ESPN The Magazine briefly used a photoshopped Caucasian Michael Vick this morning to accompany Toure's piece on Vick. White Michael Vick lives on here, however, and has some comments to make regarding a hypothetical reality where he was not WHITE MICHAEL VICK.
I SAY THERE. Perhaps we have missed the opportunity to make a proper acquaintance, but I, WHITE MICHAEL VICK, ESQUIRE AND QUARTERBACK-AT-LARGE, wish to illuminate several points which may have lost their clarity.
You may recall the unfortunate occasion of my incarceration and subsequent holiday in the Federal prison system. A gentleman faces such trials, and like the elephant tromping upon the hyena does take its nibbles in stride, assured as he is of superior heft on the great plain of life.
Envision, if you will, my struggles! Egads! Some bumptious gumshoes have raided my fine canine gladitorium! Forsooth, my disgraceful and admittedly negligent financial effluvia, spilt into the greater flow of the hoi-polloi's gossips. My very freedom, sold at the gavel of a bejoweled magister to the public interest. Each night, falling asleep to the sounds of my dear cellmate Jared "Pooky" Wilson, a cursed bellows driving slumber away like the hand of a servant shooing a fly from my tender face. Each morning, waking to the sounds of his flatulence, a reveille whose atonal trumpetings shall haunt my drams and indeed my dreams
Dear St. Pooky of Leavenworth. On silent nights, I do sometimes almost miss the sounds of his body's continual, ne'er ebbing intake and expulsions of this aether that supports us like so many fish in a gilded aquarium. Almost, mind you. As they say, "maintain fortitude for my dogs behind yon walls, Pooky!"
Pardon the canine references. As you would find after being wrongfully convicted of the misunderstood and gentlemanly pursuit of canine gladitorium, the language is simply rife with canine metaphor and figures. I have resolved to ignore them and the snickers that come with their usage.
BUT I DIGRESS. My main point is to imagine that I would be something other than I am now, that is to say the figure of my permanent address as myself, WHITE MICHAEL VICK, ESQUIRE AND QUARTERBACK-AT-LARGE. This seems preposterous. Why, my labels would surely not change, would they?
Would the sway-bellied scribes of the sporting media desist in saluting my "game IQ," and then turn it into such noxious bigoted code as "a master improviser with superb athleticism?"
Would a change in my alabaster pallor transmogrify my "super arm and ability to read defenses" into the subtle illiteracy charge of the phrase "Keeps the play alive, and just makes things happen?" Surely not, even if the film should look on the whole no different save for the pigment of the nimble signalcaller himself?
Would my troubles be cast not as "a byproduct of my upbringing," and instead be consigned under a tag forever stapled to my hide reading "Thug?"
Would my own personal reformation, begun long before my unfortunate and involuntary bunking with the aforementioned Jared "Pooky" Wilson in a federal hotel of dismal standards, be instead credited to the noxious haute-bourgeoisie Goodell, the spawn of a Senator who believes Adversity is an obscure but scenic town in Pennsylvania?
Naturally, these questions are rhetorical. An age of wonders surrounds us. I, WHITE MIKE VICK, have ascended back to my rightful spot in our society's twinkling constellations. I may, at any moment, enjoy the things that have made my marrow sing: the Dave Matthews Band, the criticism of Chuck Klosterman, Slate.com, persuing my local farmer's market with a nice latte in my hand, watching Louie on FX (simply brilliant!), considering applying for law school but never doing it, and looking for real estate in affordable but still promising districts of Austin, Texas...my pleasures in life are legion, and demand not a full cataloguing here.
And yet one wonders: even if WHITE MICHAEL VICK, ESQUIRE AND QUARTERBACK-AT-LARGE were closer in shade to his Nubian acquaintances, surely this would all the same trappings adorn? And surely not generate or necessitate the birthing of a parallel universe of consideration for him based on the random allotment of melanin thrown carelessly about the globe?
Of course not. The very suggestion is as absurd as saying a coach can't attend a concert after working a seventy hour week, or that the bejewelings festooning a gentleman's person matter in the outcome of his footballings, or that Commissioner Himself would wantonly enforce the lobotomized whims and fiat of a mythical collegiate sporting institution at the NFL level.
A gentleman living in a gentlemanly cosmos would never admit such things as real, as they would offend both dignity and sense, the two pillars of the gentleman's fortress of masculine strength. Pardon my brevity, but I must anon to football practice fly, and then scramble to a local butchery for some grass-fed boeuf of an excelsior grade of delicacy and flavor. I must get there before Andy Reid, for his lust for wagyu beef franks and organic meats is truly as bottomless as the depths of Cortez's cerulean Pacific glittering from high upon Darien.