By Lisa Curry
After the recent flurry of news surrounding former Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Michael Vick’s confession of dog fighting, a friend remarked, “Your poor kid must be heartbroken.”
He meant my 10-year-old son, Rainman - so nicknamed for his ability to memorize sports statistics - who managed my fantasy football team, led by said dog fighter as starting QB, to the championship game last year. (See my blog of Nov. 5, 2006.)
“Uh…yeah, sure, I guess,” I said, thinking this friend really must not know my kid at all.
It’s true that Michael Vick was at one time Rainman’s favorite NFL player. And he owns quite a collection of Michael Vick memorabilia. But heartbroken? Not on your life.
I was sickened by the ESPN stories on the grim realities of dog fighting and had to change the channel becauise I knew they'd upset Rainman's much softer-hearted younger brother. To Rainman, though, I think Michael Vick's worst crime is stupidity.
To my little Rainman, sports is serious business. Football has nothing to do with sentimentality or even with loyalty in the conventional sense. Football is about winning. If you play well consistently, you’re a hero. If you play poorly on more than an occasional basis, you’re a bum and don’t deserve loyalty.
And if you don’t play at all, because you’ve been booted out of the NFL and are on your way to jail, because you were STUPID, well, then, you’re the biggest loser of all and aren’t worth a second thought. We’ve got Ben Roethlisberger and Donovan McNabb as QBs for our fantasy football team this year. Sayonara, Michael.
“Do you think you'll ever wear your Michael Vick jersey again?” I asked the other day.
Rainman shrugged. “Maybe. I don’t know. It was the first football jersey I ever bought with my own money.”
“I know,” I said. “What are we going to do with that Christmas ornament? Do you actually want to hang it on the tree?”
Santa brought him the Hallmark NFL player ornament the past several years. The Christmas 2005 ornament was Michael Vick.
He shrugged again. “Maybe I could let Brandy chew on it and sell it on eBay.”
“Yeah, too bad someone else already thought of that with Michael Vick football cards. I think the novelty has worn off.”
We left the conversation at that, but I’m still thinking about that ornament. Maybe I’ll go buy some rubber dog poop at Spencer’s and super-glue Michael’s tiny little plastic-resin feet in it. Seems appropriate, ’cause Michael’s in deep shit.
Anybody have a better idea?