What's That, ESPN? Vick Had Pot? No Way!

It's not like I need another reason to be annoyed with ESPN but I got it regardless. I had a three-hour traffic-filled drive between the unfortunate hours of 4-7. I attempted to listen to ESPN Radio during that stretch but I am always bored when radio hosts are flying solo and do 12-minute monologues which is exactly what Jason Smith was doing.

But I did listen long enough to hear - again - how stupid Mike Vick is (I'm paraphrasing Smith here) for getting caught trying to board an airplane with a water bottle that had a secret compartment containing what appeared to be marijuana residue (see the 55 Problems re-enactment of the scene, above).

I changed the station because, among other reasons, I'd already heard about this about 8 hours earlier. But I flip back later to see if the if they are talking to anyone interesting and Smith is still on the same topic. Then I flip back again and he's talking to John Clayton about it. Again later . . . still going. All in all, I flipped to ESPN Radio 6 times and save for 45 seconds mocking Barry Bonds transparency in saying Mark McGwire and Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame, every time, Smith was talking about Vick. And while I'm sure Smith felt like one of the popular kids while he displayed his knowledge of drug paraphernalia from his high school days, he sounded like a complete blow-hard when characterized Vick as QB who gets 95 yards passing and two picks every game. Vick, much to the establishment's chagrin, has not turned into Steve Young, but he is still an amazing football player. More on that in a minute.

This story is mildly interesting, especially given some of the other comical (depending on your point of view) transgressions by Vick in the past but Smith calling for his head - he said Matt Schaub should be competing for the starting job next year - over this, is ridiculous.

Not that I would expect perspective from ESPN or its personalities. I'm sure that they lead with this on every show - SportsCenter, Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Dan Patrick etc. I'm sure if I turn on ESPN Radio right now, whoever is on now will be talking about it. Enough already. There are playoff football games this weekend. Why are we talking about this? Even if there weren't playoffs games this weekend, this shit doesn't even rank compared to other "crimes" committed by NFL players or throughout the sports world.

All that aside, the secret compartment is an intriguing idea. I looked around online and found the water bottle safe pictured here. But Vick wasn't limited to water bottles. Maybe some of these other options will work better in the future (depending on the situation).

Back to Vick the player. . . I don't have any particular love for Vick but when I look at his career, I see it more as a failing of his coaches than his failing. Maybe he could work harder, maybe he could study harder. I have no idea. I'm not saying he is perfect. But what strikes me is I see coaches trying to fit him into their system. Let's have Vick be like John Elway (Dan Reeves). Let's make Vick a west coast QB like Steve Young (Jim Mora). Here's an idea - one I bet Bobby Petrino used to get him the job - let's stop trying to jam the square peg into the round hole and build an offense around Vick's strengths as an amazing football player. I'm not going to start rooting for the Falcons any time soon but I think it will be good for the league if Petrino and OC Hue Jackson can put together an offense that is not against the grain of Vick's skills.

Michael Vick's water bottle raises suspicion at Miami airport [Sun-Sentinel.com]