Isn’t it just a little too convenient for Falcons owner Arthur Blank that the “Michael Vick Problem” suddenly handled itself without him having to dirty his hands? Does anybody else smell a rat?
Let me explain: Vick was one of the most popular NFL QBs, an advertising and jersey-sales superstar with appeal to people throughout the country. But the reality is that he’s a career sub-55% passer with a 1.4 TD:INT ratio. Being the most exciting runner in the game doesn’t compensate for being an average QB.
But what could Blank do? He couldn’t get rid of Vick; he’d never unload Vick’s contract, and just letting him go would outrage Atlanta fans and cost him ticket sales. So the owner was saddled with a QB he felt couldn’t take the team all the way. This also makes fans mad. So Blank is in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.
Enter the dogfighters. This group of lowlife scum comes in and sets up camp around Vick and his clean-as-a-whistle Bad Newz Kennels. They build black-painted sheds behind a house that Vick owns and plant evidence there. Fake witnesses, false stories, and even some ill-conceived commentary by other players all convene to make Vick look worse than the love child of Rosie O’Donnell and George W. Bush.
The trap is sprung. Vick is no match for the fury of PETA and the Humane Society combined. Flatulent sports reporters dig their teeth into the story, each of them mindful of how much everybody loves dogs. Who among us didn’t shed a tear when Peter King’s dog died, or read Old Yeller in school?
It’s the perfect storm of righteous outrage mixed with ignorant bloviation. Soon the damage is done and Vick’s career is put to sleep. Blank and the Falcons are now free to draft wonderboy Brian Brohm, one of new coach Bobby Petrino’s old college QB’s from that famed cradle of quarterbacks, University of Louisville. As Hannibal used to say on A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together.
You’d better believe Green Bay chairman Bob Harlan is watching this carefully, and will soon be in contact with Blank to figure out how he, too, can move a tired old obstacle out of the path to success for his beleaguered Packers.
Until next time, keep watching the skis!