We’ve tried several times over the past two days to articulate the fundamental problem with Mike Vick’s recent public birthday party, which anyone could attend. Based on some of the reactions we’ve gotten, some of you don’t yet understand the nature of the risk Vick took, given his very unique circumstances.
Jordan Raanan of CSNPhilly.com explains the situation better than we have, ultimately calling Vick’s “indefensible” and suggesting that Vick has done enough to justify the Eagles getting rid of him.
“His fatal mistake wasn’t what he did at the party,” Raanan writes. “It was being there in
the first place. Those are exactly the type of scenes a
high-profile ex-convict is supposed to avoid. Especially someone who was
given a second chance at a lucrative career — Vick is expected to make
$5.2 million this year — as long as he steers clear of trouble. . . .
“These were the kind of slip-ups Vick needed to avoid. These are the
situations he wasn’t supposed to put himself in ever again after what
seemed like a life lesson he would never forget. He was supposed to live
happily ever after in relative obscurity. That doesn’t happen when
you’re throwing yourself an open-invite birthday party with 300-plus
Some of you have insisted that Vick did nothing wrong because he couldn’t control who chose to attend the party. But that’s precisely why he shouldn’t have had a party whose attendees would be determined only by whether they paid the money for a ticket and complied with the dress code.
When Vick said all the right things last year upon returning to the league, many wondered whether he truly had changed, or whether he was saying what he thought he needed to say in order to get his NFL career back. Though he apparently has stayed out of trouble, his decision to proceed with Thursday night’s party suggests that he possibly hasn’t changed (or that he has changed back), and that he’s still surrounding himself with people who can’t or won’t give him good advice that he’ll heed.
Thursday night’s events also have another potentially negative consequence for Vick. It puts him back on the radar screen, and it gives the feds, the NFL, and the Eagles reason to start poking around, to see whether he fully has complied with the terms of his probation and reinstatement.
It’s like an IRS audit or an NCAA investigation. They show up for one thing, and they end up nailing you for something else that they never would have known about but for the thing that got them there in the first place.
For Vick, no one knows what will happen in the coming days and weeks. But no one would be talking about him right now if he merely had opted for a private birthday party attended only by persons with whom he’s permitted to associate — and whom he can trust not to bring a gun.