[Web Special] Sports: Michael, Michael, Plax and Brett

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 07:07 AM

Let's start with Michael Vick. He has not been in the NFL since his indefinite suspension, including serving 23 months of federal prison time for bankrolling a dog fighting ring. There are signs the Jacksonville Jaguars are interested in him. But they have a top notch QB in David Garrard. I suspect they might be looking at Vick as a backup – thinking he is the same player as he was a few years ago.

More on him later.

Olympic Hero Michael Phelps’ first major loss since 2005 (at the World Championships yesterday) is enough of a story as it is. But there's also the controversy over his suit. He wears a Speedo suit which was state-of-the-art -- last year. This year, swimsuit technology has advanced even further. And Paul Biedermann, the German who beat Phelps in world record time, was wearing the latest. (Phelps is under contract to Speedo so couldn't match him.) Already, swimming Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), was meeting to make some changes to the materials allowed for swimming suits. But the rules aren't in effect yet.... continue reading

Two thoughts. First of all, the Phelps team shouldn't have whined about their lesser suits. You didn't hear any complaints from Beijing when Phelps' suit was cutting edge, did you? So don't complain now. But why not let swimming be more like car racing? If you have the better technology, you win. So let them have their shark-mimicking suits and their carefully concocted pre-race drinks and their personalized training regimens. If they aren't juicing, it's all fair.

Now let's talk about Brett Favre. He announced yesterday -- about time, Brett! -- that he's not returning to the NFL. I feel sorry for him; it's clear he'd still like to play if he could. But it's about time he recognized that his playing days are over. Favre is like the guy in the old Western, mortally wounded, but the soul of the league telling his posse “go on… go on without me.” I hope he'll stay in the NFL as a coach. In truth, I'd love to see him as a high-school coach. Now that would make a good movie!

So, Plaxico Burress goes before a grand jury today. Burress could face a mandatory minimum sentence stemming from an illegal weapons possession charge. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is not commenting on the case at this time and will not confirm any details.

Where is the NRA on this one?

I’m kidding, but check the confluence of factors that make this a particularly sticky situation for Plax. 1. NYC is the biggest city in the USA. Crime here is low. Low enough so that the city went into a hissy fit the other day, thinking that they were not going to get federal stimulus money. The heart of this is crime-stopping, including controversial stop and frisk tactics. Plax was an idiot for walking into a club with a loaded weapon that was not in the holster, but hanging in his sweat pants. Plax, you are not a 32-year-old gangsta – you are a 32-year-old running out of time if you are ever going to have a pro career. At least you won your Super Bowl, because although you will come back fierce, there may never be a situation for you like the one you just left in NY. Vick and Plax: will their stories end in that happy place? Tell me what you think.

Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis coach turned mentor, says Vick’s gonna land on his feet. We know he committed a heinous crime. We know he hung out with the wrong people. But we are also know that he has officially taken the lumps for that and now he’s itching to get back to perhaps the only place that he has felt comfortable his whole life – the football field. I think he will be a great asset to any team as a mature presence in the locker room after what he’s put himself through.

Or maybe Vick and Plax will fade into memory as one-time greats who let talent slip away and expectations to go unfulfilled. I am rooting for their comebacks. These guys have stunk up the joint. But I hope they end up smelling like roses.

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Comments [3]

Jack

i agree with ibrahim about vick; time to give him a second chance. in terms of plax, i'm not so sure...the 'controversial stop and frisk tactics' are almost always targeted in certain communities. for the swimmers? i guess the inner 'school uniform proponent' in me is coming forward to say that it shouldnt be about gear, it should be about work ethnic and straight talent. once you bring gear into the mix, you start to bring the convolutions that come with capitalism, privilege, etc. finally, job well done on writing this piece. you wove together three very different things well.

Jul. 29 2009 11:04 PM
hanifahbuurns

I don't know a thing about sports,but this blog was written so well that even I am rooting for Plax and Vic to make a full comeback.

Jul. 29 2009 02:38 PM
b-sam

"In truth, I'd love to see him as a high-school coach. Now that would make a good movie!"

Haha do I smell a sequel to "Little Giants" brewing?

Jul. 29 2009 10:47 AM

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