— The sentence imposed on Eagles quarterback Mike Vick for conspiracy to engage in gambling and dogfighting includes a lifetime ban on owning a dog.
He’s now politicking for a chance to change that specific aspect of the decision. In an interview with The Grio, Vick says that he thinks owning a dog would help his “rehabilitation.”
“I would love to have another dog in the future,” Vick said. “I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process, I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals, I think it would be outstanding. And if I ever have that opportunity again, I won’t take it for granted.”
(When Vick uses uses the term “rehabilitation,” he’s apparently not talking about his rehabilitation from a lifestyle that violated multiple state and federal laws. It seems that he’s talking about the “rehabilitation” of his image.)
Vick also revisited the notion that he fought dogs only because he grew up doing it, and because no one ever told him it was wrong.
“I hate to use our culture as an excuse, but it is what it is,” Vick said. “And that’s what happened and that’s the way I thought about it growing up, that this is something we do. I love animals. I love dogs. I love birds. I love all types of animals. But this was just the way we was brought up.”
The next question was a great one, in our view — whether anything intrinsically told Vick that it was wrong to do what he did.
“There was nothing that ever told me it wasn’t right,” Vick said. “No one ever told me it was the wrong thing to do.”
Fine, but that doesn’t explain the fact that his dogfighting operation was housed on a remote piece of property in rural Virginia, in sheds that were painted black, presumably to conceal them. Why would they need to be hidden if “nothing ever told me it wasn’t right”?
The most compelling moment of the interview came when Vick was asked what Mike Vick circa 2010 would tell Mike Vick circa 2006.
“That Mike probably wouldn’t listen to nothing that I had to say,” Vick said.
If that dogfighting operation had never been accidentally found during a drug bust of one of Vick’s cousins, we’re convinced that the 2010 Mike would be no different than the 2006 Mike.
Thus, he’s far better off that he was caught. He’s a better player than he ever was, and he seems to be genuinely maturing. But we detected lingering shadows of 2006 Mike in some of 2010 Mike’s answers to The Grio, and it’s all the more reason for the Eagles to wait and see whether 2010 Mike can get through the 2011 offseason unscathed before writing him an eight-figure check.