Archive for Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How will Disney react to Vick?

July 21, 2009


There are plenty of people in this country who would love to see Michael Vick curled up in a dog house with nowhere to squirm for the rest of his life.

It’s going to be a bad week for these people. Vick could end up frolicking in the most happy-go-lucky place on the planet: Walt Disney World.

Vick is expected to begin prepping soon for a possible return to the NFL by working out with noted trainer Tom Shaw, whose facility is at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Would Disney, which already has the Animal Kingdom as one of its franchise attractions, welcome the Michael Vick Zoo?

Disney is one of the most brand-conscious companies in the world.

“Obviously Disney is the No. 1 choice,” said Shaw, whose elite list of clients include Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. “But I would never put Disney in a position of getting negative exposure. If Disney tells me he can’t train here, then I won’t train him here.”

Disney might be wise to move the circus outside its grounds to distance itself, literally and figuratively, from all the bomb-throwing. I’m not talking about Vick lobbing passes in the air.

This is a man who left behind a trial of dead carcasses while bankrolling a dog-fighting operation. Some people will never forgive Vick.

But forgiveness isn’t the most important word for Vick now that he officially became a free man on Monday. He’s done his time after serving 18 months in prison and two more in home confinement. Freedom is nice, too, but still ranks second to another word: opportunity.

Vick now has that, even though PETA and other animal-rights activists have branded him the cruelest of animals. But what do they say about David Santuomo?

He recently got “slapped” with a 90-day jail sentence for killing his two dogs to avoid boarding them during a vacation with his girlfriend. Santuomo, an Ohio firefighter, shot his two mixed-breed dogs several times after tying them to a pipe in his basement. He dumped their remains in a trash bin behind a firehouse.

He also gets to serve them in 10-day increments over a two-year period. Sweet deal.

Santuomo doesn’t matter much, though. Vick is where the action is.

Vick steps into the spotlight reluctantly. He’s worked out quietly with Shaw over the last two months while fulfilling the terms of his home confinement. Vick’s legal debt to society has been paid. Now he needs a job.

Vick has lost $70 million from a 10-year, $130 million contract. He’s paid $928,000 in restitution for the care of victimized pit bulls. He is more than $20 million in debt, based on bankruptcy proceedings.

Vick won’t see a penny of NFL income until he is reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has not committed to a timeframe for that decision.

Vick might be forced to take a less-traveled road to redemption. Vick could play for the Orlando franchise of the United Football League, which begins play in October. Orlando has the right to Vick based on territorial considerations because Vick played for the Atlanta Falcons.

Vick won’t be looking at any parades down Main Street or photo ops with Mickey Mouse.

He stands alone, asking for a second chance at life. Is there a better place to start than a world where magic happens?


3up3down 8 years, 10 months ago

Vick has not earned any right to be anywhere near any of Disney's complexes. He has done everything contrary to what Disney is about. So what if he has "paid his debt to society." "Asking for a second chance?" There is no way he should be allowed to work at something he loves (football). He has not earned that right. If he needs work, let him work at the humane society cleaning out dog runs for minimum wage.

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 10 months ago

He has paid his dues to society. Hence, he should be allowed to integrate into the public once again. More power to him.

bankboy119 8 years, 10 months ago

logic we almost agree completely. I think his punishment was too harsh, especially compared to other criminal proceedings. But yes, he should be allowed to play for whomever wants to hire him.

jonas_opines 8 years, 10 months ago

This is all moot anyway. suffice it to say, I will be very surprised if Disney does anything but show him the door.

puddleglum 8 years, 10 months ago

michael vick, a breed apart. this story is the most dog-gone football story ever

ATLien 8 years, 10 months ago

To 3up3down & whoever: I am so sick and tired of people attempting to make Vick a “poster child”. There is no other organization that punishes its employees for “non work related issues” the way the NFL does. Regardless what this man did he has paid his debt to society (10X). How can you go beyond what the legal system has done? I love dogs (own 2 pit bulls) but they don’t come in the kitchen, kiss me in the morning, lay inon my bed, etc. If this is the type of behavior you are used to then there is something missing in your life. By no means should a dog take the place of a human, and I believe that is what we’re dealing with here. Yes I’m talking to you if you dress them up in costumes, get their nails done, have a doggy psychiatrist, leave them in your will, have a photo on your desk, take them shopping &or out to eat…WTF, that’s just plain STUPID!

By the way, letting your dog kiss you in the face is nasty!!!

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