birds are an impressive, if solitary lot. Another Beggin' Strip please.
Rep: OK. Wow, superb over-the-shoulder grab. Positively Vick-like.
Rep: Elaborate on the conditional love thing before you go bye-bye.
Mick: Sure. Eagles' fans are willing to conveniently forget all of Vick's horrible actions because he may be their ticket to The Super Bowl. That's conditional love. Me, I love you unconditionally whether you've forgotten to walk me or you've shown favoritism to my brother, Rooney. Not humans. You're the one who always quotes Paul McCartney when referencing past clients or flames: “Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.” Me, I'll love you until I fetch my last bone or lift my last leg. That's unconditional love.
Rep: Final question. I noticed you were giving some serious paw pumps during last night's game as the Eagles dumped the Giants. Weren't you sending a mixed signal?
Mick: You raised me to love the Jets and hate the Giants. What's an obedient pooch to do?
Rep: Seems like even canines can be conflicted.
Mick: Not at all. I sleep like a log. In fact, that fireplace looks pretty, darn inviting. Later, Rep.