He said he did it. He apologized. And that means what?
Michael Vick will serve jail time. Or maybe he won't. Community service and probation isn't the same. Will he actually sleep in a jail cell? Eat in a prison mess hall?
Can you imagine those Sundays in the fall, prisoners gathered around the communal TV watching a game? Vick can provide the play-by-play–and really know what he's talking about.
But what do his actions mean for the future? Not for Michael Vick, but for other ball players. Boys who looked up to him. Talented players rising in the ranks. College athletes who studied him.
Will they pay for his mistakes? No–more than mistakes. Will they pay for his criminal acts, even though they may be above reproach themselves? Will they be forced to overcome prejudices and the taint of being aggressive ball players?
Michael Vick hurt animals, hurt his teammates, and hurt the people of Atlanta. His family didn't escape without harm. He may have skewed the perception of thousands toward ball players. And that definitely hurts the up-and-comers, decent men who thrill to competition, but do so in honorable circumstances.
Yes, he also hurt himself.
But one man alone damaged a profession that didn't need another injury. And we didn't need that.
Michael, you might have always dreamed of being famous. Somehow, I don't think this is what you had in mind.
We wish it was a fame you'd never achieved.