Friday, December 04, 2009

The Private Lives of Tiger Woods and Michael Vick

Tiger Woods is not responsible for our morality, our hopes, our dreams, our better natures or our better angels. Tiger Woods is only responsible for his own.
What have we become when, ad nauseam, our airwaves scream about every move, rumor, innuendo, joke, cocktail waitress who may or may not have blah blah -- we're a nation of Rupert Murdochs. What does it say about the women who are selling their 'stories' of maybe/supposedly/ who knows/who cares/hooking up with him? He's not a criminal. There was no felony, no one died; why must we continually go through bread and circuses for national amusement? We want to make him a joke, a scandal, destroy his privacy because then we bring him down to size. There is, however, one athlete who does deserve to have his private life made public. And that is Michael Vick.
Vick is an athlete who's also a federal felon. When he went to prison fans cried out across the country: it would destroy his playing ability; he'd lose millions in endorsements and bonuses; his life would be forever ruined; were his crimes really all that bad? All lies. A court order said he can keep his $16.25 million in bonuses, even though the Falcons proved he used his contract to finance dogfighting. He now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, with an option of 5.2 million more. Nike endorses him once again. Because of a plea agreement, he spent only 18 months in prison instead of the five years a non-celebrity would have meted. This for a crime that wasn't merely illegal, but unspeakably immoral, killing and torturing countless dogs and cats (pets, even his own, were used as bait).
Several weeks ago we pulled into a rest stop in Oregon. I noticed a dog wandering around unleashed and went to see if he had a tag. His name was Mickey something. Then I noticed his back was covered in scars. Thick, intersecting, two or three dozen railway tracks, a subway map of pain. Ears filled with holes. Scars lined his face, around his eyes, the back of his head, neck. He was well fed, clean, obviously a pit bull mix. Just then a male voice said 'Hi, can I help you?' His owner was scruffy, tattooed, a biker. Mickey ran over and jumped up and kissed him on the lips. The man said 'Three months ago he wouldn't have done this. He hid from everyone, shaking. Slept under the bed. Cried. He was a Michael Vick dog and I drove to Best Friends in Utah to get him. They called him 'Mickey Six' because he was six days away from being put down.' He then proceeded to tell me why. 'He'd been shot twice - there were still a bullet in his head here, and a bullet in his side, here. He had been ripped apart so many times they had to graft new skin here, here, and here. He'd been beaten so severely his legs and back were broken in several places. And in order to get him to fight, they'd stick electrodes in his ears and shock him. You know, get him frenzied. They did that to all the dogs. He still has seizures.' So. Let's see. Michael Vick has 'paid his debt to society' and we don't talk about him anymore. Tiger Woods admits he's imperfect and we crucify him. Why is sex in this country always more appalling than death? - Janet


  1. Currently, Tiger is an 'easy' story to report. No research is necessary, they just repeat what the previous newscaster has said. This will probably go on until a 'better' story comes along, or until everyone gets bored. We're use to the football and basketball players making headlines, but Tiger has been a 'good' guy all these years.
    Now, the best thing that could happen to Michael Vick, is to meet up with one of 'his'dogs on the street (the sooner the better).

  2. For all the people that are waiting for the 'chosen' to fail, there are even more that feel they can do no wrong (ever). They 'love' them more than their family, friends, or in some cases, themselves. You know the ones...that will camp out for three days to watch them perform, that will shed more tears for them when they die than they ever would their parents. They are the ones that every year on the anniversary of their deaths will gather to grieve with thousands of others, even 30 years later.
    So, until we stop treating them as if they are better than us, have less expectationsof them then we do our teenage children, they will continue to disregard the laws of the land and we will allow it.