Thug Nation

Allen Iverson.  Pacman Jones.  Michael Vick.

Is it just me, or has the thuggery escalated, really hitting its stride mid-summer?  In the past few weeks, there’s been an explosion of violent, lewd behavior by some of our nations most famous athletes.

Never mind that Michael Vick is a marginal passer who isn’t capable of playing quarterback in the NFL (unless he’s running the option).  Never mind the fact that Allen Iverson routinely skips practice because he’s a superstar and “It’s just practice.  I mean.. we not talking bout a game… it’s just practice.”  Let’s get real.  Iverson and Vick are, essentially, at  the end of their respective careers.  Vick remains a tremendous athlete, but he never had the leadership ability – or the arm – to take his team to a Super Bowl victory.  Iverson is scrappy and can score in bunches, but his work ethic and his capacity to lead his team – “It’s just practice” – have long been questioned.  Jones, however, is still incredibly young, and extremely talented.  He could still have a brilliant career in the NFL….. if he stops acting like a stupid thug.

Yes, Michael Vick was indicted in federal court last week.  The charges?  Everything dog fighting.  Gambling on dog fights.  Trafficing in an illegal enterprise – of dogs – across state lines.  Animal cruelty.  The indictment is disgusting.  Vick, you and your crew better stay away from my dog.  That’s all I have to say.

When I was teaching middle school in the Bronx, I had a brilliant 6th grader named Felix Hernando De La Cruz.  Yo Felix!  I still remember you kid!   This guy was a true champ.  He was cool.  He was a lady’s man.  He was a good student.  And he wrote a research paper about dogfighting, or, as he liked to say, “fighting your dogs”.  At first, when Felix told me that he wanted to write a paper about “why people shouldn’t fight their dogs”, I was a bit confused.   You get the image.   But Felix quickly clarified it for me.  Apparently, the kid had two pits, both adopted and rescued from the underground world of cruelty that is dog fighting.  Felix, do you remember if you adopted those dogs from some quarterback in Virginia named Vick?  Thought so.

As it turns out… Vick DOES fight his dogs.  He body slams them until they’re dead.  Way to go Vick.  You’re such a tough guy.  You are such a real man.   But Vick, you have enough problems.  Maybe you can buy your way out  of jail time, or maybe not.

Allen Iverson,  stay out of Light and Rain.  Because if I’m in the VIP section, and you send your bouncers up to kick me out, I’m probably not moving.  Sure, you’re welcome to have a seat and drink some of my Grey Goose.  But I’ll warn you in advance that I’m not a big fan, that I think you’re a thug, that I believe you DID – in fact – “brandish it”, and that I hope, after you leave the NBA, you go on to do something productive with your life (call David Robinson.. a real MAN.. maybe he can give you some guidance).

Pacman, you’re young and stupid and like the strip clubs way too much.  If you’ve got half a brain, you’ll stop emulating the Michael Vick’s and Allen Iverson’s of the world, and you’ll find a professional athlete mentor (we all need mentors).  I recommend Braylon Edwards (again, a real man…. we don’t hear too much about Braylon getting involved in fights at strip clubs… probably because he’s too busy donating tons of his money to charity and trying to help the youth in Cleveland).

All you fools need to MAN UP.  NOW.


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