Jockbeat: Vick is a Dog - on the Field, That Is
In today's Daily News, several people from outside pro football, most of them from animal rights groups, are having their say.
For instance, Dan Shannon, assistant director for campaigns from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) wants Vick put through a rigorous examination -- psychological, that is -- to determine whether "This guy really thinks what he did is wrong." The supposition here is that Vick should not be allowed back into football until, in addition to having served his legal penalty, he convinces animal lovers that he's really, really sorry.
For the record, we love dogs and we do not like Michael Vick, but this is all getting a bit thick.
As former New York Giants Harry Carson said to the Sporting News, "Michael Vick was charged, he was tried, he was convicted, he paid the price. I don't see any reason why he should not be able to come back and play." Thanks for the spot-on analysis, Harry. Vick paid his debt and that should be the only consideration regarding whether he should now be allowed to continue to pursue his living in his chosen profession.
Whether any NFL team should want to hire Vick based on his playing record is another matter, one that has curiously gone undiscussed in the sporting press. While everyone agrees that he is one of the most talented athletes of his time, Vick has always gotten a free pass when it comes to analysis of his effectiveness on a football field. His won-lost with the Atlanta Falcons is an unimpressive 38-28-1 and his career NFL passer rating is a less than mediocre 75.7, which would rank him 27th among active NFL quarterbacks -- if you considered Vick as active. Certainly the Falcons, who went 11-5 last year with Matt Ryan (QB rating 85.7) aren't going to be thrilled to see Vick's car pull up at their training camp.