- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Roger Goodell made the right move by reinstating Michael Vick for Week 6 of the regular season this fall.

So enough with all this hand-wringing over man’s best friend. Enough with all these portrayals that make Vick out to be Jihad Johnny, the treasonous California man who took up arms against the U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Vick did the crime and paid the price. It was a price that included bankruptcy and universal scorn from so many of the “perfect people” in the media, as Bob Knight once sarcastically dubbed those throwing stones from glass houses.

Being sanctimonious must go with being a dog lover.

Being a dog lover is the obligatory line that pops up in so many commentaries on Vick. The commentators feel compelled to flash their dog-loving credentials. They feel the pain of the dogs that Vick beat, maimed and killed.

They undoubtedly feel the pain of dogs that end up on dinner tables in certain countries. And they feel the pain of those dogs languishing at the pound that end up being put to sleep.

At some point in many of the commentaries, it really wasn’t about Vick. It was about the ultra-sophisticated commentators who had reached a higher state of evolution in seeing Vick as the sick person he is, unfit for the NFL, if not society.

The poor media types have more compassion for the terrorists locked up on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base than Vick. Yet the virgin-seeking souls clutching the Koran at Guantanamo Bay gladly would behead those who fret so about their welfare.

Just before one of the ACLU lawyers could make certain that the terrorists were being properly fed and the guards were being sufficiently courteous around them, these peace-loving souls would pull out their trusty steak knife and take to lopping off the head of their ridiculous enablers.

As far as we know, Vick never has beheaded anyone or waged war against the U.S. He never even has caused a stir at a strip club after “making it rain,” if he ever has “made it rain.”

Yet Vick remains Public Enemy No. 1.

Perhaps he should be sent to Elba, Napoleon’s exile island. He should not be allowed to do what he does best, which is play football at the highest level. That means playing in the NFL, not the CFL or some start-up league that won’t be around after a couple of weeks.

And this process of evaluating if Vick is truly remorseful, contrite and humbled is so much nonsense, so much grandstanding. Who has the God-like ability to peer inside a person’s heart to see if an apology is genuine?

Maybe Oprah. If so, maybe Vick should appear on Oprah’s show after holing up in a room filled with tear gas, which would allow him to squirt the appropriate amount of tears for those plumbing the depths of his tortured soul.

Otherwise, Vick has embraced Tony Dungy as his mentor and taken up with an animal welfare group as part of the rehabilitation process.

Does that mean he is sincere? Who knows? Better yet, who cares?

This is not to suggest that Vick somehow is a good guy who deserves a second chance. This is not a second chance. A second chance implies Vick escaped punishment for the offense, which, of course, he didn’t. He lost his freedom, two years of a lucrative career and a massive bank account.

This is to suggest that to continue beating a man while he is down is as contemptible as what Vick and his pals did with their dogfighting operation.

Vick has as much right to play in the NFL as the rest of the felons who play in the NFL, assuming he still has the speed, quickness and skill set to compete against the best.

As for the dog-loving, boo-hoo stuff, give it a rest already.

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