There was a time when I ate, drank and slept sports – circa Brooklyn Dodgers through Archie Manning at Ole Miss. My interest waned when sports – college and professional – became all about big money.
So, it’s not surprising that the book I’m listening to has rekindled a lingering question. In Greg Iles’ “The Devil’s Punchbowl,” the evil that men do manifests itself in an illegal international dog-fighting ring. Iles’ descriptions of the brutality of these events, the breeding behind them and the bloodlust of spectators chills the soul. Tragically, a dog's "game" - the instinct to kill - depends on its loyalty to its master.
Iles' book is set in Natchez, Mississippi, in a state where participation in dog fighting is a felony punishable by 10 years in prison.
Anyone who gets off on watching animals bred for violence tear each other apart is sick – evil to the core. Could such a person change? Could Michael Vick?
To refresh your memory, Wikipedia says, “In April 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog-fighting ring that had operated over five years. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement. With the loss of his NFL salary and product endorsement deals, combined with previous financial mismanagement, Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008. Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank did not want Vick on the Falcons, and after attempts to trade him failed, Vick was released. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and was reinstated in Week 3 of the 2009 season.”
Now, just four years after Vick's guilty plea, I was stunned to learn recently that he had signed a six-year, $100 milliion contract with the Eagles.
The price of a quarterback.
How can anyone call this “sports”? This is no more sports than two pit bulks ripping each other’s throats out.
In a so-called civilized society the only thing that has changed since the days of the Colosseum is the price of the tickets or the big-screen TV.