Atlanta Falcons

Michael- Michael- Michael…..

Michael Vick’s in trouble…..Big Trouble….

When Michael Vick gets the snap, no-one knows what’s going to happen. If his options are open downfield, then Vick will try and throw the ball – an adventure on its own. But if the cornerbacks and safeties are doing their jobs, then everyone in the stadium takes a deep breath. And then he comes. And God, can he run. Jinking, jumping, running, twisting, Michael Vick approaches the defenders like the Devil himself had made unmissable. Only the sidelines and the odd quick-thinking safety make sure he’s not going to the house on every play. Sometimes he’ll get ten yards – sometimes he’ll get seventy.

Quite frankly, we’ve loved the legs that run for over 1,000 yards a season since time at Virginia Tech and we’re getting friendlier with the arm that threw over nearly 2,500.

But if he’s found guilty of sponsoring a dogfighting operation which sees the winning dogs lorded and the losing dogs electrocuted, tortured or killed, then the only yards Michael Vick will be doing will be the hundreds he’ll pound in his back yard – or one belonging to the local penitentiary – “Why? Why? Why? Why did I let this happen?”

Last year, people were wondering how great a 2007 he will have. Now, with the NFL banning him from practice and the Falcons family turning their feathers on him, we’re all wondering if the same people are wondering if he’ll ever play again.

And the League and team aren’t the only people turning their backs on him.

Nike, who have been one his biggest paychecks outside of Atlanta, aren’t putting his new shoe out this summer. Nike – who haven’t exactly been in the world’s good books for their ethical corporate strategy in the last ten years – don’t need another corporate headache on their hands. Even the Boys and Girls Clubs of America must be thinking about saying: “Hey Michael, we’d rather you didn’t say how wonderful we are this year.”

Hey, even a NASCAR driver’s getting his words in. “Michael Vick? I just wish they’d put him in jail, put him in prison,” said Greg Biffle, who happens to be an animal rights activist in his spare time. “Just put him in prison and tell the general public, just give them all the details of what they do with those dogs. How they steal people’s dogs out of their front yards and use them for bait dogs and let other dogs kill them. There’s all the horrifying stories. You look at all the pictures on the Internet of the dogs, just maimed, mangled. It’s horrible.”

And the future — even if he gets off scott free — is bleak for Michael Vick. Even if the athletic brilliance is there, the reputation (well, the tatters he had left after being caught in the airport earlier in the offseason with a herb-flavoured bottle and other incidents) is gone. Insted of going into the season as being the posterboy for Nike, the Boys & Girls Clubs, or any quarterback who’s fleet of foot, he goes into the season as the posterboy for an awful NFL offseason. Add to that continued loss of salary and the increasing chances of long-term suspension, and the last person you’d want to be like is Mike.

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