First off, his demeanor seemed contrite. For the most part he spoke in the “active tense” and avoided the non-apology of we’ve heard so often “to those who were hurt by my actions, I apologize” vs the active voice “I apologize to those hurt by my actions,” (weak) or even better, “I apologize to those I’ve hurt.” He did have a tendency to speak about himself in the third person, which really, really annoys me.
Still, the only way he will ever get beyond this is to speak openly and bluntly about his actions. I think his attorneys are still controlling what he says, to help influence the sentencing in December and the pending state charges he’s facing.
The “court of public opinion” is in a sense even more demanding than federal and state criminal courts. What he said at today’s news conference didn’t go far enough.
Michael Vick: What I did was very immature, so that means I need to grow up.
I don’t see the connection. In my more immature moments I watch cartoons, I don’t fight dogs.
MV: I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m totally responsible – and those things didn’t have to happen.
Notice the disconnect between his responsibility and his actions the “things” that “didn’t have to happen.” These dogfights didn’t occur spontaneously without his effort. This is the mindset of typical criminals – who separate themselves from their heinous actions so that they can live with them.
MV: I made a mistake in using bad judgment and making bad decisions.
There’s that separation again. It’s semantic, but any psychologist would jot it down on his notepad.
MV:Dogfighting is a terrible thing and I do reject it. Through this situation I’ve found Jesus…
I’m sure you reject dogfighting now because doing it is sending you to the slammer and possibly ending your lucrative football career. As for Jesus, I personally hope that He’s busy helping the truly contrite.
MV:I accept the responsibility for my actions and what I did, and now I have to accept the consequences.
But what were those actions? What did you do? We’re still not clear about this – and your newsconference didn’t help.
MV:I will redeem myself.
Mike, I don’t care if you redeem yourself or not. The ball is in your court now to rebuild your fan’s trust and faith in you.
From my perspective as an animal owner and football fan, I doubt I can ever watch you play without remembering what you did to those dogs. Those hands that grip the football also gripped a dog’s neck as you squeezed the life out of it. When I see you spike a football to run out the clock, I’ll remember you smashing a dog’s brains out on the concrete floor.
You had it all. You realized your dream – unlike most of us. You had wealth, fame and talent in measures that few of us will ever achieve. But deep down you were simply a thug who got your jollies by causing pain and suffering.
I’m no saint, Michael. I’ve done stupid things in my life just like anyone. But I’ve never done anything as bad as what you’ve done. My parents raised me to avoid doing those things – killing for sport and torturing for kicks. I’m no sadist, and seeing a sadist stand there as the camera shutters whirr away really pisses me off.
I hope you turn life around, Mike, but if you don’t I won’t lose any sleep. You can then rot the rest of your life having tasted success while knowing you will never, ever taste it again.