ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio has tracked down a copy of the order establishing the terms of Eagles quarterback Mike Vick’s “supervised release” (i.e., probation) following incarceration relating to dogfighting and gambling.
And the order is a bit ambiguous regarding whether and to what extent Vick may drink alcohol.
Paragraph 7 of the Standard Conditions of Supervision prohibit Vick from “excessive use of alcohol.” But paragraph 3 of the Special Conditions of Supervision require Vick to participate in drug testing aimed at determining whether he has “reverted to the use of drugs or alcohol.”
So, in one breath, Vick is prevented from engaging in “excessive use” of alcohol. On the other hand, he agrees to submit to testing for the purposes of finding out whether he has “reverted to the use of . . . alcohol.”
The safest course of action, when faced with these terms, would be to drink no alcohol whatsoever. Unless he was hiding a plastic bag full of raisin jack in his prison commode, Vick has gone a couple of years without taking a drink. Why not stay on the wagon until the period of supervised release has concluded?
Of course, the blame for Vick’s decision to drink alcohol despite the somewhat unclear terms of the order might fall to Vick’s lawyers, who should have explained to him in no uncertain terms that he should not drink any alcohol — especially not in public — until he is free and clear of the watchful eye of the federal government.
That said, there’s a chance that Vick’s lawyers told him not to drink alcohol, and that he ignored them. Regardless, if Vick doesn’t get better advice or if he doesn’t heed the good advice he’s getting, it’s just a matter of time before he does something that gets him booted from the NFL and/or thrown back in jail.
And so, once again, the issue here isn’t whether having a cocktail might prompt Vick to redevelop a hankering for hanging a few pit bulls. Surely, it won’t. But the deeper question is whether Vick appreciates the gravity of his current circumstances.
Frankly, we’re still not sure that he does.