The national story that dog-fighting was apparently taking place at a house owned by Mike Vick in Virginia and that Vick was associated with a dog-selling web site is bad. The story that came out this morning from the journalist who is covering the story in the Seven Cities area was far worse. (Kudos to 790 the Zone for getting a really interesting interview.) Sadly, I didn't get the name of the interviewee, but here were the highlights:
1. Vick claims that he never went to the house, but neighbors remember him coming and going on a regular basis.
2. Vick regularly bought supplies at a local pet shop.
3. None of the residents of the house had jobs, but the dog-fighting operation that appears to have been run from the house requires a significant amount of money. In other words, they had to have a rich investor.
4. The authorities in the area are trying to compile as much information as possible before interviewing Vick. They are very interested because this appears to be a very large dog-fighting operation on a relative scale.
Translation: if even some of this is true, then Vick is going to be suspended for a portion of next year, the Falcons are going to cut bait on him (too bad the Raiders just addressed their quarterback situation), and Vick is going to lose all of his endorsements. If Vick really was involved in a dog-fighting operation, then few people are going to forgive him. This isn't a crime of passion or a momentary lapse that can be understood, if not condoned. This isn't marijuana use that, at the end of the day, really isn't a big deal. This crime would be concerted, regular activity by a guy who didn't need the money. As much as Vick has frustrated me over the past several years and as much as I've said to myself "we'll never win big with this guy because fundamentally, he's a quarterback with average accuracy and decision-making skills," I really hope that this situation isn't as bad as it sounded this morning.