Archive for May, 2009

DOG KILLIN’ VS PEOPLE KILLIN’

Posted in Sports with tags , , , on May 25, 2009 by mccoolio

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I heard a guy on a radio sports talk show make the point the other day that the Micheal Vick case has gotten way more publicity than the 3  ex UT players who were convicted of manslaughter while drinking and driving, Leonard Little, Donte Stallworth, and Dwayne Goodrich. I’ve included a brief account of each incident below.You know, he’s absolutely right. Living in Nashville, where the Vols are covered heavily, and being very interested in the stories, I noticed that there wasn’t that much at the time on any of the three  stories. But we know how much media attention the Vick case got. Good grief. Probably 1000-1 more coverage. At least.

Why? There are several possible reasons.Vick was definitely more widely known, more nationally recognized. Although the other three  played in big cities, most notably Goodrich who played for America’s team, the Cowboys at the time of his incident. Vick was definitely more famous and  he was the higher paid of the group.

But I don’t think any of the above  are the reasons for the constant  media obsession, and the villianization of Vick.

I believe it’s because he killed and hurt dogs  instead of people. It’s more politically incorrect to do what Vick did than what the other three did. That’s the state of the Union right now.

Here’s accounts of each guy’s exploits from different sources:

Vick was identified in April 2007 as “the key figure” of an extensive unlawful interstate dogfighting ring operating over a period of five years, leading to massive negative publicity and separate federal and state felony charges and convictions under plea agreements, as well as payment of approximately $1 million for care and rehabilitation of some of the dogs. He has been suspended from play by the NFL since August 2007. In December 2007, he was sentenced to serve a 23 month federal prison term; 3 years of prison time in Virginia on other charges was suspended upon condition of good behavior. With loss of his substantial NFL and product endorsement income, Vick filed for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy protection in July 2008, with liabilities of $20.5 million and assets of $16 million. His bankruptcy case has yet to be resolved.

Vick was released from prison on May 20, 2009. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he will consider lifting his suspension, though Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said he does not want Vick to return to his team. Vick has reportedly exercised while in prison and anticipates a return to the NFL.

Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Dwayne Goodrich was recently sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison and fined $20,000 for a hit-and-run accident that killed two men in January of this year.

Goodrich, the MVP in University of Tennessee’s 1998 national championship victory, testified during the trial that he didn’t see the predawn accident scene because a sport utility vehicle in front of him blocked his view. He said he slammed on the brakes when he came upon a stalled vehicle in the road and was forced to swerve to the left, hitting Wood and Matthews and injuring another man.

He said he originally believed, or hoped, he hit debris and left the scene. He surrendered to law officers hours later after he contacted his mother and his attorney.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth was charged  with killing a pedestrian last month while driving drunk after a night out at a swank South Beach nightspot.

An arrest warrant charging Stallworth, 28, with DUI manslaughter was filed in the March 14 accident that killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes. If convicted, Stallworth would face up to 15 years in prison.

Stallworth’s blood-alcohol level after the crash was .126, well above Florida’s legal limit of .08, according to results of a blood test. Stallworth will also be charged with DUI, which carries a possible six-month sentence plus fines and community service for first offenders.

After leaving a birthday party drunk in 1998, Leonard Little crashed into and killed Susan Gutweiler in St. Louis, MO. When tested, his blood alcohol level measured 0.19 percent, a level that exceeds the statutory level of intoxication of 0.08 in the state of Missouri. Little received 90 days in jail, four years probation and 1000 hours of community service.

Six years later, in 2004, Little was again arrested for drunk driving and speeding. The probable cause statement filed by police said Little had bloodshot and watery eyes, smelled of alcohol and failed three sobriety tests. Because of Little’s 1999 guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter in his drunken-driving crash case, prosecutors charged him as a persistent offender. This made it a felony case. Little was acquitted of driving while intoxicated, but was convicted only of the misdemeanor speeding charge.

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Pat Tillman,Hero

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on May 9, 2009 by mccoolio

Pat350I’ m a big fan of Pat Tillman. I have just finished the book:  Boots on the Ground By Dusk by  Mary Tillman and Narda Zacchino. Mary Tillman is Pat’s mom. I really wasn’t a fan and had never even really heard about him until I read in 1992 that he decided to give up his Pro Football career to enlist in the Army as a Ranger. Because of that I, along with a lot of others grew in admiration for him for his actions. Then, we were all shocked and saddened by his death in Afghanistan April 22, 2004. Then later, we were again shocked  to find out he was not killed by enemy fire as first reported but by friendly fire. Then, incredibly, it was uncovered that the Army big-whigs engineered the cover-up and giving of false information.

By all accounts Pat Tillman was a man who exemplified courage, loyalty, integrity, and love of country.  For instance, when his contract with the Arizona Cardinals was up, he turned down a $9 million per year to play for the Rams and took way less to stay with the Cardinals because he felt they had given him a shot to play where no one else had and he felt loyal to them.

Then, after 9-11,  since several of his relatives had served their country, he asked himself: what have I done? As a result he and his brother Kevin (pictured above with Pat) decided to enlist, Pat turning away from a 3 year, $3.6 million a year contract to make probably about $23,000 a year.

Mary Tillman’s book is a great read that I couldn’t put down. I  read  it all in one day. The book is primarily about Pat, about his life ,and his character. It’s brimming full of inside stories that only his mother would know. The bulk of the book describes the stories from several different memorial services. Stories that will make you weep,  that will make you proud to be an American, and that will make you feel good that integrity is still alive and well. These testimonies are told by  NFL and college coaches and players, Rangers, SEALS , Delta Force guys, and friends and family of Pat.

The book secondarily chronicles the Tillman families  search for the truth concerning his death,  the subsequent cover-up, and their push for accountability for what happened that day in the Middle East. I certainly don’t agree with Mrs. Tillman’s politics (for an alternative view read Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell). Her Bush bashing gets a little old.

The book really made me think because God is really not a  part of the Tillman family as far as I could tell. But can I as a Christian learn from Pat Tillman? Yes. His examples of integrity, loyalty, single-mindedness,hard work, thoughtfulness, and humility are amazing. Every Christian would do well to read the book just for lessons in the above. Google Pat Tillman and spend some time reading some of the hits.

Mrs Tillman is an educator and thus the book is extremely well written. I pray that through her relentlessness, the truth will be revealed, and justice will be meted out.