Sports Q&A: Vick vs. Goodell; Moss

Matt from Dodge City, KS writes, "Will Michael Vick be the next victim in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's crackdown on unacceptable behavior?"

If Pacman Jones and Chris Henry are the hardcore thorns in Goodell's side, then Vick must be the annoying little kid poking a finger in his ribs. Many of Vick's indiscretions may not be punishable, but they sure are laughable. First, there was the "Ron Mexico" STD scandal of 2005, which occurred well before Goodell's tenure as commissioner began.

That's not to say Goodell has forgotten about this; heck, he probably dusted off his old Ron Mexico Falcons jersey when he met with Vick at the draft. If your impact on the game extends to the infamy of fans requesting your jersey with a name you used as an alias when tested for sexually transmitted diseases, then you've got a problem. If Vick's got a problem, then Goodell's got a problem. When Goodell's got a problem, heads roll. Just ask Pacman.

In January, while trying to board a plane bound for Atlanta from Miami International Airport, Vick had a water bottle confiscated by security. Vick was apparently unaware that water bottles are no longer allowed on planes. Nor was he aware that water bottles with secret compartments that smell a lot like marijuana are also forbidden, on planes and pretty much everywhere else.

And he was also oblivious to the fact that when you're a well-known NFL player who's known to smoke marijuana on occasion, and you're in the Miami airport, probably the one place on earth where drug suspicions run highest, then slipping security with the old "secret compartment water bottle" trick won't fly. In the Miami airport, anything and anyone are capable of having a secret compartment for drugs. Again, Vick wasn't charged and was allowed to board the flight to Atlanta. Unfortunately, due to the length of the flight, Vick was only able to enjoy half of the in-flight feature, the hilarious Half Baked.

In November, Vick gave Atlanta fans the finger after several heckled him after a loss to the Saints. The league took no action, but the Falcons organization fined him $10,000. Again, not a crime, but not an act that will win you brownie points with the league.

Which brings us to the latest incident in the "Michael Vick lives the life of the Three Stooges saga." On April 27th, while investigating a drug charge against Vick's cousin, Virginia state police raided a home owned by Vick. Inside the home, police found several dogs, many in states of injury or bad health. Also found were items associated with dog fighting, such as dogs in states of injury or bad health, championship collars, Don King, and a recording of the Rocky theme, as performed by those dogs that bark Christmas songs. Vick was flustered by the findings, and vowed to choose his relatives more carefully, and also vowed never to rent houses to pit bulls again.

So, where does Vick go from here? I'm sure Goodell told Vick that, "It's my way or the highway." Which means Vick must turn his life completely around, or he'll soon be facing a four-game suspension. At their draft meeting, Goodell probably told Vick that one more incident, regardless of how minor, would result in a suspension.

Can Vick make the changes necessary to avoid a suspension? He's probably got money on "yes" with his local bookie. It remains to be seen whether that bet pays off. If it does, then he better hope Goodell doesn't find out. Vick's problem is not only with himself, but with his friends and relatives. He's got to keep them straight, as well as himself. It's possible, but I've got a feeling that Vick may soon be the victim of a not-so-random "random" drug test. That might be the time to use the name "Ron Mexico."

Lyle from Brooklyn, NY asks, "What are the ramifications of New England's acquisition of Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders?"

(As answered by Randy Moss.)

Ramifications? I came here to talk about me, not the sexual escapades of sheep. Look, it was a fair trade for both teams. Sure, it sounds like the Patriots got a steal by giving up only a fourth-round pick for one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, but ... aw, hell. Who are we kidding? It was a steal. Of course, it's a big cap hit for the Pats, but who cares about that stuff. And what can Oakland do with a fourth round pick? They'll select a guy who'll be cut at the end of training camp. A week later, New England will sign that guy and he'll be starting on opening day. It's like a two-for-nothing deal.

I've got to thank my new hero Tom Brady for making this deal possible. It says a lot about a guy who's willing to restructure his contract in order to allow the team to acquire a superstar. If the tables were turned, there's no way I'd restructure my contract to bring Brady to Oakland. I wouldn't want anyone to suffer that fate.

Correction ... I would restructure to get Tom Brady to Oakland, but only if part of my payment was in the form of Giselle Bundchen. But Tom was willing to flip some money around to get me here. That guy's a winner. He's just as good at restructuring a contract as he is at repositioning a supermodel in his bedroom. I think Tom and I will get along just fine.

A lot of critics are saying that the Patriots don't need me to reclaim the Super Bowl. And they're right. But I need the Patriots to get there. I'm getting up there in age. I'm 30, and with the way I've exerted my body on every play in my career, I feel like I'm 23. And, with a Super Bowl ring, I'll finally be able to get Cris Carter to shut up.

Will I be on my best behavior in New England? You bet. My new teammates and coaches, as well as the New England fans, won't tolerate any lack of hustle and toughness. Heck, I'll even play with a concussion, especially if Coach Belichick forces me to. I know I don't have the most impressive resume when it comes to hustling, playing hard, communicating, and all those other crazy things expected of players with good reputations. But reputations are like No. 3 receivers; everybody's got one, but you don't need one to be good.

I'm not going to bring this team down; I've promised Coach Belichick that I won't leave the field before a game is over and I won't moon anyone, although a Randy Moss mooning would make a perfect bookend along with Zeke Mowatt's exposing of his Patriot missile. It's also stipulated in my contract that I cannot run over any parking lot attendants, without justification, of course.

I know what a lot of critics of this deal are thinking. Acquiring such a talented yet troubled player by a Super Bowl contender sets a bad precedent. Lazy players who want a Super Bowl can continue to loaf until their current team has had enough and unloads them to a contender. That's bull. This doesn't work for everybody. It helps to have 100 touchdowns and 10,000 yards receiving. You see that Jerry Porter is still in Oakland. I figure if we don't win the Super Bowl this year, I can always demand a trade to the Colts.

You can analyze this move with a fine-toothed pick all you want, but it's the right move for Randy Moss, and the right move for the Patriots. The Pats have the heart; I'm gonna bring the soul. Anything less than a Super Bowl victory will be a disappointment, and anything less than me ruining the foundation of one of the great franchises in NFL history will be a disappointment to the rest of the league.

Hopefully, this situation will be a career-defining moment for me, one that will top my other career-defining moments, like the mooning, the loafing, leaving the field early, afros, cornrows, squirting water on a referee, running over parking attendants, taunting, the marijuana, etc. Once I get that ring on my finger, I'll be a changed man. Well, I'll be changed only in the fact that I have a Super Bowl ring. And, I'll finally be able to fulfill my ultimate goal: mooning Joe Buck while wearing my Super Bowl ring.

Get Your Questions Answered!

Do you have a question or comment? Were your 15 minutes of fame preempted by a rerun of The Andy Griffith Show? When someone says "Hour of Power," does a drinking game come to mind as opposed to a religious experience? Then send your question/comment/answers and a small donation along with your name and hometown to [email protected]. You may get the answer you're looking for in the next column on Friday, May 18th.

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