a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Serial Killer and the Hero.

There's a photo coming up a little bit later that you may not want to see.  I've written about Michael Vick before but have intentionally avoided putting up any of the photographs introduced into evidence against him.  One of those, just one, is in the middle of this post.  Consider that before going forward.  I'll give you another warning before we get there. 




Each year, every NFL Team selects a recipient of a "courage" award and then from those representatives the NFL picks one player as its good samaritan of the year.

The Philadelphia Eagles, by a unanimous vote of the players, picked Michael Vick this year.

Vick, humbled by this show of appreciation, said this:

I've overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear.

It's too bad all the year end, decade end compilations are in the can - because that's one of the most amazing things I've ever heard an athlete say. 

Meanwhile...criminal profiler Pat Brown, who gets a lot of run on cable news shows I do not watch, said the following about Tiger Woods:

It hasn't been a hidden thing. He got careless.


We see that with serial killers. In the beginning of their serial killing they are careless because they don't know any better. Then they get smart and they're careful. And then they get so arrogant, so used to doing it, they stop paying attention to what they're doing.


I think Tiger's the same way. He got to the point he was doing it so much, he just got more and more careless. He thought he was completely untouchable.

So, there you go.  Mike Vick tortured dogs for years.  He didn't make a mistake.  He didn't get careless one night.  And he wasn't just a bankroll.  He personally, multi-millionaire Michael Vick, tortured dogs at his own hands - over and over and over again.  Here comes the picture.
 
 

 


Mike Vick went to prison.  And after Mike Vick went to prison, he returned to his multi-million dollar job.

Now, that's fine.  I don't need Mike Vick to go back to jail.  And if the Philadelphia Eagles want to pay Mike Vick 1.6 million dollars a year to hold a clipboard, I don't think they should be stopped.  It isn't the world the way I'd draw it up, but I understand the world that is.  If it were me, a college professor with a Bar membership and two graduate degrees and a negative net worth - my career ends with that conviction.  That conviction means I'm an hourly wage earner the rest of my life.  But I understand the world that is.  And although even very smart people like Dave Zirin, people who I would normally agree with, wrote that everyone would get a second chance - the truth is that if Mike Vick had, say, been caught in a compromising position with a 15 year old boy - you would never see him on a football field again and no one would complain he was being persecuted.   

But as we get to 2010, here's where things stand.  Michael Vick has been named the most courageous member of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Michael Vick is able to talk about how much he's overcome, how he's overcome more than "95%" of the population could bear.  It's not just that he's served his time; it's not just that he returns to his multi-million dollar profession - it's that he is officially stamped as a good guy.  It's one thing to say "he's served his time" - it's another thing to say "because he served his time, now he is a hero."  This is a league which bans end zone celebration dances as not consistent with the image it wants to present to the public - but the official personification of courage of the Philadelphia Eagles is a man named such because he no longer tortures dogs.  Those employed to comment on football have historically shown outrage whenever some degree of "sportsmanship" which exists in their minds hasn't been displayed on the field.  There is no invective too strong to be hurled at someone overly gyrating after a touchdown.  And god forbid a prop is used - because that really is what tears at the fabric of civil society.  Ask any NFL fan if TO or Chad Ochocino should ever win his team's good guy award.  Show offs.  Selfish "look at me" show offs. 

T.O. ran to the Cowboy star after all.  Remember?  And that one time he pulled a Sharpie out of his sock!  Outrageous!  And Randy Moss fake mooned the Packer fans!  Joe Buck really let him have it.  Good for you Joe Buck!  Some things are unforgiveable.  Why can't the players today just turn and hand the carcasses of their tortured dogs to the referee after they score like good ole' Barry Sanders?  Now that was a classy dude. 

And Tiger Woods - Tiger Woods is said to share the personally traits with serial killers.

If Tiger Woods were to go away for a year and a half, come back to the tour, not play very much or very well - but at the end of the year win some sort of sportsmanship award, what would be the reaction?  Plug Barry Bonds into that equation too while you're at it.  But Mike Vick said, and I can't re-write it enough:

I've overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear.

That's where we stand at the end of 2009.

I Pick Every NFL Game - Week 16

Overall: 110-111-3

SD +3 Tenn (win)
Oak +3 Cleve (loss)
Bengals -13.5 KC (loss)
Texans +3 Miami (win)
Saints -14 TB (loss)
NE -8 Jax (win)
Steelers -2.5 Balt (win)
GB -14 Seattle (win)
Bills +9 Falcons (loss)
NYG -7 Panthers (loss)
Cards -14 StL (win)
Niners -12.5 Lions (win)
Eagles -7 Denver (loss)
Colts -5.5 Jets (loss)
Redskins +7 Dallas (loss)
Vikes -7 Bears (loss)

7-9
117-120-3