Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Punished Enough?

I’m reading this Sport Illustrated article about Mike Vick.  As a Georgia girl and default Falcons fan, Vick’s story really just hurts.  He was our golden boy who turned into such a disappointment both on the field and in his personal life.  As a football fan and dog lover, I can’t even tell you the disenchantment felt by me as an individual that was echoed through the city of Atlanta.  Once the highest paid man in the NFL , Vick was just a common hoodrat.

The article I’m reading comes after watching the Falcons win today and keeping up with the Eagles on a peripheral basis this season, Vick’s new home.  He’s stepped up as the on deck Big Man on Campus as far as the NFL is concerned, the next few years will be crucial, but there are already comparisons to Montana, Favre, and Marino.   He’s having a stellar year, though, I’m glad we have Matty Ice, no doubt.  While reading this wonderfully in-depth article about the struggles Vick has gone through to return as a force to be reckoned with, I began to contemplate my feelings about someone who had done something so horrible getting a second chance this amazing.  You see, I’m a big advocate for prisoner’s rights, much to the dismay of some of my friends.   I have huge issues with our prison system and further issues with the way society continues to punishe those convicted after they have “served their time.”

Vick brings up a dichotomy for me.  I want people who have done bad things to have a way to fix their lives.  To become productive.  To be greater than they were.  I don’t like to label people as “bad” or “good.”  I think the way a society treats the least of its members is a reflection on the society that had a hand in producing those members that often do the very, very wrong thing.

Except, well, I was mad when Vick got a second chance.  I’m still glad he’s gone from Atlanta.  He’s the very thing I’m always trying to advocate for and yet, I’m the one pissed he isn’t getting another bad shake from society after serving his time.  His story is the story I’m always hoping for when I think of “criminals” reacquainting themselves with civilization at large.

So, I’m really glad I read that article.  It reminded me that my moral high ground isn’t always so easy to stomach, even if I truly feel it’s the right thing.  It reminded me that I’m part of the problem as often as I’m part of the solution.  I hold stereotypes and make assumptions and have irrational fear just like everyone else.

I’m human, too, in case you didn’t know.

Written by thelittlepecan

December 13, 2010 at 12:01 am

Posted in football

Tagged with , , , , ,

11 Responses

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  1. One of my favorite quotes from you is “We showed the fan-base that integrity counts”. I love dogs AND football, so Mike Vick kind of sparks contradictory thoughts in my mind, as I’m sure he does in many others. Our team had no choice but to let him go because it’s a business. The future of the team rested with the guy and he became unavailable to the detriment of the team. Everyone made it through, and I can’t wait til the road to the NFC Championship comes through Atlanta. I believe we can beat the Eagles.
    Of course I must say I love how well Mike’s doing. No ‘but’ to that. As someone who’s been convicted of a felony and can’t get a freaking job to save my life, I have to believe second chances are possible for everyone. And not just second chances, but third, fourth–however many it takes to rehabilitate someone (short of proven murderers and child abusers, in my own opinion) who is truly remorseful and wants to contribute to society. Fortunately for Mike, our society can conveniently catch amnesia for certain people–I’m guessing it’s according to their individual talents and what they can offer (extra points for entertainment value, no doubt). I guess I better start working on my PR…


    December 13, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    • In an age of football when there’s not even any integrity in college ball, I’m PROUD to root for teams that I don’t have to worry about. Sportsmanship should still count for something.


      December 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm

  2. Its spelled FAVRE. But its ok, Wisconsinites spell it wrong all the time too. 😉


    December 13, 2010 at 11:45 am

    • Crap. I must’ve had a dyslexic typing moment. I even checked the spelling before I hit Go!


      December 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm

  3. It’s because this was such a personal affront. When you welcome and support somebody and he shits on you it’s much harder to forgive than if the same thing happens to your buddy over in San Francisco. (Yes, Alex Smith. I’m pointing at you.)


    December 13, 2010 at 9:28 am

    • Possibly, but what about my ability to forgive most anything when it is actually personal as in a person I know? How many of us (looking at YOU, Jim) forgive and practically forget when it’s people in our real lives?


      December 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

      • Maybe it’s harder with Mike because he’s part of our constructed life. That’s something we idealize and make perfect, or at least exceptional, because we construct it ourselves. That makes the difference between the failed reality and our objective fantasy so much more drastic that breaches become unforgivable.

        So maybe it’s not that Vick did something so reprehensible but rather that he acted directly to destroy our fantasy. How can you forgive somebody for destroying your fantasy?


        December 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

        • I think he was the first sports player I really invested in on an individual level. I watched game after game and the dude never came through. He never came through because he didn’t care. Read that article, he was last one in, first one out always partying that 600 million contract right away.

          Something about cruelty to animals likens to cruelty to children. Both helpless. It gives me the heebeejeebees.


          December 13, 2010 at 10:36 pm

  4. Yeah, I’m human too and I feel ya. =)

    Xepher Borchaf

    December 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

  5. You’re wha– ?

    I must go re-evaluate everything in my world now.


    December 13, 2010 at 12:22 am

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