The Miami Dolphins yesterday officially squashed any lingering rumors
they had an interest in signing convicted felon Michael Vick, and boy, Miami Herald
sports columnist Greg Cote sure is upset about it. In a column today
, he calls the Dolphins "cowards," whose passing on Vick carried a "tinge of arrogance."
In Cote's mind, the only people who care that Vick abused and killed dogs are "crackpot" PETA-ites. It's a classic false dichotomy.
I don't mean they could have justified it to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. That crackpot group finds it abhorrent that you might dare enjoy a rib eye steak (medium-rare, please), so we can only imagine PETA has imposed an arbitrary life sentence of nonforgiveness upon Vick for his masterminding an at-times deadly dog-fighting operation a few years ago.
Luckily those of us somewhat more rational -- i.e., those of us whose reaction to someone wearing fur isn't to throw blood on them, for instance -- don't need as much convincing that Vick serving 23 months in prison for what he did seems more than fair when contrasted with, say, Donte' Stallworth serving less than a 30-day sentence for DUI manslaughter.
Sorry, Greg, but there's a whole lot of gray area between PETA and the so-called rational. And calling yourself rational after setting up that fallacy of logic sure is, well, irrational.
Perhaps the Dolphins are, imagine this, more concerned about the response of the local community. Don't forget that just a few short weeks ago, all of South Florida was worked up about a serial cat killer. Would you have the Dolphins sign him too if he happened to turn into a gifted running back? And really, is there that much of a difference between the crimes of Vick and the alleged crimes of the cat killer?
Besides, Bill Parcells is just sticking to his word.
"I'm interested in good character people. I don't want thugs and hoodlums on the team. I really don't. I don't want bad character guys. I don't want problem children," was one of the first statements out of his mouth
when Parcells was announced as a new member of the Fins team in 2007.
And if the NFL ever had a problem child, well, it's Vick.