Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vick Looking at a Spell in the Kennels

Regular readers of TSA, that devastatingly attractive and impossibly sophisticated strata of society, will remember the foul case of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's indictment for alleged involvment in a dogfighting ring. Rather like the way Dr. Gillian McKeith returns 6 weeks later to see how her You Are What You Eat victims are progressing, only to find them knee-deep in pies, let's check up on how the Don King of the canine world is getting on.

Well, as Frank Drebin would have said if this were a Police Squad episode, it looks like Vick will be doing his quarterbacking up in the state pen. for next season. Vick has agreed to "take full responsiblity" for his part in the dogfighting ring, and will plead guilty to the federal conspiracy charges.

Vick could face anywhere from 1 to 3 years imprisonment for the charges, although the maximum sentence possible is five years. However, a government official speaking anonymously to The Associated Press said that federal prosecutors will seek a sentence of a year to 18 months.

Why Vick's u-turn from the traditional 'looking forward to clearing my name' guff? Well, there's no honour among thieves it seems, after Vick's three co-defendants Quanis Phillips, Purnell Peace, Tony Taylor cut a deal with the authorities, pleading guilty to their parts in the dogfighting operation, but also agreeing to testify against Vick.

With the witnesses stacking up against him, including now those most closely involved in the alleged ring, ones who would be able to testify that Vick executed dogs as recently as this year, the quarterback's options were limited. The touchdown pass was thrown by the feds, who were preparing a racketeering indictment for Vick, bringing him into the high end criminality area of hefty possible sentences inhabited by Mafia bosses.

Even if Vick emerges from Sing Sing in 18 months or so, whether he returns to the NFL depends then on what suspension the league impose on him: whether they follow the term of his imprisonment, or decide on a harsher ban befitting the public outcry at the horrid nature of the crimes.

Still, it could have been worse, as The Onion reports....

(**Cap doffing to for reporting.)

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