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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vick's New Contract

While reading this, you may find yourself trying to determine whether I have a problem with Michael Vick. You will have little reason to support this, nor will you view my stance on fighting pit bulls as being different from his prior perspective. Threatening the earning power of millions of dollars for the sake of fighting dogs, borders on madness. By the way, if you are an animal lover, this may not be the story for you.

Reading today's newspaper, I am reminded that capitalism still rules. For Michael Vick, this prior statement bodes well, he will replenish his coffers and return to the standard of living to which he is accustomed. To the PETA guys, it is another reminder of why the notion that fish feel pain, only resonates with the fish. It has been reported that Michael has been awarded another contract by Nike. In essence, he has been redeemed. He has paid his debt to society and is making amends for what was, on his part, a bad decision.

You will not find me casting any stones. I applaud Michael Vick for taking his punishment like a man and coming back to the sport he loves. He has proved that fighting Rover against Tiger, will not define his legacy. He has again, been placed in a position to participate in the sport he has lived for. Quite rightly, he deserves the opportunity to recover from what in his case, was a bad decision.

Nike, in my opinion, have shown the clear nature of the cannibalistic and opportunistic attitude we see amongst leading companies. It is this very same capitalistic zeal that sheds some light to the country's current economic crisis. Okay, I exaggerate but it really writes well. Win at all costs, make money any way possible. This is simply an opportunity to increase sales. Would such an opportunity fall to the average convict? Of course not, many of them could not obtain a job with Nike. This is not an exception exception. They have determined the marketability of Vick's story and in so doing, have realized that the "Road to Redemption" book will be bigger than the rise to fame article.

There is a certain heroism in the broken and beaten warrior returning from battle. This symbolism is biblical in nature. Take for example David; he is embraced as a picture of triumph even as he suffered travails of woe and cave life. The vagabond lifestyle he led as he hid from Saul's men. He was an inevitable star. America likes the vision of a bruised and battered soldier, who is worn from battle, limping his way home to collapse near death in the arms of childhood love, only to rise up again and fight. Michael Vick has risen again and he is fast becoming a hero to the many.

America redeems. You just need to apologize. We are very much a society that practices selective forgiveness. If one takes ownership, apologizes, it is possible to then move right along. For those that are famous? This can mean signing a new contract. The dogs associated with this tale will probably never ask Michael why he got them bitten every weekend, some even killed. Nike doesn't remember and really doesn't need to. You see, going forward, Michael has apologized and is making amends. I believe he has seen the folly of his ways, and will become the man he was meant to be. We are all allowed a second chance, in Micheal's case it's worth millions.

So I applaud Michael Vick for his triumphant return. I am a little more skeptical however about the company that sees this tragedy as an opportunity to sell sneakers and apparel.

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