Here are some of your responses to Mike's last column...
Sissy S. writes: I read your story regarding Michael Vick and agreed wholeheartedly with it!! He shouldn't be allowed to ever play football again, and if the NFL allows him to play when he gets out of jail, what kind of message is that sending? Are they saying dogfighting is OK as long as you don't get caught? As a person who loves animals, I just can't understand why people actually think one dog mutilating another dog is fun to watch. And then actually murdering the losing dog. I almost became sick to my stomach watching some of the film of the fighting. I just couldn't watch it after the first time. Your story was great and we can only hope he'll be charged with gambling as well and then we really won't have to see him anymore.
Cheri W. writes: I just had to write after seeing the vitriol you are receiving for coming down hard on Michael Vick. I absolutely agree with everything you said, and those who justify being lenient by using the “just dogs” defense are as bad as he is. The big problem is the tendency of all professional sports to take street thugs and make them into “sports gods," offering them huge salaries and endorsements. When the NFL and NBA, in particular, start requiring morals clauses and educated players, maybe we will see more stars like Sean Alexander of the Seahawks, and fewer “bad boys” like Michael Vick.
Melissa H. writes: Have some of your readers lost your minds? Chase M. wrote: "It's not as though he was killing children, they were just dogs." Just dogs?!?!?! Do you realize that sociopaths start with animals, then move on to people? These dogs has blood pumping in their hearts, oxygen in their lungs and neurons and electrons zapping away in their brains. They were living beings with thought processes and emotions. Michael Vick needs to rot in hell for the cruelty that was committed to these animals; they did not have a choice to be there. Then the comparison to boxing? Adults have the right to choose their lifestyle — boxers put themselves in that ring with one sole purpose in mind, to defeat their opponent. That is their choice. Again, these dogs did not have a choice. I hope Michael Vick is never allowed to even enter a sports stadium again in his life. Hit him where it hurts — the pocketbook. Michael and his accomplices are disgusting, vile and I hate to even have this association with him, human beings.
Ray M. writes: Leona Helmsley leaves $12M to her dog, but nothing to two grandchildren. This story proves my point. We worship dogs in this society.
Carol M. writes: HELLOOOOOOO, excuse me, excuse me, what are you people thinking? What has this world become. In my book, GOD is the only loving and forgiving being. Maybe it was best these dogs did die, that way, they didn’t have to put up with the horrible sh** and stay with those kind of owners after all. Thanks, it’ll just make me go home and love my dog that much more.
Tom writes: Enough is enough. I did not hear the outcry regarding human beings in Darfur or better yet, the police killing innocent kids in the inner city. This outrage about pit bulls is overboard. All he needs is a hefty fine. After all, you civilized folks pay to watch two human beings punch themselves to death!!!!
Robby M. in Mississippi writes: I’m enjoying the heck out of the responses to your article on Vick. Yeah, he’s an athlete whose riches helped expose the stupidity within. Yeah, he committed a crime. Yeah, he should do his time. And, yeah, there’s very little justice in America sometimes. But, if Michael has, in fact, “found Jesus”, then there’s going to be a better Michael Vick in Atlanta, whether he performs on the gridiron, or in the local dog pound. And, if Michael is so presumptuous as to think “finding Jesus” is gonna help clear his record, or abbreviate his sentence … well, ha … brotha has another life lesson to learn. I doubt the judge is gonna care about Michael’s relationship with Jesus. Still, the emotion and the decision to become more spiritually mature can only help Michael.
Jeanne K. writes: Michael Vick is No. 1 loser and every word in his speech to the "people" proves it. He sounded like an idiot or maybe a fourth grader, but surely not an adult responding to his horrific crime.
Joey G. writes: Thank you for your article on Vick! I have heard too many fans just reiterating what Vick said, "everybody makes mistakes." I was at the game Monday and there were idiots marching around chanting how they love Vick. There was even a guy, and his little girl, with a bull horn telling people about God and that Vick is an OK guy since he found Jesus, and as you said, in record time (before even going to prison). The guy is a thug and has really insulted the public's intelligence with the junk he spewed forth in his plea deal statement. Thank you for your article!
Daniel G. writes: Straka: I'm a writer in Los Angeles who recently authored a five-part series on animal welfare in the Los Angeles Times. It's at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-dustup-aug13-17,0,2707727.storygallery?coll=la-promo-opinion
When I read your "Grrr" column on Michael Vick, I said, "THIS GUY GETS IT!!!!" From Vick SUDDENLY "finding" Jesus, and all the rest, you hit the nail on the head! Do you know what else pisses me off about this torturing killer? How he says he regrets "the things I've done." He's not ONCE yet said, "I tortured dogs" or "I sadistically killed dogs." His saying "the things I did" is just another cop-out. The one other thing is that smug swagger he had when he was arraigned. But it was GONE when he pled this week. But the thing that irks me more than anything is when Vick's few defenders suggest that "Mike didn't know it was wrong." The proof that he DID know it was wrong is because he lied about it when he was originally questioned about it. You don't lie if you don't think it's wrong. Anyway, sorry to ramble so much. But I had to tell you how on-the-money you are in today's piece about Vick.
VR Tom M. writes: When I was active duty Navy, stationed onboard a ship, a young shipmate got in trouble for using drugs and losing his temper. He was placed on report, and scheduled for Captains Mast (Non-Judicial Punishment or NJP). During the time between being placed on report and his NJP, he found God. Nothing wrong with that, but as you implied, the timing sure was suspicious. Anyway, during his NJP, the Captain asked him if he had anything to say before receiving his punishment. "I've found Jesus" he said, or something to that effect. "Well" the Captain said "Jesus isn't here ..." and he proceeded to administer punishment, which included a discharge from the Naval Service. Just thought you might like to know that.
Moby in St. Louis: I'll bet even God was surprised at how fast Vick found Jesus. What a hoot until we remember how fast he apologized for acts that had been going on for years. I do believe that he really was sorry, however ... sorry for getting caught.
Pastor John B. writes: More power to you and what you have to say; the only thing that I might add is in most cases people have to hit rock bottom before they consider Jesus as option. As a pastor I have witnessed this many times. Sometimes their repentance is genuine and sometimes it isn't. Only time will tell. If a man according to the Bible will truly repent, God will forgive him. People are another matter. I would say, "Give him five years in jail to think about it."
Elizabeth writes: Touché, Mike! Your article, "Grrr! Vick Finds Jesus in Record Time" on Aug. 28, 2007, was brilliant and brilliantly written. Guess dumb collapsing "stars" still think the American audience is also too dumb to notice and care about what they do. Of course, that's often the case, as well. Thank you for your boldness. Hope that is one step that may start a trend in our increasingly cowardly, PC country.
Bruce M. writes: I am retired but I spent 38 years in law enforcement and the correctional field. I have see thousands find Jesus on the way to jail or in prison. Why were they not looking for Jesus and accepting him befoer they got in trouble? Makes a good hollow statement which no one believes. The dog killer should get five years and never play in the NFL.
Jamie writes: I just wondered if you yourself have found Jesus? If so, “Judge not lest ye be judged." If not, I pray you do.
John F. writes: I am not defending Mr. Vick, however, it is wrong for anyone to judge wheather any person has truly accepted Christ or not. Not the pope, the church (Protestant or Catholic) PETA nor the media can make that determination. That decision is singularly between Mr. Vick and God. Often times in life people need a hard wake-up call to realize they are doing a lousy job of being their own "god." It happened with me and perhaps it has happened to Mr. Vick. Christ did not die for those who think themselves to be perfect and religious. He died for all ... even dogfighting NFL players. I would suggest you leave judgment to God and move on to more important things remembering that the day may come you yourself may need the mercy and forgivness of Christ.
Dee S. writes: Finding Jesus ... I was raised to believe that God/Jesus is always with you; you don’t just find him like you might find a penny on the sidewalk. What a cop out!!
Bill writes: "ConVick" — Wish I'd have thought of that term! Really cool and fits "like a glove."
We all deserve a chance to "find" Jesus, and many of us wait until we are "at the bottom" of our lives, etc. and I really hope it's true for Mr. Vick, but only time will truly tell if that's the case. But it's a cop out now when his chips are down to "find Jesus!" Anyway, where does this kind of behavior end? It's obvious these "stars" today believe they are better than everyone else, and are above the law, etc. Money is burning a hole in the pockets and has given them the attitude that everything is OK for them.