Mike Vick Indicted: This is big. This is really big. Given the speculation being thrown around less than 24 hours after it came down (Suspended now! Suspended later! Suspended for the season! Suspended for life! Going to jail! Dropped by Nike!), it's the all-hands-on-deck sports scandal of the summer. (Indictment here, via Smoking Gun)
Let's glaze over Vick's presumptive innocence (or – cough! – guilt) and the truly despicable underlying crimes (even if he was indicted merely for "conspiracy" and not the crimes themselves) and jump right to the upshot:
Given Roger Goodell's new "Get Tough" policy, is there any doubt that Vick will be suspended? The question is: For how long? This has to be bigger than Jared Allen's 4-game suspension (with 2 games off for, uh, good behavior!)
Is it worse than Pac-Man Jones, who got a season-long ban? Consider that Jones had a much longer track record of problems. Also consider that Vick is one of the league's Top 5 most popular players. Does that make things better or worse for Vick? Throw in the fact that he told Goodell he had nothing to do with any of this. (Great scoop by Yahoo Sports' Jason Cole on the implications of this.)
Yikes. (If the Commish charges hard on the gambling angle of Vick's problems, Goodell could ban Vick for life.)
Even if he's not suspended for a full season, but "only" suspended for 4 games or 8 games, that's still either a quarter or half of the season. Not to mention the humiliation to the Falcons franchise. Would they dare cut him outright? Doubt it. (Bet they regret trading Matt Schaub now...)
Some might suggest that Vick deserves the career equivalent of what he and his partners allegedly -- yes, allegedly -- did to those dogs who didn't win: Electrocution, drowning, hanging, shooting.
The upcoming NFL season just got its headlining headline. Tracking...
(PFT is the top place to go for all of the ongoing details, and Fanhouse is posting strong on an angle-by-angle basis, as seen from the links above.)
UPDATE: As I see or hear about good Vick-related content, I'll try to update the post. For starters, Drew at KSK deploys his parodic skills and probably captures the Vick story better than any standard "analyst." Here's the link.
More: MJD with a parable.
More: Cold Hard Football Facts.
WSOP Main Event spoiler at the end of the column. Not that you can avoid it elsewhere. It's not like I'm ruining it for everyone.
Speaking of Pac-Man, he's angling for a new nickname: "Chutzpah Jones." (Greatest. Nickname. Ever.) His agent says that even though he's suspended for the season, he wants to participate in training camp and exhibition games. What part of "season-long" does he not get?
Dolphins release Daunte Culpepper: Who DIDN'T see this coming? I suspect he'll end up in
MLB Stud: Leo Nunez, the Royals reliever called up from AAA who made his first career start and kept the Red Sox at bay long enough to help KC beat
Bonds Watch: He can't break the record if he isn't in the lineup.
Meanwhile, I really enjoyed following yesterday's spirited discussion in the Comments section about the Bonds poll. I agree that Bonds' jerkiness (or suspicions of cheating) trumps his race when lining up reasons to dislike him. But there have been a lot of jerks (and cheaters) who have piled up records; hell, the entire Steroid Era of baseball is tainted – it's just easier to focus your frustration of that era on one guy rather than consider the infinite level of cheating that went on. It would be one thing to root against Bonds breaking the record if he was 50 or 100 homers away; to root against Bonds to break the record when his breaking the record is inevitable smacks of spitefulness more than anything else.
NBA: Yi won't play for the Bucks, period. I have a hard time begrudging Yi (or his handlers) their decision; the Bucks knew he didn't want to play in
Stephon Marbury calls out Michael Jordan: You can dislike Stephon Marbury professionally (and love Michael Jordan) and still support Marbury's new-found populist streak with his inexpensive shoes – it's hard to beat
Rovell on the Durant-Nike deal... and on the fate of Vick's new Nike shoe line.
College Football: I guess the NYT's Pete Thamel (best CFB reporter in the country) has been on vacation, but he's back with an analysis of the Big East's rise from patsy to powerhouse. That's today's Must-Read.
WSOP: Congrats to poker rookie Jerry Yang, the new WSOP champ.