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Dungy Visits Vick

As expected, former Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy has visited imprisoned Falcons quarterback Mike Vick. “It was a private meeting between coach Dungy and Michael, and it was positive,” agent Joel Segal told Dungy has yet to comment on the visit. But if, as it appears, Dungy has been enlisted to assist with Operation Maybe I Can Get My Money Back, we expect Dungy to only say positive things about Vick -- and to place very subtle yet very real pressure on Commissioner Roger Goodell to give Vick a second chance. Look for Dungy also to appeal to our broader sense of decency, and to equate Vick’s release from prison as the official commencement of Vick’s second chance, both as a free man and as a pro football player. But this issue goes deeper than that, in our view. Vick engaged in a lifestyle premised on cruelty to animals and gambling. He lied to cover it up. He disgraced himself, the NFL, and its vast majority of law-abiding players. Merely being sprung from the hoosegow shouldn’t be sufficient to allow Vick to waltz back into the nation’s pre-eminent professional sports league. As Commissioner Goodell has said, Vick needs to show genuine remorse for what he did, not for simply being caught. Vick also needs to show that he has changed, and that he has matured. Meanwhile, are we the only ones who think it seems odd that Dungy opted to visit Vick in prison on May 5, given that Vick will be released to home confinement two weeks from tomorrow? If anyone other than Dungy did something like this, the cynics would say that Dungy decided that a visit to Leavenworth would be more dramatic and compelling than a cup of coffee in Mike Vick’s kitchen. We know that Dungy’s reputation generally insulates him from such suspicions. Still, there’s something about this timeline that makes us wonder whether the visit was aimed at supporting Dungy’s preordained conclusion that Vick deserves a clean slate on the NFL gridiron.