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The Three Stooges


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Vick, Roethlisberger, Young: The New Three Stooges



6/30/2010 4:15 PM ET By David Whitley



David Whitley

National Columnist


Like you, my invitation to the Michael Vick All-White 30th Birthday Bash got lost in the mail. So we can't say for sure who caused all the trouble at last week's event.


One thing is certain. Vick and trouble go waaaaaay back. He causes it, he courts it, he all but asks it to blow out the candles on his birthday cake.


So it's a little hard to keep an open mind about the latest bit of bad newz. You don't have to be a PETA member to assume its possible he ordered the hit on his old partner in crime, Quanis Phillips.


Maybe Phillips crashed the birthday party and smushed a piece of cake in Vick's face. Maybe he showed up wearing a brown hat made out of the coat of a pit bull they used to own. After all, the party was billed as a "Very Classy event with a STRICT dress code."


The reports conflict. But the more we learn, the more it seems Vick has again stepped in a pile of dog poop.


His statements to police apparently don't jibe with what witnesses and the surveillance video say. Another trip to Roger Goodell's office is probably in Vick's future. He'd better get his lies, err, story straight by then.


It's been a busy summer for Commissioner Roger Goodell, but he should have seen this one coming. Applying the These Things Happen in Threes Rule, we already had Larry and Curly, aka Ben Roethlisberger and Vince Young.


Now the Three Stooges are complete. Moe Vick has left the building, apparently just three minutes before Phillips was shot last Thursday night/Friday morning. We are again faced with a question that stumps these people.


Why can't you learn from your mistakes?


A quarterback is supposed be the smartest player on the field. And to be fair, the vast majority of NFL quarterbacks have not spent their offseason getting into fights at strip bars and having sex in women's bathrooms.


That's like saying the vast majority of oil wells don't explode. The Three Stooges have caused a public relations disaster all along the NFL coast. Oh, to see them hauled before Congress and given the Tony Hayward treatment:


Mr. Roethlisberger, you were accused of sexual assault in 2009 after allegedly having sex with a hotel employee. Wasn't that enough to keep you from carousing your way into another sex scandal this summer? Or is it impossible for you to cap your gusher of lust?


Mr. Young, you'd almost turned your partying, immature image around. Then you go to the strip bar and get into a fight with a guy who did an upside-down Hook 'Em Horns sign? Are you that big of a Texas fan, or just stupid?


And Mr. Vick, didn't 19 months in prison teach you anything?


Apparently not.


If it had, Vick would have quietly celebrated his 30th birthday at home instead of at the Guadalajara nightclub in Virginia Beach. I'm not saying NFL players shouldn't enjoy a nice night out. But didn't Young learn anything about strip clubs from former teammate Pacman Jones?

If your evening includes buying shots for underage coeds, or throwing cash at women named Lexxxie, your chances of ending up in a police interrogation go up exponentially.


Vick should have known trouble was inevitable simply based on who was organizing the birthday bash -- Marcus Vick. Based on his reputation and police record, Marcus makes older brother Michael look like Saint Francis of Assisi.


I know what you few remaining Vick apologists are thinking. Isn't it a darned shame when a famous convicted felon can't invite 500 of his closest friends to drink the night away with him?


It should be noted that Phillips wasn't on the guest list. One reason is it would be a parole violation for Vick to associate with another felon. Another is that Phillips apparently led the campaign for Vick to again be Forbes magazine's Most Disliked Man in Sports.


The old business partners at Bad Newz Kennels apparently don't get along these days. According to some reports, Phillips gave Vick a cake facial. Other reports say Vick did the smushing. Other reports say Phillips just minded his business and played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.


Whatever, he ended up with a bullet in the leg at 2:10 a.m. Vick told police he'd left the party long before shots rang out, and his lawyer stood by that story Thursday.


"Michael was long gone before the shooting, does not know who did the shooting and had nothing to do with the shooting," Larry Woodward said. "Anyone who says any different better be very careful."


Are you listening, videotape?


It apparently shows Vick leaving the scene at 2:07 a.m. His watch was probably slow and he thought he left at 1:07 a.m.


Oh, why be so careful with our assumptions? Over the years, Vick has lied to prosecutors, teammates, coaches, lawyers, owners, the commissioner and the cop who asked if his name really was Ron Mexico.


He may not know who shot Phillips. But I'll bet my all-white leisure suit that when the gunman is caught, Vick will recognize the name.


That doesn't mean he committed a crime. But in reinstating Vick last year, Goodell imposed a zero-tolerance rule when it comes to this kind of nonsense.


The commissioner has already suspended Roethlisberger for the first six games. His ruling on Young is pending. In a fine twist, the Titans play the Steelers on Sept. 19.


Larry and Curly should get together, watch the game and talk about what this experience has taught them. But given their learning curves, they'll probably watch the game at a strip club.


Or maybe they'll head over to the Guadalajara for the All-Stupid Quarterback Bash. When it comes to that party, Vick takes the cake.





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Every time one of my kids get into trouble the first thing I ask is, "Who were you with" and the answer is usually someone we have already discussed with them to dis-associate with. The next question is, "Where were you at?" and the answer is always somewhere they weren't supposed to be. The third question is, "How late were you out" and you guessed it, it is always past curfew or an inappropiate hour.


All three apply here as well. You would think that after 19months in jail, a loss of tens-of-millions of dollars, and an extream hit on ones character, might lead one to celebrate their birthdays over the next decade a little more subtle, such as the author suggested.


What a tool.



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