Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Free Mike Vick!

Legally speaking, this is a good development for Michael Vick. He won't have to fight a distracting marijuana charge and it would seem that there is no basis for the NFL to suspend him if the Dade County police have determined that Vick did not have marijuana in his fake bottle.

Practically speaking, Vick's exoneration doesn't really affect my view of him that much. For one thing, Dade County might have made the decision that it just isn't worth it to fight Vick's very capable attorney(s) over marijuana residue. I'd imagine that they have larger fish to fry. For another thing, it's hard to conclude that Vick didn't have marijuana in the bottle at some point, given the smell emanating from the fake bottle, as well as the fact that he had the fake bottle in the first place. Vick didn't exactly rush forward to deny that the bottle was clean (even through his attorney) and the Falcons' brass getting after him is inconsistent with Vick being totally innocent. And finally, Vick still showed bad judgment in trying to take his fake bottle onto a plane (he might has well have tried to take a time bomb alarm clock) and then fighting when the bottle was taken from him. The beef with his actions in the first place was not his weed smoking (although that still might be a problem if he is a frequent user and I doubt that casual users walk around with fake bottles that smell of marijuana), but the lack of sense he showed.

Mark Bradley, as usual, nails it:

For all that, you still have a grand opportunity. This head coach arrives with the express mission of making you better. When Bobby Petrino was with Jacksonville, he’d sit with fellow assistant Dom Capers, ticketed to be the first coach of the expansion Texans, on charter flights and they’d talk about how it would be to have the draft’s No. 1 pick and for that No. 1 pick to be you. Way back then, Petrino was thinking of the plays he’d draw up to utilize your skill set. Lo and behold, here he is.

And what was your first face-to-face encounter with the new man? A "stressful" (Rich McKay’s word) meeting regarding the water bottle. Even the usually understanding front office sounds as if it has lost patience: The Falcons’ three-sentence release Monday didn’t mention you by name. And still missing from all the water-bottle blather is any explanation from you.

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