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Vick’s reinstatement substantial

The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell plays God regularly in the testosterone loaded league.  With players seeming to get into trouble with the law every day, he sure has had plenty of practice in dealing out punishment or giving merciful leniency toward those he believes have atoned for past sins.

Such is how it is in the NFL’s socialist setup, but the league works wonderfully in comparison to virtually every other sport’s structure, and largely upon Goodell’s decisions.

With that in mind, Roger Goodell has reinstated Michael Vick to play in the preseason this year, with a future decision to be made on his full reinstatement before game six of the regular season.  The provisional reinstatement for Vick allows him to participate in all practices and some preseason games, as well as all other team functions, but prevents him from playing in regular season games until he is fully reinstated or removed from the league.

The difference between Vick and other players like Pacman Jones is that Vick was not an isolated incident that the NFL and law enforcement could handle on their own terms.  Vick drew the ire of several lobbyist groups and animal rights activists for his participation in a dog fighting ring that left several animals dead and many more malnourished and essentially tortured in fights for the amusement of a few human beings.

Goodell had to ward off bad press while also paying attention to the desire of many to see Vick suit up again and electrify football as he did while playing for the Atlanta Falcons.  

Vick may not have been a conventional quarterback, as his numbers show he was subpar in comparison to other pocket passers (with far lower completion percentages and passing yards), but Vick commanded the attention of a defense with his staggering 1,000 yards rushing as a quarterback.  Vick could do what few could, and that was to set a defense back on its heels and give respect to the run game, the passing game, and the X factor that was Vick who could do both.

He was an entertaining player who still has not been surpassed by any one individual. He can draw a crowd despite his tarnished reputation.  

Goodell weighed everything out carefully and it panned out in his favor when some of the animal rights activists applauded Goodell’s decision and also used it to announce to the world that “true redemption is rare” and that Vick would do well to not take his opportunity for granted.

Vick’s not stupid.  He had a judgment error based largely on his friends and his upbringing. Had he not been Michael Vick, chances are most of this would have blown by the wayside.  Dog fighting and cock fights are widespread in rural areas in the United States and no matter what public figure anyone crucifies to make a statement, most of these people won’t care.  Some may not even have heard of Michael Vick.

Vick was an enigma on the football field before his arrest, and continues to be with his future still uncertain.