Matt Towery

The truth is that the courts will probably have no impact on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's ultimate decision. Over and again the NFL has said it's waiting for a report from the league's own highly regarded security team. And Goodell has urged the Atlanta Falcons to take no action against Vick until the league's investigation is complete.

Guess what? That report is likely complete, and will probably say that Vick associated with gambling in a way that, to put it mildly, "discredits the league."

That means a lifetime ban for Mike Vick.

You might ask why Goodell would take such a hard stand. But the more you look at the situation, the more his reasons are plain.

First, what had been divided opinion over Vick has consolidated into a general agreement among the public that he broke the law and participated in a viciously cruel activity.

If Goodell is to rid the league of Vick, now is the time to strike. Sympathy will grow for Number Seven over time. Such a strict punishment might not be as acceptable to the public in several months.

More importantly, Goodell wants to avoid having a renegade NFL owner bring Vick -- along with animal rights protesters and others with long memories -- back into the league, even if it's three or four years from now.

Yes, it's possible that if the sentence is long enough, Goodell might take the route of adding a year's suspension from the league following Vick's release, thus effectively making a comeback far less likely.

But Roger Goodell doesn't seem to want to wait until the final sentences are handed down in the coming months. It seems he's relying on the findings of his own league security team, which apparently knows all the facts surrounding the situation, to make his decision. And that probably means "Bad Newz" for Mike Vick.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery