This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers, an organization that has been known for doing things the right way more often than not signed Michael Vick to a one year contract. For a player that may never see the field, one has to question why the Steelers’ front office would want the headache and the public relations nightmare this individual can attract. Vick as we know was sentenced to 19 months in prison for his involvement in the dog fighting operation back in 2007 and will forever be reminded of this heinous and disgusting crime.
From a football standpoint, it makes sense as the Steelers desperately needed a legitimate backup quarterback as Bruce Gradkowski, the career backup, looks to be all but done as his shoulder is a complete mess and just recently had surgery on a dislocated finger. Furthermore, third string quarterback Landry Jones has been given a plethora of opportunities this preseason and while he has shown some improvement, hasn’t progressed into an NFL ready quarterback.
Look, let’s make no mistake about it, what Michael Vick was involved in will never be forgotten and rightfully so. As previously mentioned, this was a heinous and disgusting crime and there are people that feel this player should’ve been banned from the NFL, which is completely understandable. However, present day, there are players in the NFL today and in the past, that have abused women and children and never spent a day in jail.
Last week, a video came out that showed Hall-of-Famer, Chris Carter telling rookies at the NFL symposium in 2014 that if you are going to commit a crime, get a fall guy. While this statement is completely out of line by Carter, it definitely holds water in regards to Michael Vick. Marcus Vick is the younger brother of Michael, who at one time looked to be a legitimate threat on the football field. Instead, Marcus became a legitimate threat to society.
In 2006, Marcus Vick was charged with three counts of brandishing a firearm against three people during an argument. In 2008, Vick was charged with DUI and eluding police and in 2013, Marcus Vick was charged with his second DUI and driving without a license. So with that being said, while Michael Vick clearly knew of the dog fighting operation and funding the program, his younger brother was clearly the ring leader of this despicable act of ignorance.
Knowing full well that had Marcus been solely convicted of this crime, who has an extensive criminal record in such a short period of time would have been sentenced to a minimum 20 years in prison. So, Michael Vick being the big brother he is, essentially became the fall guy for his younger brother Marcus.
In closing, if you happen to be one of those fans that has denounced your allegiance and loyalty to the Steelers because of one player, it’s safe to say you weren’t much of a fan to begin with. Also, if you happen to be one of those fans that says, “This is not how the old school Steelers would handle things.” It’s safe to say you don’t remember Ernie Holmes.
Holmes played with the Steelers from 1971-1977 and won two Super Bowls with the Steelers. However, prior to the 1973 season, Holmes led police on a high speed chase in which Holmes was shooting at other vehicles on the highway and a police helicopter, wounding one officer and endangering the entire helicopter crew. After spending two months in a psychiatric hospital, Holmes pleaded guilty on three counts of intent to kill, placed on five years probation and never spent a day in jail.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Derek Markovitz