So the news came down yesterday -- Mike Vick was indicted on seven counts of "being a disgusting, cruel, murderous cunt who knowingly spreads herpes and doesn't know how to travel with weed properly." Oh, also, the dog fighting thing.
The 17-page indictment is certainly worth the quick read if you're interested in being gripped with an intense urge to hate. Meanwhile, MDS and Dan Benton at the FanHouse are sticking to this story like white on rice and offering scrumptious food for thought along the way. That's your spot for all breaking Vick news.
I'm curious what becomes of the Falcons fanbase because of this. The Falcons were completely irrelevant before Vick arrived. Now that he's likely to miss most, if not all of this season (and possibly beyond), word from the Falcons message board is that season tickets are being cancelled by the metric ton. Some have estimated that the Falcons' fanbase has taken a 75% hit on the expectation that Vick will lose his job in Atlanta -- and maybe leaguewide -- for good. The Atlanta Journal Constitution's poll shows about a 50/50 split in support. Kyle and I believe in patting ourselves on the back when we deserve it. It's not hard to hate a man when he's responsible for the deaths of up to 60 otherwise innocent dogs. Our history of deriding and criticizing Vick, though, goes back way farther.
Here's the point: Mike Vick is a terrible person. We know this now. Though anyone with functioning ventricles should be offended by the stories told in the indictment, Vick has been offending us for years by being an outright terrible quarterback. It's important not to lose sight of this. The NFL isn't losing a great talent. It's losing a heartless man, an unlikable prick of the highest order, and a below-average player. As people, the dog-fighting allegations hurts. But what's hurt Kyle and I for years has been the constant overlooking of Vick's noticeable lack of skills because he's a sexy name.
Falcons fans should be thrilled. Yeah, there will be a lot less of them now. But the ones jumping ship are Vick fans, not Falcon fans. The remaining faithful will almost undoubtedly be getting a better option under center (this includes -- and I never thought I'd ever speak a kind word about him again, but it's true -- Aaron Brooks). Vick's been an albatross -- he can't win, he can't make his teammates better, he can't adjust to quarterbacking in the NFL, and he's got an unmovable tumor of a contract. But for at least this year the Falcons get to go with Joey Harrington/Daunte Culpepper/Aaron Brooks for much cheaper, allowing them to upgrade across the board, and the Falcons might be able to use this transgression to cut ties with Vick permanently without suffering the massive cap hit.
So now everybody realizes what Kyle and I have speculated -- that Mike Vick is a terrible person. When another, "lesser" quarterback is more successful in Atlanta than Vick has ever been, the rest of the world will know what Kyle and I have been certain about -- that Mike Vick is a terrible quarterback.