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Chan Lowe: The Michael Vick deal


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You don’t have to know anything about sports (and I don’t) to be thoroughly disgusted by Former Dog Fighter Michael Vick’s $100 million six-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. There are so many repellent elements to it that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Because Vick can throw a ball and run better than anyone else, the Eagles are happy to reward him with a salary that leaves many of us in this anemic economy slack-jawed, even though he presents anything but a fine example for young people who, for better or worse, look to sports figures as role models.

I know a few classroom teachers who are better at what they do than many others, yet they are reduced to scrabbling for the paltry crumbs thrown their way by grudging governments. But, as we know, the money goes where the money is. When you want to get together for an evening of bonding at a sports bar, you and your buddies don’t crack open an algebra textbook.

Maybe the answer would be to boycott the watching of any Eagles games, and the buying of Eagles tickets, as a way of registering our dismay. Right. It would be easier to get fans to stop drinking beer and eating pretzels. And therein lies the problem: Morality, as I’ve written before, is for losers. The code is different for those who excel at professional sports, just as it is for the titans of Wall Street. The owners who made the unholy deal with Vick can be certain that his playing ability will attract fans, no matter what. There is no crime he could commit that would cause them to turn away in revulsion.

Which says a lot more about the fans than it does about Michael Vick, who’s just another ex-con trying to make an honest living.

Credit line: A tip of the hat to my colleague, Paul “Don’t Shoot The Messenger” Owers, who, as our crack housing writer, covers the most relentlessly depressing beat in journalism. He sauntered by my desk while I was drawing and made the suggestion that I include fantasy football, which has practically eclipsed the real thing in popularity. Once I had him explain to me what it was, I agreed.

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Comments

Aside from the fact that he is a convicted felon, his overall accomplishments in the NFL don't warrant this kind of contract. The top quarterbacks in the league should be appalled as well as the fans of those quarterbacks and the teams they play for. I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have an NFC or AFC championship to his name, let alone a Superbowl ring.


I think you will want to place a facebook icon to your site. Just marked down this article, but I must make it manually. Just my advice.


Hey, dogfighting disgusts me as much as anyone as I am the owner of the best and coolest beagle on the planet. However, Michael Vick paid his debt to society. In fact, I dare say that his celebrity status hurt him in this particular case. Regular old people who fight dog's and are arrested generally don't serve two years in prison. At any rate, what the hell does a teacher's compensation have to do with this? Absolutely nothing. Might as well compare firefighter salaries with Tom Cruise's income. Apples and oranges dude. Whether you like it or not, the NFL and all other sports (and entertainment) do serve a purpose in this country. Ever notice what happens to a community when it's local team wins? There is a certain amount of pride associated with being a fan and winning teams tend aid their fans by putting a little spring in their step and a smile on their face. While some teachers work very hard every day and have a thankless job, these athletes and (most) celebrities did not work any less hard at their craft. In most cases I would maintain that they worked harder to get to the elite level where 10 million dollar contracts are discussed. Ever see the workload of the average college football/basketball/baseball player? It's a 60 hour work week before they get to hit the books. In the Pros, the work week is even longer.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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