It was about two years ago in New York when Roger Goodell asked Michael Vick if he participated in — or had any knowledge of — a dog fighting operation that investigators believed was being run out of his house in Surry County, Va. Vick lied. He said no.
This picture to the left was taken the same day as that meeting, as both were in New York for the 2007 draft and to honor Virginia Tech after the campus shootings. You know the rest of inglorious history — for Vick, for football fans, for the Falcons’ franchise, for Arthur Blank (who had similar pre-indictment conversations with Vick) and for the NFL. So we won’t rehash it. (Again.)
Now, I understand that the NFL has become the People’s Republic of Goodell. He has been tough on crime. Between the looks of disgust, he actually seems to enjoy being judge and jury. Maybe a little too much.
But for the sake of everybody, can we just move on?
Goodell may meet with Vick this week in time for Vick to sign with a team and go to training camp. Or he may not.
He may lift the suspension sometime in the next two weeks. Or he may not.
He may twiddle his thumbs for a while, all in the hope that Vick grovels a little bit more, publicly and privately, just to make sure every last group is pandered to and his own ego is satisfied. Some sort of conditional reinstatement (most likely) or additional suspension should be announced by Sept. 1. That’s 12 days before the first Sunday of the NFL season. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful buildup to Week 1?
Know what? I’m tired of this. I think most of us are tired of this. We all need to move on. We all want to move on but can’t until Goodell reinstates Vick and starts the healing process in earnest.
Roger: Make a decision already. I don’t want to hear that Vick just got his ankle bracelet off Monday. You’ve had 23 months to think about this and plot your strategy.
The longer Goodell takes, the longer this thing drags on. The longer we have to put up with double-secret, triple-anonymous sourced stories on ESPN that basically say nothing. The longer it is before Vick actually returns to the league, signs with a team, starts playing, experiences the hecklers and the picketers and the daily media examinations, all with the hope that he grows up and becomes a man and a player again.
But all that is going to take while. None of it is going to be fun. I’m not sure if we or Vick ever get to that finish line. But I know we’ll never find out if Goodell doesn’t start the process. And I’m so tired of waiting.