The League

Dan Levy
Sports Media Guru

Dan Levy

The host of On the DL with new episodes every weekday.

Vick's a Tougher Sell


Michael Vick will be in camp for some team this year. I mentioned last week that with the introduction of the Wildcat formation, Vick became even more valuable to a character issue-forgiving owner than ever. It's just going to come down to money.

NFL fans want to win. But I'm not sure how many NFL fans want their team to be the one that pays Vick a king's ransom to lineup under center. Frankly, he's just not that good a quarterback. And the time off surely hasn't helped his accuracy and feel in the pocket. He's not worth quarterback money anymore and if a team signs him, they'll surely face some fan backlash (even if he'd be replacing one of these guys).

Oh yeah, then there's that whole dog-fighting issue. Yes, Vick has served his time. Yes, he was the poster boy for this crusade and there's a case to be made that other men whose names we'll never recall did far worse things to these dogs. But every time I hear an analyst (or player) say the game was a 'dog fight,' I still cringe a little. Dog fighting references in sports, thanks to Vick, have become like Hitler references. They will likely offend someone, so it's probably just safe to avoid them altogether.

That said, if Vick is released and signs a bonus-laden league minimum deal and pledges to donate a percentage to the shelters that took in his dogs, that would be a start. But that scenario seems far-fetched, if you pardon the reference, at best.

As for Bonds, I think what he's doing is incredibly shrewd. The five-year clock for Hall of Fame consideration doesn't start ticking until a "Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball."

I don't know how they define "active" and if that means he has to be on the field for a regular season game, get signed as a non-roster invitee or just not file his retirement papers. But if Bonds can extend his clock for a few more years and wait this whole steroid mess out -- because it's going to get much worse before it ever can get better -- Bonds' legacy may drastically change.

As for the team thinking about signing Bonds? Sure fans may be upset because he's a noted jerk and a polarizing figure in the clubhouse. But do Yankees fans care about what A-Rod has done? Not if he puts up MVP numbers they don't. Do Astros fans care about Miguel Tejada's situation? Heck, his own teammates don't care. So why would bad press from steroids, an indictment, a scathing book or the potential for jail time preclude a team from signing Bonds?

By Dan Levy  |  March 4, 2009; 9:07 AM ET  | Category:  Dan Levy , Michael Vick , Steroids Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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