I've read opinions from both sides of the aisle stating why Michael Vick should or should not be allowed to return to the NFL, possibly as soon as this year.
So stop the hypocrisy and bring him back.
George Dohrmann on SI makes the argument that the line of tolerance can be moved on these types of issues and cites the Leonard Little case (8 games for vehicular homicide) a few years ago as an example. While I agree that punishment in the past was way too lax on player misconduct, it makes no sense to swing the pendulum completely the other way.
Michael Vick has already suffered a greater penalty for his misdeeds than any player suspended before or since Der Fuhrer, uh, I mean Der Commissioner was appointed. He lost a $130 million contract, spent 23 months in prison and house arrest, has been tainted forever by our crappy media-run amok (I'm actually turning in favor of restricting 1st Amendment press rights when I see this plastered on my TV 24-7), and he didn't even harm a human being. Well, except maybe those fragile little minds over at PETA.
I love dogs, mind you, and I think what Vick did was despicable beyond belief, but this is bordering on cruel and unusual punishment, if not in a purely legal sense (for you Pharisees lurking out there) then in a moral and right sense.
In my opinion, Roger Goodell has not always been fair in his handling of discipline. The Odell Thurman case should have proved that. Thurman got two years worth of suspensions that began with a drug test he didn't even fail (he was late taking it, which is an automatic strike). The rest were over a couple of fights he had in the interim, and Goodell kept lengthening the suspension. Meanwhile, Jared Allen gets a two-game suspension for two DUI's. What if he had killed someone? What he did was more dangerous to human life than what Vick did, and yet he's held up as a great example of what the NFL should be.
Eventually, even Donte Stallworth will be allowed to come back. Before his incident he had had no prior criminal record or past history of misconduct that would label him a bad guy.
Bottom line is, the fans want Vick back. Some team will want Vick back. (I really don't care what PETA wants, just thought I'd throw that in there). Be careful, Roger, in that you don't do something stupid because you think you can as the only man who has the power to make this decision.
A COUPLE OF RANDOM THOUGHTS
1. The Orlando Magic's Two-Step on the Dallas Mavericks' heads in matching the Marcin Gortat offer sheet while signing Brandon Bass was a brilliant strategic move, but I think it could lead to bad blood between the teams. Here's why:
In free agency, if a team thinks a player will leave, usually a sign and trade takes place, so that the former team isn't left with nothing in return and the receiving team still gets the player they want. Most teams do it, even when they legally don't have to, and the return is very little, but at least the original team gets something. Orlando even did it when they signed Rashard Lewis a couple years ago. So why not here? Either send Dallas a draft pick or bench player (Ryan Anderson? J.J. Redick?) for Bass or trade Gortat to them on December 15. After all, Gortat doesn't even want to be in Orlando anyway, so get something back for him so that everyone can be happy.
2. Love the Showtime Super Six boxing tournament. If this is what it takes to match the best against the best then every division should have one. I'm actually rooting for Carl Froch to win it. As for the opening bouts, I'll go ahead and predict Froch in a 10th-round TKO over Andre Dirrell, Arthur Abraham in a 5th-round TKO over Jermain Taylor and Mikkel Kessler in a decision over Andre Ward.
3. Saw the Michael Moore documentary Sicko this past weekend. Got me thinking, "If we can socialize schools filled with discipline issues and administrative kowtowing to parents, why not health care?" I never thought companies should be able to make money off of people's ailments, but many in our government (Republicans) don't want everyone to have health coverage because it will cost so much. So here's my solution. Have universal health care and make parents pay to send their kids to school. See how much these parents actually start raising their kids when it's their dime on the line.