Undoubtedly, football is the most popular sport in America. Whether this is due to an attractive cocktail of speed, strategy and violence contained within the game or the undeniable influence of fantasy sports and gambling is another matter all together. For the record, I would attribute a good deal of the sport’s overwhelming popularity to the latter factors. Over the last few weeks, dozens of anxious males aged 18 – 40 have disclosed to me their breathless anticipation for the upcoming NFL season. This time of year provides the modern male a legitimate excuse to order delivery, gamble frivolously, and meld to the couch for 14 straight hours of TV watching heaven.
Wanna bet that Tim Donaghy is not doing much prep for his fantasy draft this year?
Due to the doldrums of the summer sports season because of an over-reliance on baseball and waiting to see if David Beckham will dye his hair or wear it in a faux hawk; it’s no surprise that the Michael Vick “dogfighting” case has monopolized the headlines. (Sorry baseball purists, I’m not buying into the argument that the intrigue of a pennant race is a more compelling proposition than when college and pro basketball/football are in full swing). Name me one person who would rather listen to a drove of semi-literate, ex-players blather on about their fantasy picks (see Jerome Bettis/Tim Brown) instead of discussing the latest details of “Bad Newz” Kennel? (Do you think Walther Matthau was involved in any way?)
“No me gusta el perro!”
In terms of athletes getting into trouble I can’t say Michael Vick is a complete surprise. First off, he is a professional football player which by my rough calculations gives him a 86,000 % higher chance of getting arrested than the average schmuck. Additionally, he shares the same DNA with Marcus Vick who felt compelled to brandish a gun at two teenagers outside a McDonald’s and make concerted run for the biggest bonehead athlete alive a couple of years ago. Of course, there was the incident when he was found in possession of a water bottle modified to smuggle weed past airline security. This is a multimillionaire we are talking about, and not some college stoner going back home for Thanksgiving break. Additionally, who can forget the “Ron Mexico” scandal which made the pseudonyms “Chest Rockwell” and “Brock Landers” seem amateurish in comparison? The “Ron Mexico” scandal deserves its own article on the impact it has had on pop culture. How many guys now use this as fantasy team name or IM moniker? Why do these same males giggle uncontrollably and give “pounds” whenever this saga is brought up?
Maybe Ron Mexico can actually throw to somebody besides Algee Crumpler in the red zone?
However, the most compelling evidence why this occurrence was not a big surprise was the simple fact that Michael Vick is not the smartest tool in the shed. Everytime I see Vick interviewed he has that glazed over look in his eye I had in AP Calculus. However, this occurs when the southpaw QB is asked such intellectually taxing questions as, “Does your NFL rated no.1 rushing offense open up the opportunity for play action?” Thus, it should come as no surprise that the little alarm that rings in most of our heads when presented with a really bad idea, does not appear to make Vick blink. I think if an investigation was taken it would reveal that an intellectually enhanced clone took the Wunderlick test for him. We are talking stupidity approaching Tim Hardaway levels! What’s more befuddling is the fact that Falcon’s owner Arthur Blank stood by Vick for so long and put the entire fate of the franchise in this village idiot’s hands. This is self-made man that managed to turn Home Depot into one of the most powerful corporations in the world while bearing an uncanny resemblance to the flamboyant “Hairspray” Director John Waters! Blank must have thought the Powerade commercials of Vick were real if he turned this blind an eye to his star QB’s glaring flaws and consistent history of terrible decision making. As a shareholder of Home Depot let’s hope he does not give his CFO this much bandwidth!? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Vick was pitched the idea on the dogfighting operation? Were powerpoint presentations and pro-formas utilized? Did he ask for a valuation of the kennel? Perhaps #7 considered the prospect of venture capital funding to mitigate his risk? Actually, he probably thought it was a safer bet than the other proposition which called for developing a enterprise based on the movie “Blow” starring Johnny Depp.
Arthur Blank separated at birth form John Waters. Who has a better bumper/stache?
Given the most recent details of Vick’s participation in the slaughtering of the dogs, it seems likely he will take the plea agreement and be conspicuously absent from the gridiron for a minimum of two years. Based on the history of his decision making it’s anybody guess on what course of action Vick will ultimately take. He will probably attempt to fight the charges and blame it on Jim Mora’s version of the West Coast offense. There is no transgression that raises the ire of the American public like abusing and murdering man’s best friend. Thus, in the court of public opinion, Vick is pretty much approaching Orenthal James Simpson territory. When a good old-fashioned American scandal reaches a conclusion, a time eventually comes when the vultures of capitalism circle to make a quick buck off the gruesome details and back story (see O.J. Simpson’s “If I Did It”). In my humble opinion I think many details of the case are ripe for a low budget made for TV movie series a’ la “The Bronx is Burning” on ESPN or “the so bad it’s good appeal” of “Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story” (As for “Bronx” …was the “Son of Sam” angle really necessary? Or is it the “Zodiac Kiler”. I always get my retro serial killers confused…)
“The Hank Gathers Story: So Bad it made Bo Kimble’s pro career look good!” RIP Hank…
The following are some key characteristics “Michael Vick: The Rise and Fall of an athletic Village Idiot” already has going for it:
- Co-Defendant nicknames are gold! (Quaniss Phillips, Purnell A. Peace and Tony Taylor) Not even Tony Montana had a crew of roughnecks like this!!
- Vick will have to play himself because he will have no other career options. This will add legitimacy and really, really bad acting….a plus for any sports movie.
- Home Depot can contribute all the materials to build the movie set for free
- PETA will protest the TV series so vehemently it will result in tremendous buzz and ratings. Vick should wear chinchilla to the premiere and toss footballs soaked in red paint at him.
- Due to Vick’s highlight reel type career the film can have an awesome 80’s style montage utilized effectively by sports movies such as Teen Wolf and Karate Kid. This one can be spiced up with some staged clips of Vick and his crew puffing blunts criscrossed with images of snarling pit bulls. DMX can supply the soundtrack since he seems the most likely of entertainers to have a kennel himself.
- Marcus Vick can get arrested for assaulting the catering staff during filming to improve the streed cred of the film
- Have John Tuturro play Arthur Blank. “Nobody messes with the Jesus…or a drunk Billy Martin”
I leave you with some Michael Vick highlights. Good luck making license plates in the clink. We hardly knew ya’…..