Ladies and gentlemen, lots going on today, but I have to lead off with this. It is the most unbelievable story about Michael Vick and how Atlanta is roiled over what has happened. The story is by Jack Wilkinson, and it says here, special to SI.com. Jack Wilkinson is a guest columnist for SI.com. He lives in Atlanta. His latest book is “Game of My Life — Atlanta Braves.” And of course it says here it’s in major bookstores now. May I read you some select excerpts from this Sports Illustrated story about Michael Vick and the indictment, the dog fighting and so forth? Quote, “‘I tell you, this is a big scar for the city,’ said Bill McCloskey, manager emeritus at Manuel’s Tavern, the venerable intown bar where politicians, journalists, cops, actors, sports authorities and neighborhood nabobs are either scratching or shaking their heads over the federal indictment of Vick. ‘This,’ McCloskey said, ‘is bigger than Ray Lewis.’” Bigger than Ray Lewis?
May we get serious here for just a second? Whatever Vick’s accused of doing — and, remember, these are just accusations so far. We’ve been here with the Duke lacrosse kids — this amazes me — and I have warned people, all of these indictments, these charges that come down from prosecutors, I have told you, we are inclined as human beings to believe what law enforcement says. They never lie. The Drive-By Media, “Sources close to the investigation say,” blah, blah — and we’ve seen in the Duke lacrosse case and a couple of other high profile examples in the last year or so that some of these charges never pan out. The Duke case ought to have everybody say, wait a second, just wait a second here.
But in Atlanta, this is bigger than Ray Lewis. Now, Ray Lewis had a double murder charge hanging over him after a bar fight or something that happened during the Super Bowl week in Atlanta back in the nineties, and he was on trial for it and he ended up turning state’s evidence against people. He was eventually acquitted or pled out of it, I’m not sure which, but a guy died, a human being died in the Ray Lewis incident, and Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens, Art Modell, the owner, immediately went into action, I love Ray Lewis, Ray Lewis a great guy. Shannon Sharpe was a teammate, tight end, Ray Lewis a great guy, this is all bogus, blah, blah. Everybody surrounded the wagons around Ray Lewis, and he played. He played in that season following all of this. I think his trial was in the spring. He ended up playing.
Vick has been told to stay away from training camp, stay away from everybody, the Falcons were thinking about suspending him for four days, may be cutting him. Nike is going to hold off on the latest Vick sneaker. But to say that this is bigger than Ray Lewis, where a guy died — two people might have been stabbed in that incident. These were dogs in Vick’s case. Here’s another one. Brian Maloof, the proprietor at Manuel’s Tavern, “This is embarrassing to the city. It sure lets us know about Vick’s character. The wrestler? (Chris Benoit) That’s nothing.” That’s in print and it’s in Sports Illustrated. He killed his son; he killed his wife; then he hung himself. He said, “It sure lets us know about Vick’s character. The wrestler, that’s nothing. Don’t get me wrong; that’s not really nothing. There was obviously some mental illness there — the depression — that that man had to suffer from to take your own life, and your wife’s and child’s lives. Even with steroids. But this is almost like some sick Roman bloodsport. It’s just horrible.”
Hunter Maloof, he’s 12 years old, and he’s the son of Brian Maloof. “It’s enough to make Hunter Maloof change his wardrobe, too. ‘I kinda felt like throwing it away when I heard the news,’ said Hunter, 12, Maloof’s son and a rabid Vick fan who’d proudly worn a Falcons jersey bearing Vick’s name and No. 7. No more. ‘There was a picture of that cute little dog on the news, and they killed it ’cause it wouldn’t fight? That’s just evil. I like dogs.’” So you have two instances here, the Ray Lewis situation where a murder took place, and I don’t think we know who actually committed the murder in that situation, but Lewis was in the bar when it happened. It was very controversial, but a human being died. The Chris Benoit situation where three people died, one of the three killed the other two. The story in Sports Illustrated says, “Well, the Vick thing is far worse. It’s just far worse.” Now, can you come up, ladies and gentlemen, in your own minds with a reason why people are thinking this way? After all of these abortions in this country for all of these years since 1973, this Sports Illustrated story — and I think they probably think they’re breaking new ground — this is a testament. This is a illustration to the devaluation of human life that has occurred throughout our culture.
Now, I understand how people are upset with Vick if all this stuff is true. It was cruel to kill these dogs and hang them and electrocute them and this sort of thing. See, animals differ from human beings in the human psyche in that animals represent the essence of innocence, except pit bulls. One of the things that people are leaving out of this is a pit bull is not the essence of innocence. A pit bull is as much a predator as any dog you’re going to have could be. I’m not saying they need to be eliminated or killed, don’t misunderstand. I’m just saying we all have a tendency, we see a picture of animal and go, ooh, essence of innocence, like a baby. We feed pets. They can’t take care of themselves after we’ve domesticated them. They love us, give us unconditional love, how could you treat the essence of innocence that way? All fine and dandy, I understand that psychologically.
But to have a major sports — what have I told you about these sports media? They’re as every bit as liberal as the news Drive-Bys are. To have a story here where Atlanta citizens are quoted as saying the Vick thing is far worse than the Ray Lewis thing, the wrestler thing, “Why, don’t get me wrong, it’s not really nothing, but I mean there was mental depression going on and so forth and so on.” The whole story, and we will link to it at RushLimbaugh.com, is just over the top. Atlanta reeling, Vick’s alleged crimes are worse than Ray Lewis and Chris Benoit. Just shows you how human life has been so devalued in our culture.