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.



  1. schmoffly Says:

    I agree completely. Dogs have no souls, and while it is cruel to do what he did, I doubt dogs even have the cognizance to be aware of their own existence. Meanwhile, Little gets 90 days in jail for the killing of a human being with a soul. 23 months for dogs, 4 months for a human.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. The difference is intent. Vick deliberately chose to do what he did. The other incidents were accidents. The men did not intend to kill someone when they started drinking. This is, I think, the reason for the legal differences in the penalties. Don’t get me wrong, I think drinking and driving is a horrible crime. I cannot believe Loenard Little ever took another drink of any kind after his 1st accident. He should have had stiffer penalties after the 2nd arrest. (And permanent suspension from the NFL). These guys make millions, hire a driver…

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