- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2007

Michael Vick’s positive marijuana test is a sign he is nowhere as contrite as he would like the judge, NFL commissioner and his apologists to believe.

Vick should have been on his best behavior after pleading guilty in federal court on dogfighting-related charges.

He should have been afraid to drop a gum wrapper on a sidewalk, considering his dire circumstances.

Yet 17 days after he copped a plea and knowing he would be tested, his urine turned up dirty.

This is not about Vick being stupid. This is about Vick still not getting it.

This is about Vick sticking to the same old behavior patterns that led to his downfall.

This is about Vick doing the easy thing instead of trying to clean up his act, as he has a zillion reasons to do with his future in the hands of a no-nonsense judge and NFL commissioner.

Here is Vick thumbing his nose yet again at his delirious supporters, a few of whom could be heard uttering nonsense during a town-hall meeting that was televised on ESPN this week.

Ground control to those living on Planet Vick:

He is really not worth your blind support. He no more cares about you than the dogs he and his pals executed.

If he felt any connection to his fans and the city that previously supported him and if the words in his apology had any power, he would be doing everything in his power to start the long process of redemption in a proper fashion.

To those who insist, “It is only weed,” sorry, that line of reasoning is in the company of, “They were only dogs.”

The “it-is-only” defense could aid us with any number of difficulties.

It is only speeding. It is only driving with a suspended driver’s license. It is only being drunk and disorderly. It is only destruction of property.

Unfortunately, the “it-is-only” defense does not play well in the real world, where the majority of Americans dwell. In the real world, if you break the law, you suffer the consequences.

Now it is true that if you are famous and your pockets are deep enough, you can get away with murder, and I am not even referring to O.J. Simpson. The freaky-looking Phil Spector is the latest celebrity to beat a murder rap, at least for now.

Unfortunately for Vick, his hangers-on cut deals with the feds and ratted him out.

His defense team clearly believed he could not outrun the testimony of his hangers-on if the case went to trial, although that conclusion was possibly wrongheaded in today’s upside-down celebrity-justice culture.

I was not one of those who thought Vick should receive the maximum penalty from the judge and an additional punishment from the NFL commissioner.

I thought two or three years away from the game in the prime years of his playing career would have been a sufficient punishment.

But now with this latest egregious act of defiance on Vick’s part, I am having doubts.

I mean, what does it take to reach Vick?

He has squandered millions of dollars, lost his place in the NFL, become public enemy No. 1 to PETA and like-minded groups and is in a vulnerable position with the judge and the NFL.

And yet despite his incredible fall from grace and the prospect of prison, there he goes flunking a drug test.

It is indefensible, unthinkable, crazy, if Vick is hoping to receive a measure of leniency from the judge and Roger Goodell.

The judge and Goodell undoubtedly are shaking their heads in private, wondering what Vick could be thinking, if thinking is the right word.

They certainly are not saying, “It is only weed.”

No, the judge and Goodell want an indication of sorts from the fallen quarterback that he finally gets it.

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