Monday, July 20, 2009

Some Guy Makes a Bunch of Stupid Arguments Why Michael Vick Should Be Banned For Life

For the record, I don't give a shit whether Vick is ever allowed to play football in the NFL again. I don't think there's an irresistible argument on either side of the issue. I also have my doubts that he'll ever see major playing time in the NFL again even if he is reinstated, amazingly dynamic and successful Wildcat offense trend or not.

That said, this article by George Dohrmann (heh heh more like DORKman--that's the FJayM difference!) is chock full of some of the jackassiest argumentation I've ever seen.

For the record, I own two dogs: a yellow Labrador retriever and a mutt my wife rescued from a shelter. My stance that he should not be allowed to return to the NFL, however, has little to do with his abuse of animals. It is grounded in a desire for equitable treatment of all individuals

Am I the only one annoyed by this aspect of all Vick discussions. Whether someone owns dogs, or loves dogs, or thinks dogs are nicer than people always seems to come up when someone's making a point. Not a big deal, just something that grinds my gears.

But "equitable treatment of all individuals"? GMAB. Given that this is a unique circumstance, that shit doesn't fly. Letting Vick back in will be an injustice to whom? Pacman Jones, who was let back in the league? Tank Johnson, who was let back in the league? Chris Henry, who was let back in the league? If anything the "equitable treatment for all individuals" argument is a strike AGAINST Vick being banned for life.

Nice try though, fella.

Vick's crimes repulse me, but matters of fairness and finances are why, if I were Goodell, I'd meet with Vick later this month and inform him that he is banned from the NFL for life.

This is the worst use of the "but" conjunction of all time.

Let me start by debunking one common rationale offered in support of Vick's reinstatement: players who have done far worse have been allowed to return to the league. An oft-cited example is Leonard Little, the St. Louis Rams defensive end who killed a woman in 1998 when driving drunk. The NFL suspended him for eight games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, an appallingly light penalty. Then commissioner Paul Tagliabue erred in his handling of Little's case, which current commissioner Goodell implicitly confirmed when he indefinitely suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth recently for committing the same crime as Little.

Dohrmann apparently has confused "indefinitely" and "permanently". For the record, when Pacman Jones was banned "indefinitely" by Goodell, he ended up serving 4 games (iirc). My guess would be Stallworth will serve a year (if he's even league-caliber after that). So this is a pretty shitty way to argue Vick should be "banned for life".

And what's up with this "if not NO PENALTY, then A RIDICULOUSLY HARSH PENALTY" thing that Dohrmann's running with? So you're going to refute the idea that Vick should have NO PENALTY (a pretty extreme position) and counter by saying he should have THE ULTIMATE PENALTY?

Ok d00d.

Still, some take the view that if Little received only an eight-game suspension for killing a woman, how can Vick get a more severe penalty for killing a few dogs?

This presupposes that the league and its fans can't move the line of tolerance. Goodell showed with his early handling of Stallworth's suspension that precedent does not bind him, nor should it. Vick's case is unique, and Goodell should treat it as such.

Certainly the league reserves that right, but that hardly falls into the category of "equitable treatment for all individuals".

Also, I love how this guy has completely misunderstood the nature of Stallworth's suspension.

Vick didn't commit one heinous act; he financed and participated in an illegal operation for years. He is a repeat offender just by the nature of his crimes. In addition to the harm Vick brought upon animals, gambling also occurred at the fights run by Bad Newz Kennels. Vick also lied to Goodell and Falcons owner Arthur Blank when first questioned about his involvement. Violence + gambling + deception = three compelling reasons to banish Vick forever.

I'm not sure how the law works in financing illicit operations, but my suspicion is it's just one count. Financing an illegal operation is a little different from, like rape and murder or something. Larry B, a little help?

By the way, the little equation at the end of this quotation is pretty funny imo.

Is that fair? I think so, even if it goes against one of the loudest arguments made in favor of Vick's reinstatement: After serving a 23-month federal prison sentence, after losing all of his money, after being publicly humiliated, Vick has paid for his crimes. His debt to society fulfilled, he deserves the chance to rebuild his life via the NFL.

I realize celebrities are treated differently, but no job, especially playing in the NFL, should be considered a fundamental right. At a time when millions of people have lost their jobs, why is it unthinkable to some that Vick, after throwing away his football career, should be forced to ply a different trade than he did before?

This is a valid point, but once again "making a compelling argument that Vick shouldn't escape punishment"=/="making a compelling argument that Vick should be banned for life"

To be sure, Vick can find work in football outside the NFL. The new United Football League might pay him $1 million or more a season. He could also get into coaching. Yet those who support his return to the NFL speak as if it would be a failure of the system for him to land anywhere but football's highest peak, that any opportunity short of that would deprive him of a shot at redemption. That is the narrowest view of what constitutes redemption, and it is flat wrong. Would he be insufficiently absolved if he spent the rest of his life working hard at a blue-collar job?

Except that's not the argument. The argument isn't "Should the NFL be forced to give Vick a spot on the roster of one of its teams?" The argument is "Should the NFL allow Vick the opportunity to play for an NFL team if that NFL team thinks he will be beneficial to their success?"

Some believe Goodell should let the market decide Vick's future. Reinstate him and see if a team is willing to sign him. This connects to another reason I believe Goodell should keep Vick out of the league: It's bad for business.

In one online poll, 71 percent of the more than 140,000 respondents replied "No" to the question: "Would you want your favorite team to take a chance on Vick when he gets out of prison?" To the question, "Should the NFL allow Vick back into the league?" people were more divided, with 58.1 percent believing he should be permitted to return and 41.9 percent in favor of a ban. That might appear to be a good sign for Vick -- a majority favored his return -- but Goodell can't be happy knowing that he would appease only 58.1 percent of the league's base if he allowed Vick to return.

This is one of the stupidest fucking things I've ever read.

A more relevant question, one not asked in the poll, would be: Would you stop supporting the NFL if Vick were reinstated? Among die-hard fans the answer would be a resounding "no." Vick or no Vick, they would support their team and play fantasy football. But what about the casual fan or the dog lover who has yet to totally embrace the league and its players? Goodell would lose at least some of those people, and that's not fiscally wise. Sponsors would also have to think twice about supporting the team that signs Vick.

Or this. Sheesh. I give up.


Larry B said...

Financing an illegal operation is not nearly as bad as rape or murder, unless that illegal operation involves killing dogs. In that case it's the worst crime ever committed. See Idiots v. Other Idiots, 551 U.S. 701 (2007).

Also, I'm willing to bet less than 50% of NFL fans would be appeased if Favre plays for the Vikings this fall. No way could Goodell be happy about that.

Tonus said...

The problem with that article is that it's really supposed to be one paragraph on "why I think Michael Vick shouldn't be reinstated."

Which means that the other 15 or 16 paragraphs should've been deleted. Especially the last line. "I think there is no good reason why Michael Vick should be reinstated to play in the NFL this fall. None."

Well shit, that settles it. Guys, George Dohrmann can't think of a good reason why Vick should be reinstated. CASE FUCKING CLOSED.

Chris W said...

I mean the best argument for Vick to be banned for life is that he "Did something illegal which shocks and outrages the fans AND which he lied about to Goodell."

The dude spends half his article beating that point unnecessarily into the ground (not considering that it's not a convincing argument to those of the contrary position) and the other half making false analogies and sodomizing logic.

rich said...

I can understand both sides of the argument (I've taken the radical don't give a flying fuck position) and if you take some of his arguments out of context they make sense.

For instance, I can see how saying Leonard Little isn't a valid comparison because it was a light sentence dished out under a different commissioner in a different era. One bad punishment doesn't mean that all future punishments are to be used as precident (and everyone gets off easy). To then say that Person X got an indefinite suspension and therefore Vick is gone forever is all sorts of retarded.

Since he used a formula in the article and I like math, I'm going to use the Sandwich Theorem:

Postulate 1:
If for some crimes X, Y and Z, corresponding Punishments Px, Py and Pz and taking X < Y to mean crime X is less significant than crime Y. Then if:

X < Y < Z it follows that
Px < Py < Pz

With Z = negligent homicide of a human
Y = illegal gambling ring and animal abuse
X = beating up a bunch of strippers to get your money back

It follows that Vick's punishment should follow somewhere between 4 games and whatever Stallworth might get. Which considering no one has ever been banned from the NFL before will likely be between 8 games and a full season.

Also, ut Goodell can't be happy knowing that he would appease only 58.1 percent of the league's base is the most baffling thing ever written.

Yes, go against 60% of your fans in order to appease the 40%, great business practice there.

Chris W said...

Well we all know that MOST decisions in the NFL prior to this have had nearly unanimous approval of the fans.

After all, if there's one thing Americans tend to do, it's to agree with one another.

rich said...

Chris W,

I have tendency to not click on the links posted (the don't give them bandwidth rule). I check SI and lo and behold there's the article and a poll...

as of 97,000 votes or so a whopping 19.8% wanted to keep Vick out, but still screw you 80% who kick puppies!

Chris W said...

how dare Goodell alienate 20% of internet voters?

dan-bob said...

Well we all know that MOST of the decisions the NFL has made up to this point have been made because they have the approval of the fans.

Jarrett said...

Leonard Little served 0 jail time and was caught driving drunk 6 years after he killed someone driving drunk.

Also, Vick sucks as a QB. It needed to be said. I wouldn't want him on my team because he's great at not completing passes and getting picked off.