Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm a Real Boy Now Geppetto!

I know this post will stir the pot a bit, especially with my associate Justin, but I have to get this off of my chest and beg the question...

If Michael Vick finally became a person two weekends ago what exactly was he while he was in prison? Surely not a 'symbol' as the above caption suggests. 'Outcast' would be more fitting.

Moreover, if he wasn't a person in prison how was he one outside of it before he was sentenced to hard time?

I find it hard to believe that pre-prison dog-killing Vick was any different from in-prison dog-killing Vick. Maybe Michael Vick the person only existed during his college days or early pro years?

Regardless, the caption on the above picture made me laugh and frown at the same time when I read it.

Why does playing a professional football game make someone any more of a person than someone who has not? In times like this I find myself agreeing with the line of thinking that Americans place too much emphasis on athletics (especially professional), but I digress.

My feelings for Vick have been made clear before but don't get me wrong - I think it is great he is trying to move on with his life and put his past behind him.

As long as we don't have to hear him cry about it you won't hear me complain.


Justin Cates said...

Two things.

Vick is, was, and always will be a symbol for many things to many people. Whether it's an example of promise unfulfilled, excessive prosecution or the ultimate redemption we shall have to wait and see.

Now, what they're saying is; Vick was a person, who went to prison where he was no longer a person. Upon release he became a person again.

The whole point of prison is to take away everything from you. They give you a number, which is the only way they refer to you and they remove any form of expression you have. You aren't a person in prison by any classic definition.

Now he's out, he has a job and he's doing far more than most ex-cons.

I've been struck by how different he sounds when interviewing. That 60 minutes piece you keep referencing was a bit different, a lot of embarrassment and awkwardness. He now speaks with much more confidence and he seems humble. A world away from 10 years ago when he burst on the scene.

Brian said...

While I understand the point of prison one thing is for certain: a person is a person is a person. Jail, no jail, lost, forgotten, whatever the situation may be a person is and always is a person.

My feelings for Vick, the person, aside, I don't think it is a fair comparison that he, unlike most ex-cons, has a job.

Yeah, he kept himself in shape while in prison and worked hard to stay at an NFL caliber level.

Nonetheless, you would be hard-pressed to find a story like this in the work force. Cons are generally frowned upon in society (and rightfully so).

What employer would hire someone with a criminal record over someone with a clean slate?

Someone in his shoes in the work force surely would not have found employment so easily and quickly after being released.

Even those Enron execs won't be employed by anyone anytime soon (if ever again)... even if they made parole early.

Vick was granted a free pass by new commissioner Roger Goodell. He's collected his $200 and is rounding "Go" as we speak.

Only this time, he no longer has a "get out of jail free" card.


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