It’s been two weeks since my last post so I have to catch up on a bunch of stories. Those include MLB playoff races, but let’s start with one that has filled the headlines recently though, Michael Vick:
After pleading guilty to federal conspiracy charges, Michael Vick could face up to five years in prison (though the sentence recommendation is between 12 and 18 months). The legal matter is complicated, so it is easier to look at the football side of things. As everyone waits to find out the length of his jail term, Vick must regain Americans’ trust before he even contemplates a return to the NFL. Vick must rebuild his character and show that he has changed. His apology after pleading guilty sounded sincere and honest, but was it? He lied to the public over and over again during the investigation, so why should fans believe that he is really going to change. Yes, the apology sounded genuine, but how much of it is Vick’s agent and lawyer dictating his speech. Did he write the apology or is he just reading someone else’s work? Even worse, does he even believe what he is saying? Fans can no longer trust Vick, and to regain that trust borders on impossible. Even if he is a perfect prisoner, apologizes again, and gives back to the community, most fans will never support Vick. If it is impossible for Vick to win over most fans, think about how hard it will be for him to win over a franchise.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Vick indefinitely, and the Atlanta Falcons are seeking $20 million from Vick’s original signing bonus. After Vick serves his jail time, he still has to convince Roger Goodell to lift his suspension. Then, he must convince a team to take a chance on him. That may be the hardest part. I cannot imagine any teams’ fans supporting a signing of Michael Vick. Animal rights organizations would be protesting every day of the year. Fans would be infuriated with the move. Vick would be booed relentlessly at home, and I cannot even imagine the abuse that he would take on the road. With that in mind, how would any NFL general manager take a chance on him? The answer: They Wouldn’t.
Next is Major League Baseball, where playoff races are heating up as teams enter the final month of the season. I have made my predictions a couple of times this season, but now I will finalize them. Here they are:
AL East: Boston Red Sox
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West: Los Angeles Angels
AL Wild Card: Seattle Mariners
NL East: New York Mets
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL West: San Diego Padres
NL Wild Card: Arizona Diamondbacks
Though the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals do not have very good records, they are making the NL Central the closest division in baseball. On the other hand, the Sox, Indians, and Angels (American League Division Leaders) all lead their divisions by at least five games coming into the day. The Tigers, Yankees, and Mariners are all vying for the AL Wild Card which does add some excitement to the American League. Yet, the National League is really where all the races are. The NL East has the Mets, Phillies, and Braves. Every team in the NL Central is within ten games and the NL West has the Diamondbacks and Padres tied for first. The Dodgers and Rockies are only four and five games back respectively. Even if the American League is won half way through September, every race in the NL is going down to the final couple of games.
Now I know there have been a bunch of other minor stories that have come out the past two weeks, but I cannot cover anything. The US is four minutes away from qualifying for the 2008 Olympics (they lead 122-77 over Puerto Rico right now) and the US Open is beginning to get into more meaningful rounds. Hopefully, I will have time to post on these and other stories during the next few days. Also, expect my NFL Predictions to come out before Thursday’s opening game.