Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Expresslane to God and charity

A lot has happened since Michael Vick suddenly remembered that he was guilty of pretty much everything the federal authorities had accused him of. His three co-defendents quickly pleaded guilty with no specific sentences promised to them but had promised to testify against Vick.

Even before Vick had a sudden bolt of memory, there were many who found creative ways to register their dislike for Vick's then, "alleged" participation in dog fighting. Animal shelters began seeing a rise in donations, not just in money but in clothing with Vick's official number on them. Rather than just burn the items in protest, a small movement had begun to discard items related to Vick and still find a good and ironic use for them..... homeless pups are now sleeping on them.

Rochelle Steffen, of Cape Girardeau MO, posted a collection of Michael Vick football cards on eBay recently, in hopes of receiving maybe $100 that she would donate to a local shelter. When her auction of "special" cards ended Wednesday, August 29 2007, she found that 31 bidders had fought their way up to a winning bid of $7,400.

The 22 cards in the collection up for bid had been special for a reason....... Steffen had given her 6 year-old Weimaraner, Monte and her Great Dane puppy, Roxie, every card she owned to destroy. The cards, which were originally valued from $1 to $10, were now custom chewed, crunched, slobbered on, torn and in pretty sorry condition.

The success of Steffen's auction has led to at least 25 similar offerings on eBay but her original post so far, has been the only one to get that many bidders. They are also the most expensive Vick item on eBay, with well preserved collectables and autographed jersey's going for far less. The money Steffen will receive from the Vick cards is expected to be donated to the Humane Society.

Michael Vick though had been steadfast for months in his innocence of the charges. He still has his supporters, some of whom stood outside the courthouse when he entered and pleaded guilty to almost everything he claimed he had nothing to do with. In a statement immediately afterwards, he stated that we all make mistakes and that he had turned his life over to God.

I doubt that will do much to sway Judge Henry E Hudson, who is known for handing down tough sentences and reminded Vick when he pled, that he was not bound by any agreements made by the attornies. Vick managed to remember that he had something major to do with the charges he faced...... except the gambling bit and he found Jesus faster than Paris Hilton did in prison.

Vick didn't make a "mistake" or was led on by "the wrong crowd" and anyone who chooses to believe that is foolish I believe. He has loved dogfighting for years, he funded completely the dog fighting operation of BadNewz Kennels since 2001 and would still be fighting, gambling, funding and killing dogs to this day, if authorities hadn't discovered the dogs on a drug raid.

He claims that he used poor judgement and bad decisions........ poor judgement? He broke the law, enjoyed the rush he got from watching dogs kill and no one forced him at gunpoint to kill the dogs that only he seems to be unable to remember how many there were. Vick also was the only one of the quartet that was lobbying hard and fast for a definate sentence, strange since his earlier statements made it sound as though he expected the others to take the fall for him.

What I do have a problem with is, the attornies on both sides working to an agreement of 12 months to 18 months for what he has pled guilty of. He has paid good money it seems to get a possible sentence that is less than half what Andrew Burnett received for snatching Leo, a bichon frise, from his owners lap in a moment of road rage and throwing him to his death in traffic. Vick helped kill dogs violently and personally not in a fit of road rage but because they "didn't do well."

Vick should really wake up and smell the roses........... worried about his public image and possible future in football? He has now admitted almost everything he was charged with is true, I fully believe that the gambling charges are true as well, it's all part of the rush of the "sport." No one will believe that he had a sudden change of mind because he has suddenly found God, he was looking at 3 against 1 in the courtroom and a possible 20 years from the possible new federal racketeering charge.

I expect that we will see many more creative uses for Vick's memorabilia, now that he has fallen hard and fast through his own, admitted actions.

For my previous Vick posts, go here.

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