Friday, August 24, 2007

Vick to Plead Guilty, Maybe?

Earlier this week it was all over the news, Michael Vick was going to accept a plea agreement in the ongoing federal case against him. This was following a guilty plea by all his co-defendants, who also agreed to testify against Vick if his case went to trial. Among the testimony they were supposed to bring was conformation that Vick provided the financial backing for the betting and dog-fighting operation, and that Vick personally took part in the executions of several of the losing dogs.

Now we find out that Vick, while he still intends to plead guilty, will not admit to betting on the dog fights, nor to participating in the executions. He claims that he was present when the dogs were killed, but did not actually take part. I know there is a subtle legal difference there ( like less time spent in jail), but in the court of public opinion it doesn't really matter if Vick actually killed the dogs, because as the head of this illegal operation, Vick at least approved the killings, and then stood there and watched. Either way Vick is seen by most as a barbaric animal abuser. At the same time Vick does plan to plead guilty to a charge of interstate commerce for the purpose of dogfighting. So Vick is admitting he went to the dog fights, and was financially involved in the operation, but he didn't bet any money. That's like saying I bought into a poker game and sat down at the table, but I didn't play, or I bought tickets to a game and sat down in my seat, but didn't watch the game, or, well, you get my point.

This all seems like a last ditch effort by Vick and his lawyers to try and save some shred of dignity for Vick and reduce the inevitable suspension Roger Goodell will be handing down in the wake of the trial. My only hope is that this is all over soon so we can get back to some of the feel-good stories sports has to offer, like the return of Rick Ankiel to Major League Baseball, or the international heroics in the Little League World Series (seriously, walk-offs in both semifinals, sweet).

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