Tuesday, July 28, 2009

willy, hoover and michael vick

hey everyone! willy & hoover here with a new post. we made mom let us do this one since we sort of have, shall we say, a bone to pick on what's to become of michael vick. you might guess us to be among those who think that vick should never be allowed to play football (or any other sport) again, anywhere, anytime. but that would be wrong.

in fact, we think he should be immediately re-instated and we really think he ought to play in as many games during the season as possible. why? because we think he should get every penny of his prior contract ($9M base, $6.5M bonus, $45M remainder, $3M pro-bowl bonus). contingent upon an arrangement, that is, where 51% of that money, along with the same percentage of his future earnings from all sources for the next decade, is given to the Humane Society and the ASPCA.

Vick reportedly is to do some work with the Humane Society, putting his "boots on the ground" in cities around the country, helping convince teens in urban areas that dogfighting isn't cool. that's nice, but he could do so much more. ASPCA CEO Ed Sayres was gracious in his statement acknowledging Vick's return to football. and that was nice, but he could ASK for so much more ... like, $33M for just the rest of the current contract.

we're not that good at math, so not sure these numbers are entirely correct, but follow our wagging tails on this one...

at an average $2/lb (probably less if you got it in bulk from costco), $33M buys, uh ... 16.5 million lbs of dog food. now, the 2 of us are hungry boys, and we admit we eat our share, which is about 1/4 lb per day. so that means the dog-devoted share of vick's fortune would feed about 60 million dogs for a year. we're not sure how many dogs are in shelters across the country but we hope it's not that many. anyway, that's some chow.

at an average $50/dog per vaccine, and again, it's probably less if you're buying it large quantities and not from our vet -- $33M buys 6 million rabies and bordatella shots, and other vital preventatives like heartworm medicine.

so many shelters run in the red, or close to it. at a grant of $100,000 each, $33M means 330 of these places could add badly need space, medical services, food and personnel.

and that's just thru 2013; no doubt there would be additional money "going to the dogs" for a number of years afterwards.

so we think you probably get the idea. michael vick is worth alot more to us dogs if he's playing and cutting us in on his earnings than if he's not. and it's not like we're wanting it all -- meaning that he ought to be pretty grateful to have done what he did and still end up making $5M a year.

we think pet lovers around the country (and we know a few) will be pretty angry about vick's return, and may even boycott games and encourage others to do so ... if there's no reason for them to be happy about it. but if they knew that effectively half of whatever portion of his pay their ticket price delivers is going to help dogs around the country ... maybe they'd be a little less upset.

when you're a dog, you have the benefit of not overthinking things too much. you see the squirrel, you chase him, he runs up a tree, you move on. well, ok -- sometimes you spend 5 minutes barking at him until your dad tells you to shut up. but then you pretty much let it go and move onto the next thing. that's how we feel about michael vick. we probably won't ever like him -- but we like the idea that, having hurt a few of us, he's now in a really good position to help a whole lot of us. and that's a squirrel we can live with.

vick photo credit: steve helber, getty images

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