Friday, December 15, 2006

Marcus Vick Does Not Like Money.

"Yes, I am a dumbass. Next question?"

For those of us lucky enough to attend college, the last year can be one fraught with anxiety. As the semester draws to a close, the impending approach of the real world bears down hard. How will you pay off those student loans? Do you need more schooling to get the job you want? What the fuck do you want to do with your life? But for people blessed with physical gifts and athletic talent, the situation is a bit different. If you happen to play Division-IA Football or Basketball, there could be a gold mine right around the corner. Just focus on playing well, staying healthy, and keeping out of trouble. If you do, you just might make millions. Or, if you'd like to be like Marcus Vick, you can blow it all and end up a few million in the red.

While not as highly touted as his brother, Marcus certainly had enough ability and media attention to be drafted into the NFL. But something in his personality, be it arrogance, ignorance, stupidity, or some stew of all three, would not allow him to emerge from Virginia Tech unscathed. First, it was the primadonna behavior. Then, the charges that he provided alcohol to minors. Next, flipping off the crowd at West Virginia and colliding with a Mountaineers coach. But in the morally ambiguous world of high stakes athletics, that was not enough to damn him. No, Marcus kicked it into the next gear. During the Gator Bowl, Vick was caught on tape stomping on the leg of an opposing player. Out of options, the Hokies dismissed him from the team.

Now, at this point, Marcus had certainly cost himself some money, but he still had a career to salvage. But, no, it wasn't enough. Next, he pulled a gun on a couple teenagers who were giggling about him at McDonald's, resulting in criminal charges. Unsurprisingly, he went undrafted, was picked up by the Miami Dolphins, and then cut. I have never seen such abject determination towards self destruction in college football. Sure, Maurice Clarrett had a very loud and very public meltdown. But, to me at least, Clarrett's story was different. I had an easier time feeling sympathy for him. It seemed like Ohio State and the NCAA used him up, then hung him out to dry when he started to make a mess. That story brought up a lot of interesting issues: of race, economics, and the contradicitons involved in 'amateur' status.

Marcus Vick had no excuse. His brother is a millionaire! He knew that if he kept his nose clean there could be a big pot of cash waiting for him. But through an amazing sense of entitlement, he ruined it. And his troubles aren't finished. Today, a suit was brought against Marcus: $6.3 million for sexually abusing one of the 15 year old girls he provided alcohol to. Incredible. Getting hit for that amount of money would and should sober most people up, but I don't want to undermine Marcus's ability to make it worse. Maybe he'll make a bald eagle egg souflee and clean the pans with the American flag. Or, steal a schoolbus, get drunk and naked, and drive it into a convent. Anything's possible.

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