I’m a big fan of Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins. Unlike her colleague Michael Wilbon, she was willing to expose the utter incompetence of Michael Jordan as a sports executive during the time he ran the Washington Wizards. So I was willing to be convinced when I saw her column this morning defending Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach who was fired for punishing a player for sitting out practice after incurring a concussion. But I have to say that she lost me in the first paragraph.
I’m fed up with the anguished deliberations about whether former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who served 21 months in jail for promoting dog-fighting and killing, should be allowed to play pro football again. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has spent his adulthood as a pro football front office guy, is going to judge whether Vick is morally fit to put on a helmet and pads and risk life and limb before thousands of screaming fans. I don’t condone breeding dogs to kill each other.
I'm a devoted fan of E.J. Dionne, but his Post column today strikes me as intentionally obtuse. After a long, tortured windup about Leona Helmsley's dogs, Michael Vick, and the plight of uninsured Americans, E.J. gets around to his central grievance: the media's undeniable tendency to cover celebrity bad behavior, ala Vick's pooch abuse, far more vigorously than the far more important issue of poverty. Now, E.J. is far brighter than I--or most folks I know, for that matter. Does he really not have any idea what's going on?
Apropos of Jon Cohn's TNR Online article, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appears likely to delay making a decision on a punishment for Michael Vick. This leaves the Falcons in limbo, and will no doubt add fuel to the fire among the many conspiracy theorists who are convinced the whole Vick affair is part of a sinister plot to prolong the career of Joey Harrington. --Josh Patashnik
ESPN.com posted a long piece yesterday which they have been advertising (very, very) prominently about Michael Vick and the racial history of Atlanta. The article itself, by Wright Thompson, is more like a magazine essay than the normal stuff they run, and its accompanied by a bunch of excellent photographs.