But when it comes to the Celebrity Meter, these men are nobodies next to Vick. A huge star as the first overall draft pick out of Virginia Tech in 2001, he was considered to be potentially the greatest quarterback in football. That matters not to Goodell, who has already told Vick not to show up for training camp, and with a trial expected early next year and the heinous news of what was found on Vick's property, it's an easy bet he'll be sitting out the year.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if others in positions of authority joined Goodell?
Legendary basketball star Charles Barkley made waves several years ago when he denounced the concept of sports figures as role models for youngsters. But whether they should or shouldn't be, they are, and it's high time those who control the world of sports -- the owners and the commissioners -- stopped pandering to pampered prima donnas and turned their backs on them, instead.
The same holds true for the sportscasters. When a youngster steps into the virtual ocean of sports channels today, he is smothered by news reports focusing on the latest intersection with scandal and criminal investigations. The thrill of the games and athletic feats themselves are secondary, sometimes only a blur. When it comes to dance-club degenerates starring in the tabloids like Dennis Rodman in his heyday, the sports media should treat them in the same manner in which they once dealt with streakers: stop covering them. If it's a criminal matter, then it should be covered -- and denounced if bad deeds are uncovered.
Baltimore Orioles president Andy MacPhail recently addressed the bad taste in the public's mouth with the Baltimore Sun. "I think if my kids were younger, I would try to remind them that what's getting all the attention is the exceptions," he said. "There are a lot of athletes out there who you would be proud to have marry your daughter or your sister." But with the flood of sports scandal news, they seem like the rule, not the exception.
It's time for the sports industry to shape up.