RUSH: Michael Vick is going to plead guilty in court on Monday. They’ve released that he’s going to cop a plea here. It’s fascinating to watch the Drive-By Media reaction to this. It’s not uniform. On the plane ride out to Wyoming I was watching ESPN, and they had a columnist from the Atlanta Urinal-Constipation, who was talking about the reaction in Atlanta. A lot of people in Atlanta — Mr. Snerdley, you’ll want to hear this — a lot of people in Atlanta, according to this columnist, think that Michael Vick is being singled out for criticism by the media and by the NFL and that’s not fair, and that if a white quarterback had been involved in this kind of thing, it wouldn’t be nearly as bad. Then there are others who say we’re making much ado about nothing here, that this is a cultural thing, which is news to me. I’m not that informed about dog fighting, but for this to be an excuse that’s offered, that it’s a cultural thing, that we have to understand this; this is what goes on in certain neighborhoods?
Then other Drive-By columnists have said, ‘The hell with it being cultural, even if it is, the culture that’s engaging in this is horrible. This is torture; this is mean; this is cruelty; this is,’ blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m not finding a whole lot of support out there for Michael Vick. I thought I would, but I’m not seeing it. This one guy in Atlanta — and he was not defending Vick, he was talking about the reaction in Atlanta — and he did say, I think his name is Terence Moore, he said black people in Atlanta said, ‘Well, 200 years of slavery in this country, and this is just another example of it.’ I said, ‘Whoa.’ Now, he was not saying that’s accurate. He was just saying that’s what people in Atlanta are thinking. Now everybody’s trying to figure out, well, how did this happen? Why did this go wrong? There are a number of theories. There probably are many theories to explain this, as there are people trying to explain it. The theories range from he got too much money too soon and had this aura of invincibility. A lot of pro athletes, when they’re young and exhibit the kind of talent that people think makes them destined for the pros, are coddled.
I have seen it, ladies and gentlemen. They are coddled; they are protected; they are shielded from things. They are given excuses. They’re given a pass on a lot of behavioral attitudes and things that other people are not. Then it was explained, ‘Well, yeah, but look at who he’s hanging around with. This is the problem.’ Others said he didn’t have that many friends in the clubhouse. He had acquaintances in there, but he wasn’t hanging with other players. He had his own posse he was hanging with, and the league should have investigated and found out just who these people were. Others are saying it’s the hip-hop culture. It’s the gang culture that’s infiltrated professional sports. There are other sportswriters who said, ‘Have you noticed all the black uniforms that are being worn in the NFL? That’s because of the fascination that players have with gang members.’ Apparently black is a universal color for being a member of a gang or something. And I have to say, I’ve noticed that. I didn’t know that that was the case ’til I read it from some of these sportswriters.
But as a football fan, just give me the traditional uniforms. If the Pittsburgh Steelers ever go all black I’m quitting the NFL. I hate this business of black jersey, black pants, black socks, black shoes. I just hate it. Well, I dislike it. I don’t hate anyway. I just dislike it. Michael Vick’s not an isolated case. But, folks, I gotta tell you something. I understand this, and we’ve discussed this before. I’m an animal lover, and I know people’s attachment to this story because the animals are the essence of innocence. We make ’em pets and we take care of them. They can’t fend for themselves the more we shield them and protect them and keep them in our homes and so forth. But there are other NFL players and sports figures in other sports that have been around when human beings have been murdered, and there hasn’t been this kind of reaction to it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this. They slap their wives around or what have you, any number of things. But when these animals are involved in it, and as I say, I understand the emotional attachment that people have, and I’m not suggesting that we’ve cheapened life or any of that. It’s just that the sense of proportion is — and I’m not defending Vick, I got a bunch of e-mails last time I talked about this, people thought I was defending Vick. But I’m not.
I look at the lack of outrage when human beings are involved. This ‘Pacman’ Jones character from the Tennessee Titans was involved during the NBA All-Star Game with a ruckus at a strip club, which, if the NFL wants to find a common denominator — Darrent Williams was just apparently a great guy, cornerback for the Denver Broncos, killed on the last day of the season after the final game last year in the playoffs. He went to a nightclub where some NBA star for the Denver Nuggets was having some kind of party, and he got shot up in a drive-by slaying by a bunch of people in a Hummer limo. He happened to catch the bullet that killed him. Nightclub, nightclub, nightclub. There’s a common denominator in all this, or strip club, whatever. ‘Pacman’ Jones, the bouncer out there, got shot when somebody pulled weapons out and opened fire at four o’clock in the morning. The bouncer is now paralyzed from the neck down. There hasn’t been nearly the outrage about that that there is about the Vick story. It’s all bad, is the point.
RUSH: Somebody said to me: ‘Rush, this dogfighting thing in the NFL, it is cultural. It’s bigger than anybody knows, and what the feds want is for Vick to flip on all of this that’s going on.’ Somebody ‘in the know’ told me this, that you’d be stunned, that this Vick thing and the dogfighting thing in the NFL is just the tip of the iceberg. My friends, if that’s true, and I, of course, have no way of knowing since one of the few things I am not an expert on is dogfighting or certain subcultures of the National Football League. But I do know this, Michael Vick, if he hopes to play in the NFL again, and he does, is not going to tell the feds a thing. He’s not going to give up other names. If there are other NFL players engaged in this, Michael Vick isn’t going to tell anybody about it, because if he does and comes back and plays in the NFL, the first play he will be beheaded, as a snitch. In fact, he might have something very harmful happen to him even if he doesn’t come back. So he’s going to take the fall for this. He might flip, but if it ever comes out that he did, and I don’t know how they would keep that from anybody, because he’s the target, I can’t see it. Not if he wants to play again, the way that world works.
RUSH: One more thing on this Michael Vick situation. I think everybody is focused on the dogs and the cruel, sadistic, torturous treatment of the dogs, and that’s bad enough, and that’s going to be very difficult for Vick to overcome with the public in terms of his image. I’m reading some of these Drive-By holier-than-thou columnists who say the first thing he’s going to have to do is send a big check to the ASPCA, then a big check to the Humane Society and become a spokesman for them. Come on! Who’s going to buy that? I know we’re a forgiving country, that’s not the big deal. As far as the league is concerned, the NFL is concerned, what I think their big concern is, who are these guys that Vick was running with? This is a bunch of human debris he’s running around with, and there’s gambling going on here, and if there’s gambling going on here, was there gambling going on on other things where Vick was involved? I guarantee you, they have this independent counsel now, the new commissioner who is a new sheriff in town. This guy has suspended Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones for a full season. He hasn’t even been found guilty of anything yet.
But, you know, two letters for you: O-J. Everybody knows. This judge in the Vick case is a hanging judge apparently. This guy goes for the upper limit of the sentencing guidelines. Although we don’t know what’s in the pleading, what he’s going to admit to in his plea agreement on Monday, they’re saying that the sentencing guidelines here are 12 to 18 months, and this judge can go beyond that if he wants to. So we’ll see. But as far as the league is concerned and the Atlanta Falcons, it’s going to be, ‘What else is going on here, and who are these people that Vick was running around with? And how come we didn’t know about this?’ This is going to lead to a lot of scrutiny, more scrutiny on even more NFL players. So this is going to be interesting to watch the fallout from this.