• 50°

#8216;Just dogs#8217; not much of a defense

They’re just dogs. You know, a mere animal. You want a fine of $350,000 and to send a man to prison for six years just because of some dogs.

It’s one of the most ridiculous defense lines I’ve heard, but those defending Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick have resorted to such a lame statement.

Please just say Vick is entitled to due process. He is innocent until proven guilty.

Vick reportedly was “devastated” by the indictment last week putting him in the center of dogfighting charges. In an 18-page indictment, Vick was said to lead the operation.

The Atlanta quarterback not only took the bets on the fights, he allegedly killed many of the dogs in gruesome ways. Losing dogs were shot, hung, drowned, slammed viciously to the ground, and watered down and electrocuted.

I know dogs do not have a soul and they don’t go to heaven, but God did give them to us. Animals have their place in the world, but I do not believe it was God’s desire that man train them to fight for our gambling pleasure and then kill them is such ways.

Maybe it is those people involved who are soulless.

To think Vick knew nothing of what was happening on his property is hard to believe.

Did Vick look out of his mansion at all the mounds of brown dirt resembling small graves and say, “I don’t remember hiring the groundskeeper from the movie ‘Caddyshack’ to take care of my yard?”

Maybe he’s been drinking too much out of his personal water bottle. Rumor has it the water bottle was a souvenir from Maurice Clarett’s stay at the Denver Broncos training camp.

The status of Vick for his training camp remains a cloudy picture. Vick and three co-defendants are scheduled to be in court Thursday for their arraignment and that just happens to be the first day of the Falcons camp.

Vick’s indictment is just part of an era where the sports page looks more like a police blotter.

Floyd Landis still claims his innocence from his drug tests after winning the Bore de France. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield and many others have been linked to steroids or human growth hormones (HGH).

Those are forms of cheating. They are wrong and should be dealt with accordingly.

But the punishment should fit the crime. A fine of $75 fits a speeding ticket, but not killing dogs.

Nike has all ready applied a penalty by suspending the release of the new Air Zoom Vick V shoes.

If Vick is innocent, then great. If he is guilty, then he should go to jail.

Or, better yet, lock him in the county dog pound. After all, they’re just dogs.

- Sinatra -

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.