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Examples not to live by

I've spent the last week in a pain-medication-induced hazed trying to battle a persistent toothache. On the downside, it meant spending only part of my vacation soaking in the surf and sand on Georgia's coast. On the upside, I read the final Harry Potter book and caught up on current events from the comforts of the beach house couch.

Yes, the life of a publisher ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Of course it could be worse.

At least I'm not under federal indictment for dog fighting.

You know, Michael Vick is an example of everything wrong with professional sports. Here's a man with unlimited talent who has pulled himself out of poverty to become one of the most popular sports figures in the world. He was so successful that the Atlanta Falcons took the ultra-rare step of essentially offering him a job for life - and the huge paycheck that came with that.

Along the way, he was accused of giving a woman a, uh, special disease. And when he had himself tested for such a disease, he used the name Ron Mexico. (Which reminds me - I never did get my Ron Mexico jersey.)

Even through that, Mr. Vick kept his head held high and the money from his various endorsements kept rolling in.

That came crashing down with the dog-gone indictment.

And I have no problem with that.

I love the approach the NFL took. A spokesman expressed regret that Mr. Vick placed himself in the position to be included in such an indictment.

Amen. Guilty or not, his name is associated with a terrible and barbaric activity.

Do I think he should ever suit up as an Atlanta Falcon again? Nope. In fact, I don't want to see him on a field again. Period.

He doesn't deserve it.

His position should be reserved for someone who appreciates their God-given talent. Someone who remembers that there's a kid somewhere wearing a jersey in honor of their hero.

And letting those people down is the biggest crime of all.

Speaking of crimes, Barry Bonds will soon be the next homerun king, barring some unexpected stroke of karma.

Look, I think he's a talented player, and I respect his accomplishments - steroid-fueled or not. But, much like Michael Vick, he doesn't appreciate the position he's in. His arrogance and overbearing attitude overshadow his accomplishments.

Do they have an asterisk in the record book for being a horses' patootie? Probably not. I guess I'll have to settle for the steroid asterisk. At least it'll be easy to spot: It'll be the one that expands to freakish proportions on the page.

Web posted on Thursday, August 02, 2007

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