FanDuel - WFBC

August 23, 2009

Did Vick Break Reinstatement Deal by Drinking Vodka?: If an item in the Aug. 16 New York Post is true, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has violated the terms of his NFL reinstatement by drinking alcohol, Mike Florio writes for ProFootballTalk.Com. The story states that he drank "Grey Goose [vodka] and pineapple juice," and one of the rules for his return is no alcohol.

posted by rcade to football at 12:48 PM - 49 comments

Is that a condition of his return to the NFL as agreed to with the commissioner? Because his supervised release form from the court shows he is only to "refrain from excessive use of alcohol", as seen here.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 01:02 PM on August 23

Goodell's letter, excerpted on an NFL.Com blog, that Vick agreed to "prohibitions regarding drug and alcohol use." Whether that's a total prohibition or a limit on excessive alcohol use is unclear. My guess is that he agreed to go cold turkey. Not to be confused with Wild Turkey.

posted by rcade at 01:26 PM on August 23

Why is alcohol use a conditional part of his reinstatement? Was alcohol abuse a part of the dog fighting?

Now, if Goodell threw in some clauses dealing with excessive public consumption, DWI's, etc, fine. But a total ban that isn't even a part of the legal system's requirements seems a bit much.

Maybe he was trying to support animals, and he figured that drinking Grey Goose would show that.

posted by dviking at 02:18 PM on August 23

Grey Goose and pineapple? So Vick's gone from dogfighter to sorority girl?

posted by tahoemoj at 02:57 PM on August 23

I gotta agree with mr dviking here. unless alcohol use was a part of the dog fighting, why include it? does the NFL have a complete ban on alcohol use by all players? doesn't Goodell know that alcohol produces good cholesterol? it should be mandatory for all players.l

posted by irunfromclones at 03:26 PM on August 23

I don't know Goodell's justification for including rules on alcohol consumption, but if Vick accepted those terms he has to live by them. Breaking any of the terms would be a sign he hasn't changed.

posted by rcade at 03:28 PM on August 23

who cares let it go

posted by lleagle at 03:50 PM on August 23

Give Vick a break. Lord. My immediate family consists of three dogs, and I can give him the benefit of the doubt after two years. Anybody still pitching stones must be mighty clear of conscience. Makes me wonder more about your conscience than your behavior.

Mark my words, there are going to be a lot of NFL teams later on this season wondering why they didn't have the heuvos to pick him up when he could be had for the askin'. Where's all the uproar around the Eagles' practice sessions? Only the Puritans are still panting for the gallows. Read some Nathaniel Hawthorne.

posted by outonleave at 07:12 PM on August 23

With this and with the prior report of him being at a strip club, I personally have not seen definitive airtight reports on either of these "sightings".

Maybe there is hard factual info on one or both that I haven't seen, but the stories jump into public discussion as semi-speculation way before any substantive info appears.

Right now, as a fan (not of the Eagles but of well-played football and the best use of God-given ability), I'm more concerned with who Vick is hanging out with and how dedicated he is to skills, drills, and film study. If he's got good people around him and is being diligent, an occasional Goose and juice isn't going to derail the train.

People who don't like the Eagles have a hard time admitting it, but they are one of Fox's centerpiece teams. They are on TV a lot - at least as much as the Giants. When Eagle-related stories develop, they get a lot of play. Jeff Garcia was a huge story when he went in for McNabb. Heck, Feeley was a story for a minute or two when it was his turn.

If Vick ends up going in for McNabb under one circumstance or another and brings the team anywhere near the promised land, the TV coats and ties are going to be hyperventilating about it nonstop. Jillian Barberie may have to be called in to throw cold water on them to calm them down. (She's had to do that before for other reasons).

posted by beaverboard at 07:41 PM on August 23

How is a first-hand report by Brian Costello of the New York Post not definitive? The reporter was at the hotel and got close enough to him to know he ordered a Grey Goose.

posted by rcade at 07:45 PM on August 23

Hey out on leave, I'm a dog owner too. I don't give Vick a break. Our society is way too lenient on athletes that break the law. Sorry I don't see it your way, but the guy obviously is sick. Anyone that could treat a living creature the way he did, does not deserve to be making millions in the NFL. If it were you or I, where would we be? He gets special treatment because he has football talent. Personally, I'm sick of it and I will not give him a break. What he did is one of the most disgusting things a human being could do and he should not be allowed to play in the NFL. It's a failing of the NFL, grabbing for the almighty dollar! Vick should be banned. Of course, I'm well aware that we will probably be seeing Donte Stallworth catching passes for someone before the season ends.

posted by Vikesfanh8sfavre at 10:27 PM on August 23

What special treatment did he receive? He was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced for his crime. He served his sentence. Now that sentence is over, and he is returning to the job he had before his arrest. Unless us "normal people" were working at an animal shelter or the like before we were arrested for the same crime, we'd be allowed to resume the same career we had before our arrest. If you don't like the length or severity of his sentence, your problem is with the fact that animal cruelty just isn't that serious an offense in the eyes of our justice system. But his punishment wasn't any lighter than what you or I would've received if we committed the same crime.

Face facts...dogs are not people, no matter how you feel about yours, they are animals and will remain such when the time comes to punish anyone for cruelty towards them. I love dogs. I don't own any because I have enough responsibility in my life. But I've had dogs in my life, and I've had and met some dogs that had distinct human qualities. But that doesn't change the fact that they are pets, not people. I can't buy or sell my kids (legally), I don't have to keep my kids on a leash, my kids don't crap all over the backyard, etc and so on. So please just give up the "Vick is a monster and needs to be destroyed" mantra. Dude served his time, and he should be able to go back to work like everyone else. It's not his fault that *his* job pays insane amounts of money...

And for the record, I despise Ron Mexico with a passion, and I'm not an Eagles fan, either. Just a guy who's patience is wearing thin...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:46 AM on August 24

I have no love for Vick, but Roger Goodell seems to have some serious control issues. I eagerly await a Max Mosley-like video leak that ends Goodell's run.

posted by yerfatma at 09:12 AM on August 24

It's a failing of the NFL, grabbing for the almighty dollar!

Or, it's a reflection of a society that believes in paying for one's crime and being rehabilitated into being a normal, functional member of society.

posted by dfleming at 10:38 AM on August 24

I have no love for Vick, but Roger Goodell seems to have some serious control issues. I eagerly await a Max Mosley-like video leak that ends Goodell's run.

I think no alcohol use would be a condition of Vick's probation. As such, Goodell is requiring that Vick abide by the terms of his probation.

posted by bperk at 11:31 AM on August 24

Unless us "normal people" were working at an animal shelter or the like before we were arrested for the same crime, we'd be allowed to resume the same career we had before our arrest.

I'm not sure this is true. There are lots of jobs that are off-limits to convicted felons.

(That said, I think this story is kind of dumb, and if ordering a cocktail will put Vick's return in jeopardy, that's ludicrous.)

posted by Venicemenace at 12:47 PM on August 24

I think this story is kind of dumb, and if ordering a cocktail will put Vick's return in jeopardy, that's ludicrous

Couldn't agree more. Having a drink isn't what put Mike Vick in jail, that's what got Donte Stallworth locked up. Wouldn't it make more sense for Vick's condition of probation and for the NFL to not to be a dog owner?

posted by BornIcon at 01:07 PM on August 24

It might be important to note that Vick did not serve his entire sentence. He was granted parole or conditional early release. The parole and probation, depts, courts and NFL are all entitled to place restrictions and terms on his release and reinstatement. Vick can either choose to abide by those terms or not. If he abides by the terms he is allowed to live at home and work etc, until his probationary period ends. If he thinks the terms are too difficult to follow, he is free to return to custody and serve the remainder of his term. As for the league, I suppose if he doesn't want to abide by the terms placed on him by the league, he can always get another job he is qualified for. My guess is working at the car wash and being able to drink is not as good as working in the NFL and not.

posted by Atheist at 02:56 PM on August 24

I think no alcohol use would be a condition of Vick's probation. As such, Goodell is requiring that Vick abide by the terms of his probation.

If this were so, why would Goodell need to mention it at all since Vick would be violating his parole (and thus back in jail)?

posted by yerfatma at 03:19 PM on August 24

If the court doesn't have enough evidence or chooses not to throw him in jail, the NFL can act anyway.

posted by bperk at 03:56 PM on August 24

Those who say Vick paid his debt and did his time, forget that he faced STATE felony charges as well as Federal charges. The state chose not to press charges (I think because of his status) to allow the federal charges to be executed. I believe that if I was charged with the same crime, the state would come after me, regardless of any federal crimes. Let's face it, doing time in a federal prison is a country club compared to a state prison. Those who say that dogs are not people, of course I agree, but cruelty is cruelty, and the kind of brutality that has been described in the Vick case, in my opinion, displays an underlying sickness that Vick has that is not being addressed. He says he's sorry, but I don't believe it.

posted by Vikesfanh8sfavre at 04:16 PM on August 24

Let's face it, doing time in a federal prison is a country club compared to a state prison.

Leavenworth Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas is a Medium Security Prison, hardly Club Fed. Of course, it has been suggested on SportsFilter that I sometimes have trouble comprehending things, so I could be wrong.

As far as trusting Michael Vick when he says he's sorry, I'm more willing to believe that, than Brett Favre when he says he's retiring, for whatever that's worth.

posted by tommytrump at 04:32 PM on August 24

"Vick can have a drink; that does not violate any terms of his return to the NFL."

I don't understand. Is he saying that the excerpts from the reinstatement letter on the NFL's website are wrong?

posted by bperk at 04:46 PM on August 24

Everything I have read and heard, on SI.com and other reputable sites and shows (ESPN, etc...), including Peter King, the patriarch of NFL writers, say that the NFL says that Vick having a drink does not violate terms of parole or re-instatement. It may, though, show a lack of commitment on Vick's part and could cause Goodell to wait till after the 6th game to give the ok for Vick to play instead of an earlier date. In other words, Vick is effing up his chance to start getting game checks earlier than the 7th game of the season. Is he really that stupid? I would think that Tony Dungy would be shaking his head and saying some things to the young man.

posted by kerrycindy at 07:27 PM on August 24

Vikesfanh8sfarve, you and I strongly disagree on this particular issue. Nevertheless, it is hugely gratifying that we can have a civil discourse in spite of our differing opinions.

That being said, you are one @#^%*#!!!

Your name itself is a wee bit negative, ain't it? I'm not a huge Farve fan after all his waffling about retirement, but I don't hate the dude - don't even know him. I got a feeling if I knew him, I'd like him. That's just the Law of Averages: I like most people I know.

posted by outonleave at 09:30 PM on August 24

Outonleave, you are right, we do strongly disagree on the Vick issue. As for my name being a "wee bit negative," who cares? I'm only commenting on the Vick situation and my own personal views on it. How you or I feel about Favre is beside the point, and personally attacking me does not sway my feelings upon the Vick matter.

posted by Vikesfanh8sfavre at 12:16 AM on August 25

Those who say Vick paid his debt and did his time, forget that he faced STATE felony charges as well as Federal charges. The state chose not to press charges...Let's face it, doing time in a federal prison is a country club compared to a state prison

So...what does that have to do with Vick again? I may have missed your point. I didn't know that Levenworth was considered a "country club"and here I thought he was doing some real jail time but there was Vick, a 2 year member of this wonderful & exlusive "country club" that requires special attire while playing a round of golf with the warden.

/I had no choice but to activate my snarkiness..you all saw that

posted by BornIcon at 08:43 AM on August 25

Anyone who thinks an average person would have been out of prison right now for what vick was charged with is delusional. Vicks high paid attorneys got him off light, the same way stallworth walks away from manslaughter charges with 24 days in jail (not to be confused with "prison"). The sad fact is that rich and famous people get better treatment by the courts in America. It makes me sick but at least I see it for what it is.

If part of his deal to return to the NFL was that he would refrain from consumption then, while probably not in violation to the letter I would bet in spirit he was. I mean, have a drink at home dude, but in public two weeks after a reinstatement that was unlikely at best, you tempt fate? Stupid. Knowing what Goodell is I see Vick F-ing up by the numbers again and the commish laying the ban hammer on him. Goodell cant afford to give Vick a third chance so Vick needs to be squeakier than Steve Young if he wants to stay.

To me personally, it doesnt matter that crime he committed wasnt against humans. He took pleasure from inflicting pain and death into living creatures. Read any book about sociopaths and they say its a short leap to humans. His soul is dead and thats enough for me to consider him despicable despite the fact that the NFL and Tony Dungy want to give him another chance. I hope he's changed but I doubt it.

posted by firecop at 09:48 AM on August 25

Anyone who thinks an average person would have been out of prison right now for what vick was charged with is delusional.

His average co-defendants did less time than him, and they killed a whole lot more dogs.

As an aside, Vick's jersey was the top-selling jersey in the NFL shop after his signing. Clearly, Vick is not the only one with issues.

posted by bperk at 10:23 AM on August 25

His average co-defendants did less time than him, and they killed a whole lot more dogs.

But they didn't fund a gambling endeavor.

posted by inigo2 at 10:46 AM on August 25

I say give Vick his shot at fame again...here's already infamous...rightly so in my view. But personlly I hate what he did and I don't think he served as much time as he should have...

posted by wildbill1 at 10:47 AM on August 25

I think our society doesn't give enough respect to the idea that a person can serve a prison sentence and be fully rehabilitated when they get out. That should be the goal of prisons, at least for all but the most heinous crimes. Make people pay their debt to society and then give them a second chance.

posted by rcade at 10:51 AM on August 25

I think our society doesn't give enough respect to the idea that a person can serve a prison sentence and be fully rehabilitated when they get out. That should be the goal of prisons, at least for all but the most heinous crimes. Make people pay their debt to society and then give them a second chance.

I agree that he's served his time and deserves a second chance. As far as rehabilitation, if it means that Vick realizes dog fighting is frowned upon and will kill his career so he stays away, that's realistic. But if rehabilitation means he suddenly feels guilt for the actual crime and a new found compassion for dogs, I don't see it. It's simply not in him.

posted by justgary at 11:12 AM on August 25

But they didn't fund a gambling endeavor.

I don't get your point. The co-defendants ran the gambling endeavor that Vick funded. Why would that make Vick's sentence more harsh?

But if rehabilitation means he suddenly feels guilt for the actual crime and a new found compassion for dogs, I don't see it. It's simply not in him.

We can't know what is in his head. But, we can decide based on his actions if he is rehabilitated. If he doesn't kill anymore dogs, works with the Humane Society to prevent others from killing dogs or being involved with dogfighting, then that would count as rehabilitation to me. I don't know that I would dismiss a prison sentence doing lots of good anyway. If he had never really considered the suffering of the dogs, and now he does. That would be good, too.

posted by bperk at 11:19 AM on August 25

I don't get your point. The co-defendants ran the gambling endeavor that Vick funded. Why would that make Vick's sentence more harsh?

Because funding the operation pretty much makes Vick the head guy. Plus his co-defendants saw the writing on the wall, and chose to plead guilty and testify against him. Pretty typical that that will lead to a harsher sentence.

Not to mention re the gambling (via here): "Peace and Phillips will tell the jury that Vick was the gambler in the enterprise. He was the winner when they won and the loser when they lost. The bets that were made, were made with Vick's money. In his plea agreement, Taylor said Vick was the source of all funds, both for the operation and for the gambling. He said one of the cohorts made the side bets, but Vick took the wins and paid the losses."

posted by inigo2 at 11:33 AM on August 25

But, we can decide based on his actions if he is rehabilitated. If he doesn't kill anymore dogs, works with the Humane Society to prevent others from killing dogs or being involved with dogfighting, then that would count as rehabilitation to me.

As I said, it depends on your definition of rehabilitation.

I agree a prison sentence isn't going to do any good. If he served his time and can stop himself from killing dogs, he's rehabilitated enough to play football.

I think anyone that believes a couple of years behind bars suddenly makes vick see fido in a whole different light is delusional.

posted by justgary at 11:36 AM on August 25

But they didn't fund a gambling endeavor

But they also murdered dogs.

Taylor said Vick was the source of all funds, both for the operation and for the gambling.

You don't say? So what you're telling me is that the guy with the $100 million dollar contract paid for everything and not the dude that hangs out on the corner selling dime bags? Really?

He said one of the cohorts made the side bets, but Vick took the wins and paid the losses

Considering that Vick would take the winnings and pay for the losses, and he put up his own money (besides the fact that they were killing dogs), what's the problem?

Everyone can agree that what Vick did was malicious and inhumane. I just think that people are not allowing this man to continue with his life for the decisions that he made in his past and rightfully so. People should not forget what Vick has done but we should at least remain patient to see if he does anything with his life, now that he's out of prison, in an attempt to making ammends for his past behaviour and decisions. Everyone deserves a second chance in life if they show that they're deserving of one.

posted by BornIcon at 11:59 AM on August 25

I think anyone that believes a couple of years behind bars suddenly makes Vick see Fido in a whole different light is delusional.

Who cares how he sees? It's how he acts that's important. He's acting like someone who wants society to give him another chance.

If he's at home drawing pictures of dead dogs, I don't care. I just care that he acts like a civilized, appreciator of animal life when he's around them and he works towards undoing the wrongs he caused.

posted by dfleming at 12:03 PM on August 25

You don't say? So what you're telling me is that the guy with the $100 million dollar contract paid for everything and not the dude that hangs out on the corner selling dime bags? Really?

What is the point of this sneer? Inigo2 was asked for the reasons that Vick got a harsher punishment than his codefendants and he explained it.

Considering that Vick would take the winnings and pay for the losses, and he put up his own money (besides the fact that they were killing dogs), what's the problem?

Leading a criminal conspiracy is more serious than being one of the people who participated in it.

posted by rcade at 12:06 PM on August 25

I just think that people are not allowing this man to continue with his life for the decisions that he made in his past and rightfully so . . . Everyone deserves a second chance in life if they show that they're deserving of one.

This is confusing to me.

posted by yerfatma at 12:22 PM on August 25

What is the point of this sneer?

I was being snarky. It was proven that Vick was the "mastermind" behind this whole situation.

Leading a criminal conspiracy is more serious than being one of the people who participated in it.

I agree. My point was that since it was Vick's money that was used as bets, why wouldn't he recoup the winnings and pay for his losses, albeit a criminal enterprise?

This is confusing to me

Vick deserves for people to be critical of him. I can understand why people aren't "buying" into Vick being remorseful, he pretty much caused all of this to happen to himself. If Vick indeed repents and shows that he is in fact a changed man, then good for him. If not, then most likely he'll be back where he started.

posted by BornIcon at 12:25 PM on August 25

I was being snarky. It was proven that Vick was the "mastermind" behind this whole situation.

Yeah, you were being snarky without reading what I was replying to: "I don't get your point. The co-defendants ran the gambling endeavor that Vick funded. Why would that make Vick's sentence more harsh?"

I responded to the man's question.

posted by inigo2 at 12:33 PM on August 25

I was being snarky. I figured that we all knew that Vick was guilty for funding this criminal enterprise and I did read to what you were responding to, it was bperk's comment.

We're now just bringing up the betting aspect of this situation but that's been public knowledge for quite some time which is why my snark-o-meter went off the charts.

posted by BornIcon at 12:57 PM on August 25

In his plea agreement, Taylor said Vick was the source of all funds, both for the operation and for the gambling.

The summary of facts under which Vick was sentenced says an altogether different thing -- that Vick received no proceeds. That would not have been the difference in their sentencing. Running the day-to-day operations of a dogfighting ring vs. funding the dogfighting ring are not vastly different things under the law. There isn't any reason to expect that Vick got an unusually light sentence, which was firecop's argument that I was disputing.

posted by bperk at 01:13 PM on August 25

Who cares how he sees? It's how he acts that's important. He's acting like someone who wants society to give him another chance.

If he's at home drawing pictures of dead dogs, I don't care. I just care that he acts like a civilized, appreciator of animal life when he's around them and he works towards undoing the wrongs he caused. posted by dfleming

You're confusing me. I didn't say you care. Where are you reading that? I simply questioned what people meant by rehabilitation. If you don't care about that discussion, don't respond.

Again, as long as Vick isn't killing dogs, he's rehabilitated enough to do whatever the hell he wants. He'd be a fool to be involved in dog fighting. He knows people take it serious and his career hinges on stay ing clean. But to believe that 2 years in jail gave him an appreciation of animals borders on comical (IN MY OPINION).

posted by justgary at 03:51 PM on August 25

But to believe that 2 years in jail gave him an appreciation of animals borders on comical (IN MY OPINION).

I guess we disagree on what can change in two years within a person; I don't see a single reason why someone couldn't come to terms with the wrongness of their actions two years later, jail or not, and be in an entirely different mental place. People do it all the time; alcoholics who go through AA come to terms with the severity of their actions.

Michael Vick may or may not be mentally in a different place; we'll never know. What we do know is he talks repentant, he has made strides to help where he hurt and he's looking to move on with his life. I think that publicly raising questions about his "appreciation" that he can't prove to you is unfair.

posted by dfleming at 04:57 PM on August 25

I think one of the reasons people have a hard time buying the line Vick is selling now is that they realize an important thing. What Vick did cannot be excused with the typical, I needed the money, or I was addicted, or I made a mistake. To do what he did requires an inner cruelty and a lack of moral conscience, that goes deep to the root of what and who a person really is. I mean what exactly does it take for a person to electrocute, torture or slam a living creature that has only been loyal, trusting and done nothing to you to deserve it? When you can answer that you have put your finger on the issue.

As far as I am concerned he is entitled to resume his life within the rules of society, but not because he deserves it, because it is his right. Surely he regrets his stupid decisions and what they have cost him, but I am not convinced he is changed in any way. It really should not matter as he is not being paid to be a wonderful role model or good person. He is being paid to run with and throw a football. A skill he has in abundance and has had to sell at below the market price. Just like any damaged goods, less than perfect merchandise must be appropriately and proportionately discounted in order for a buyer to be enticed to accept the damage. From here he may raise or lower his market value depending on his actions. I would be very skeptical that his actions are anything more than an effort to reestiblish his market value.

posted by Atheist at 12:25 PM on August 26

Again, as long as Vick isn't killing dogs, he's rehabilitated enough to do whatever the hell he wants. He'd be a fool to be involved in dog fighting. He knows people take it serious and his career hinges on stay ing clean. But to believe that 2 years in jail gave him an appreciation of animals borders on comical (IN MY OPINION).

This.

I don't think it's relevant that he now should love dogs. Just don't do the bad thing anymore.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:39 PM on August 26

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