Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: The Ground Floor Edition

While the big news in the world of sports is Michael Vick's indictment, I am going to begin today by touting VSL and the fact that we are finally starting to get some traction across the web. AOL Sports' Andy Katzer did a piece on EGG's "pot shot" and Chris Williams' "optimism." Katzer is on the record saying he is "looking forward to what Vandy and Kentucky can do this year," and the fact that he tipped his hat to the boys at VSL will likely get him a link on Vanderbilt Sports Line.

Now, to the Michael Vick story. As would be expected, this is all over the place. ESPN.com's got wall-to-wall coverage with John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli giving their two cents; ESPN.com outlines the Federal Indictment and the legal issues Vick now faces. SI, who was all over the story from the beginning (and probably wrote the most damning pieces on the allegations) also has a story up by George Dohrmann. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's story laying out the specific charges of the indictment might be the most harrowing of the lot. VSL has a thread up, and the Stanimal's disappointment is palpable.

Moving back to Vanderbilt sports, Shan Foster made the cut and is an official member of the Team USA squad that will participate in the Pan America games in August. The Nashville City Paper's got the story, and the Montgomery Advertiser has a story on how hard it was for Alabama Head Coach (and Team USA assistant) to cut his two guys. Tim Gayle's piece goes into great detail about how Shan impressed the selection committee with his shooting ability. Let's hope he doesn't leave that touch in Brazil.

Vanderbilt Sports Line is starting to catch on, and you all are in on the ground floor. If nothing else, let's have some respect for that.

Bobby, OUT

42 comments:

Masonfan said...

I feel for any and all ATL fans, but this comes at no surprise. The indictment is just sicking, so with that said I really have nothing positive to say about Mike Vick, so I'll say nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I just want to give a kudos to you guys for getting this blog off the ground. I love it.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Michael Wilbon's piece in today's Washington Post is a must read. Wilbon makes a number of great points, but I think the most persuasive one he makes is that this is situation is different from the NFL's recent incidents involving Pacman Jones, Chris Henry, and Tank Johnson...it's worse. Michael Vick is one of the stars in the NFL that casual fans actually know. As anyone from Atlanta will attest, he is the biggest sports star in town and his used to sell everything from wireless service to shoes (Nike, if they haven't already, will drop Vick by week's end). I think Wilbon is right when he says Goodell won't do anything to jeopardize Vick's constitutionally guaranteed right to due proces as this case makes its way through the judicial system. That is absolutely the right way to proceed. Vick's presence, and the subsequent response he will get both from the hometown fans and when he goes on the road (don't be surprised if a league directive outlawing the playing of the Baha Men across the league), will be punishment enough for Vick. Unfortunately, that punishment will also impact the Atlanta Falcons organization, and more importantly, loyal Falcons fans like Stanimal. Vegas has Atlanta's win total for the season at 7.5. I had them under before the indictment was handed down yesterday, now I can't get to Vegas fast enough.

Stanimal said...

3-13, #1 Draft Pick, Probably gonna screw it up, Pass on McFadden, and take Brohm

Douglas James said...

Stanimal..........do you finally admit that Dog fighting is a horrendous thing after reading what Vick and his cronies did to some of these animals?

Stanimal said...

Yes Douglas James, as someone who owns a dog, I think dog-fighting is a horrendous thing. Do I think it's the most grievous crime in the world? No, I think there have been a variety of crimes committed in the past by NFL athletes that were much much worse that received less news.

BUT I also didn't expect to hear that they had wet down a dog and electrocuted him. The indictment is filled with repulsive accusations that I could never have imagined. So yeah, I suppose I "admit" that dogfighting is a horrendous thing, though I don't think I ever denied it before.

Chad said...

stanimal - why would brian brohm be a bad pick? do you not want a quarterback that can actually throw the ball?

Douglas James said...

Chad where ya been? I know your not working now and you don't start school for a while so the lease you can do is entertain us poor saps at work with your posts. How was Costa Rica?

Stanimal said...

It would be a tough choice. I don't think he'd be a back pick. But McFadden is just so nasty and in the next year there's going to be some unreal QBs.

Don't run with sisserson said...

I think Wilbon makes some absolutely great points, but to play devil's advocate here, why not suspend Vick for at least some time right now? Suspending him from playing football would not "interrupt due process" any more than it would for Pacman (except Pacman would spend his spare time making it rain in strip clubs while Ron Mexico would be giving girls herpes in strip clubs). I understand that he is one of the sport's most recognizable players, so that is all the more reason to make a supreme example of him. I'm sure the fan response around the league will be crazy, but that shouldnt be "punishment enough." True he hasnt been convicted of anything, but he's clearly been around some shady stuff, and shouldnt that be enough to warrant some sort of suspension? Again, just devil's advocate - discuss...

Bobby O'Shea said...

The difference between Vick being suspended for this and Pacman's suspension is that Pacman was suspended for acts that occured BEFORE he made it rain. While the allegations came out before he was suspended, the league was responding to a previous arrest and was not suspending him based on his conduct in Las Vegas. Might that still disrupt his "due process" in the Vegas case? Perhaps, but certainly no more so than any introduction of prior convictions, etc...(am I ready for law school or what?).

For Vick, any suspension now is a presumption of guilt by the NFL that could realistically influence a potential jury. I can hear the diliberations now, "if the NFL thinks he's guilty, than so do I."

Stanimal said...

Let's face it. It's anyone's guess. Goodell warned Vick to steer clear of trouble when this first came out. He's definitely in his rights to suspend him.

Nevertheless, Vick isn't a repeat offender, and Goodell isn't a judge who can immediately say he's guilty.

Here's a question I wonder though: Why bother? He's either going to be found innocent, in which case Goodell looks smart not to jump the gun, or he'll be found guilty (or he'll plea bargain) and Goodell will suspend/end his football career. Mike Vick's case is certainly not that of Pac Man or Chris Henry, where it was pretty clear-cut.

Masonfan said...

Not going to make a Federal case about it but, no one is ever found innocent in a court of law, they are found "not guilty" big difference.

Bobby O'Shea said...

I think Stanimal’s first point is correct, which is to say that Goodell paints himself in a corner by acting right away. The only caveat to that is if he starts getting pressure from outside groups or sponsors. Not that the situations are analogous at all, but Don Imus lost his shows when the sponsors started pulling their support. (Stanimal will have to report back on how quickly the Vick billboards come down around Atlanta).

I think the second point about this being different from Pacman and Chris Henry because those cases were "clear-cut" is off though. If those two had been found innocent of the charges brought against them the case would not have been clear-cut at all. Rather, it was the convictions themselves that made the case clear-cut, not the charges themselves.

The fact that they were repeat offenders certainly plays a role, but I can't help but think that certain acts by professional football players (former or current) warrant a strong response once the wheels have justice have turned regardless of whether or not they "do it again."

I don't mean to imply that Stanimal is saying that only repeat offenders should be subject to harsh punishment by the league, but rather to say that I do not think the actions of Chris Henry, while stupid and deserving league action, are on par with the accusations levied against Michael Vick.

Stanimal said...

Oops my bad, thanks for the correction masonfan.

Stanimal said...

The point that got missed here is that at the end of the trial, Vick is going to have something happen, one way or the other. Goodell could certainly act on the outside pressure and do something, but let's not forget that the Player's Association probably wouldn't look kindly upon that precedent being set. Pac Man was involved in 10 separate dealings with police. Henry was arrested 4 separate times.

I think Goodell is in a sticky situation. On the one hand he's got PETA and everyone else breathing down his neck to suspend him, on the other he's got the player's association, who despite what Vick has done, will likely frown upon a decision to suspend without seeing the proof first.

So my point here is, why buckle and make a decision now? What's the point? With Pac Man, Henry, etc. the message is more clear. Repeated run-ins with the law will not be tolerated. It's been a huge problem all year long for the league. However, in this instance, Vick hasn't had a run in with the law. What he is accused of is a terrible thing, but none the less, it's an accusation at this point and nothing more.

Goodell can do whatever he wants because he has been trusted to do what's best for the league, but I would think he'd consider it more wise to make a decision on Vick's future down the road, when it's been proven that he is guilty or not-guilty.

Bobby O'Shea said...

I agree with Stanimal's point almost entirely (and so does Peter King), but I don't think its entirely accruate that Michael Vick hasn't had previous run-ins with the law. Last summer he has stopped and had a water-bottle confiscated for having a "secret compartment" that allegedly had a strong smell of marijuana at the Miami airport. Is that the same as Pacman and Henry's run-ins with Joe Law enforcement? No, but it also means that beating the drum on Vick's past "clean history" seems overstated.

Stanimal said...

I'll rephrase to relatively clean. But the water bottle incident was more idiocy than anything else.

Don't run with sisserson said...

I think you bring up a great point, Stanimal, about the all the different groups lobbying Goodell for one thing or another. Though this might be the first time in history I think PETA has something worthy to say (even though one doesnt have to be in PETA to think dog fighting despicable), they should definitely NOT have a seat at the table when it comes to deciding Mr. Mexico's suspension (or lack thereof).

Though I played the devil's advocate earlier, I think I do agree with the decision to hold off suspension for the present. Vick hasnt bee caught (key word - caught) doing criminal things again and again like Tank, Henry, and Pacman, so he cant be treated the same.

It is just such a shame that someone who is so profoundly gifted atheletically cant walk the line. It's also a shame the Falcons couldnt find a way to utilize all his talents better. Though they did have some successful seasons with him, the thing they benefitted from most were jersey sales.

Don't run with sisserson said...

at least his slate is cleaner than his brother's, which is saying, well, nothing at all.

Andrew Banecker said...

Seeing as I've lived with two law students all year, I shudder at any and all legal debates. However, I do find it interesting how American society in the new millennium has become so immersed in legalise. What with the dozens of Law and Order spin-offs, and countless news magazine programs focusing almost exclusively on legal issues, we've seemingly rendered legal education moot. Case in point, the both of them were studying for their Legal Ethics test a few months back, I made a similar comment, and they proceeded to fire sample questions at me (apparently in an attempt to disprove my hypothesis). By the tenth question (I'd gotten them all right if you can't guess the way this post is going) and they slumped off and mumbled under their collective breaths things like, "Lucky guess," or "stupid PhD candidate thinks he knows everything." Further, when one of them asked me the other day how I got one of the ones he'd deemed particularly challenging, my response of, "I live in America and have watched an episode of Law and Order" was met with more mumbling and sulking.

I do have a point in all of this rambling nonsense, however. Can we make a pact to no longer use words like "allegedly," or "it's just an indictment, not a conviction," and speak in direct, opinionated language, without feeling obligated to P.C. legalise it up so as to avoid making claims of hearsay (damnit, I just said hearsay)?

If you won't, I will. Here goes: It's not just an arrest, he's been indicted by the Grand freaking Jury, and the Feds don't even make the attempt until they have a damn near airtight case. More than one informant (and yes, they are not the most savory of characters, but you're not going to find your Kindergarten teacher making it rain at an underground, illegal, dog fighting ring) has come forward with damning information that Vick was not just aware of it, but one of the heavy hitters involved. He's guilty. His attorneys may find some loophole, or a jury of his "peers" (may I refer you to Michael Irvin's cocaine and hookers trial ending, and more than one jury member asking him to sign a poster or some such) may decide they'd rather watch him evade tackles than anal rape, but that won't change the fact that he's a reprehensible human being.

There. I said it. On my signal, unleash hell...

Bobby O'Shea said...

Andrew,

That might be the best post I've read on this site in a long time. If I were a clone, I'd rack you.

jamiecarroll said...

Uh, just so all of ya'll know...P.M. Jones has NEVER been convicted of anything.

Aaron said...

if you read the case laid out against vick in the indictment you will note that there are 4 witnesses that the entire case hinges around. Does anyone think that these people are as bad as criminals as vick and his brother? When a defense attorney gets them on the stand and they begin discussing their records, credibility goes out the window. I am not saying that vick is going to get off (and i hope he doesnt) but the case is not air tight.

On another note, i just do not see how vick can play quarterback in the NFL and manage his legal problems at the same time. I would expect vick to "take a leave of absence" until this trial is settled, or until it gets continued past the end of the season.

Stanimal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stanimal said...

And jamiecarroll, we haven't said that Pacman was guilty of anything, but the point re-iterated constantly is that he has had a run-in one way or another with the law on 10 different occasions.

Stanimal said...

Andrew, Vick is definitely scum. There's no doubt about it. Still, I haven't seen all the evidence, you haven't either, and everyone's got a right to a fair trial. If the case is good and it happens, then Vick'll be behind bars by season's end. But that's for the justice system to decide unless we want to revert to vigilantism.

It isn't being PC, and it isn't pretending to be an expert in legalise, it's the way it is.

Seamus O'Toole said...

If I were a betting man (and as luck would have it, I am) I'd put my money on Vick beating the charges.

People who torture dogs suck.

Masonfan said...

I don't see how Vick is going to be able to take snaps for the Falcons this Fall

jamiecarroll said...

I just wish Goodell would show some consistency. If your policy is to "let the legal system run its course" before you make a judgement, that's fine. Or if you want to make it your policy to not wait for the outcome in court to hand down punishment, that's fine too. Just be consistent about it.

Don't suspend Adam Jones before the legal system has "run its course" and then turn around and treat someone else (a higher profile player, natch) differently. Good God Almighty, this pisses me off!

Bobby O'Shea said...

Is it possible that jamiecarroll is a Titans fan?

jamiecarroll said...

Well heck yeah I am, but I really don't think I'm being partisan about this.

Explain to me why it's okay to suspend Jones without a conviction, but it's not okay to suspend Vick without a conviction.

Stanimal said...

See Peter King article listed above.

Repeat offenders. The point is that Pac Man has been arrested five times. Plus he's been questioned in connection with other events an additional five times.

Vick, aside from a water bottle that was suspicious, was never arrested.

If Pac Man did it once and kept his nose clean, he'd get "due process" too, but since he can't seem to do that, he gets busted.

Now the possibility that Williamson County cops MIGHT be gunning for him, that's a different story...

jamiecarroll said...

Peter King is a d-bag.

I just don't understand that argument. For purposes of innocence versus guilt, then, what is the point of even having a trial? So someone is innocent until proven guilty, unless they've been tried before...in that case they're just guilty. What?

Stanimal said...

I don't write the NFL policies. That's just the way it is.

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