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.