Well, the inevitable series of punishments has at last begun. Goodell banished Vick from training camp in what can only be seen as the first step in eventually suspending him. Between the public outcry and the infuriating PETA protest outside of Flowery Branch, it's not too surprising that Goodell decided to free the team from its biggest problem for now. Vick now has more time to concentrate on his legal defense, and Petrino can prepare the Falcons for the season. Given what can only be considered diminished expectations, training camp can't possibly go well enough. The banishment lessens the chance Vick will play at all this season by a lot, in my mind. It also elevates Joey Harrington to starter, which has sadly become the least of my concerns.
Harrington will at least be able to get out on the field and throw a football around, and he's got basically nowhere to go but up (we pray). Things may never really look up for Vick again. Companies like Nike that were once only too glad to throw wads of cash at Vick are quietly phasing out his products, and every media outlet and protest group in the country is lining up to swing a bat at him. Frankly, it's starting to drive me a little bit insane. To wit:
Are you a Falcons fan, Dan Shannon? Or most of the PETA members picketing the facility? My guess is no. So don't give me that BS line about 'fans' wanting to see Michael Vick suspended. As a matter of fact, let's take this one step further. I don't want to see any more crap about the divisions along racial lines, or the media asking sorrowfully if Vick can ever repair his career. I'm guessing that PETA members care more about the animals and media anchors and writers care more about their viewers and readers than they care about Vick or the Falcons. I appreciate some of the genuine sympathy I've heard from fans of other teams and I love hearing the discussion from you guys, my readers. But I would absolutely like to hear groups with agendas stop pretending they give a good goddamn about the Falcons when they clearly don't. Is it safe to assume you're all with me?
I'd like to end this post here, but there's the sticky (no pun intended) situation of Jimmy Williams. Apparently he was arrested for marijuana possession back on June 6, which makes me really wonder about the timing of this announcement. I could care less if Jimmy Williams smokes weed unless he shoves it in a water bottle or gets arrested. Unfortunately for him, he chose the latter. With any luck he'll beat the charge, but it's definitely going to take a back burner in the team's eyes regardless. Still, the team could've done without this.